This 'Hunger Games' Star Just Schooled Kylie Jenner on Cultural Appropriation

Source: AP
Source: AP

Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg and reality TV star Kylie Jenner got into a feud on Instagram this weekend over the latter's new hairstyle — cornrows.

The brouhaha started when Jenner uploaded this selfie with the caption "I woke up like disss" on Saturday morning.

A photo posted by (@) on

Stenberg, who has repeatedly criticized cultural appropriation in the media and weighed in on race-related issues like protests against police violence in Baltimore, apparently didn't like Jenner's new cornrows one bit. The 16-year-old actress shot back in comments that have since been deleted on the site, but were captured in a screenshot by Vibe:

"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 in the comment.

Jenner responded by claiming "Mad if I don't, mad if I do ... go hang w Jaden [Smith] or something" in the comment section, according to Vibe. One Twitter user pointed out that the apparently condescending reference to Smith, who along with his sister Willow has made some out-there comments in recent interviews, was a little less convenient when you consider that Jenner and Smith used to date.

This isn't the first time Jenner's hairdos have inspired criticism from people of color and their allies. Day of the Girl's Ginger Mayo wrote a similar criticism of the celebrity in February following another Instagram post from a dreadlock-sporting Jenner.

"Women of color, specifically black women, are put under heavy scrutiny all the time about their hair," Mayo wrote. "Natural hair is condemned by our racist societies, and forces women to go through strenuous and expensive procedures such as 'relaxing' hair, straightening, wigs and additional methods all to appease the white employers or community members who condemn this particularly black feature."

As Stenberg put it in a video uploaded to Tumblr, appropriation occurs when people hawk those styles without bothering to respect the culture they're cribbing.

There are probably bigger battles to be fought than over Kylie Jenner's Instagram — either way, Stenberg seems to have won this one handily.

Correction: July 13, 2015
An earlier version of this article implied that activist Ginger Mayo identified as a person of color. Mayo is white.

h/t Vibe

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Journalist Kevin Powell sues 'All Eyez on Me' filmmakers, claims they stole from his Tupac articles

More bad news for the embattled Tupac Shakur biopic.

Who won 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 9?

A lip-sync battle tournament leads to a surprising winner.

Halsey just started a feud with Iggy Azalea

The pop singer thinks Azalea is a "fucking moron."

'Game of Thrones' author George R.R. Martin has a new TV show in the works

An early, gory novella from Martin is heading to Syfy.

The 'Will and Grace' revival will lay out the "rules" in the premiere

Series creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan are addressing that pesky finale

'Han Solo' director Ron Howard recalls his first 'Star Wars' experience

The veteran filmmaker revealed 'Star Wars' creator George Lucas was talking about it as early as 1972.

Journalist Kevin Powell sues 'All Eyez on Me' filmmakers, claims they stole from his Tupac articles

More bad news for the embattled Tupac Shakur biopic.

Who won 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 9?

A lip-sync battle tournament leads to a surprising winner.

Halsey just started a feud with Iggy Azalea

The pop singer thinks Azalea is a "fucking moron."

'Game of Thrones' author George R.R. Martin has a new TV show in the works

An early, gory novella from Martin is heading to Syfy.

The 'Will and Grace' revival will lay out the "rules" in the premiere

Series creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan are addressing that pesky finale

'Han Solo' director Ron Howard recalls his first 'Star Wars' experience

The veteran filmmaker revealed 'Star Wars' creator George Lucas was talking about it as early as 1972.