A photo of reality television star Kylie Jenner sporting cornrows set off a social media feud on Sunday after “Hunger Games” actress Amandla Stenberg responded to the Instagram selfie by calling Jenner out for cultural appropriation.
Jenner, 17, posted the photo on Sunday with the caption, “I woke up like disss,” grabbing the attention of 1.2 million Instagram users.
Unlike the 1.2 million that liked the photo, Stenberg, 16, was not a fan of the new hairstyle.
“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 [sic],” Stenberg wrote on Jenner’s post, according to a screenshot of the comment taken by Vibe before it was deleted.
Jenner fired back, saying, “Mad if I don’t, Mad if I do [sic],” and adding that Stenberg should go hang out with “Jaden,” referring to the son of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Later the same night, Stenberg took to Twitter to fully explain the feelings that fueled her outrage at Jenner. In a post on both her Twitter and Tumblr accounts, captioned with “words by me,” she argues there is a double standard of beauty for white and black women.
“While white women are praised for altering their bodies, plumping their lips and tanning their skin, black women are shamed although the same features exist on them naturally,” Stenberg wrote. “This double standard is one string in the netting that surrounds black female sexuality – a web that entraps black women when they claim sexual agency. Deeply ingrained into culture is the notion that black female bodies, at the intersect of oppression, are less than human and therefore unattractive.”
This is not the first time Stenberg has taken issue with public displays of cultural appropriation.
In April, a video from Stenberg’s Tumblr went viral. In the video, titled “Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows,” the actress breaks down the history of cultural appropriation and names a list of white female celebrities who she said have appropriated black culture – a club of which Jenner, according to Stenberg, now finds herself a part.