The upside to teens in the limelight is the friendly reminder that not all are caught up in the vanity and fame it brings. Case in point: Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg, who gave a brief lesson on cultural appropriation to Kylie Jenner over the weekend.
The youngest sister of the Kardashian klan posted a photo of her new cornrow hairstyle to Instagram. While there’s nothing wrong with the 17-year-old exploring hairstyles, it was merely used for one of her wigs. In the past, the teenager has been ridiculed for mocking women of color by exaggerating her own features like her lips, hips, and living within “Black culture” by hanging with rappers like Drake and rumored boyfriend Tyga.
Stenberg came across the photo, and like the thousands of commenters, suggested the fellow teen try using her platform to address problems within the Black community, rather than admiring it on social media.
“When u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter,” Stenberg wrote under the questionable photograph.
Unfortunately, the message went over Kylie’s head. The teen decided to shade the actress by replying:
Mad if I do, mad if I don’t. Go hang with Jaden or something.
Stenberg has stayed vocal about mainstream acts like Katy Perry and Kylie’s sister Kendall emulating visions of Black culture, but failing to understand them. Stenberg brilliantly addressed the appropriation that plays on the stereotypes of Black people in a video she made for a school project — ironically named Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows — earlier this year.
It’s going to take some time (and an open mind) for people like Jenner to get the picture, but we’re glad we’ve got teenagers like Stenberg to spread real messages about visibility and inclusivity.
SOURCE: Think Progress | VIDEO CREDIT: NDN
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