The bigger the celebrity, the more open to criticism they are. No one knows that better than Kim Kardashian West.
The level at which she publicizes her life, both on TV and online, seems to make just about anyone feel like they have the right to comment on what she does, eats, wears, you name it. Most recently, she’s been receiving backlash regarding the appearance of her eldest daughter, North West.
North West is 5 years old and freaking adorable. Kim posts plenty of pictures of the cutie on Instagram, more than her younger children, Saint and Chicago. Last month, Kim posted some pictures of North rocking straight hair, a departure from her natural curls.
This sent people running to the comments of these photos, criticizing Kim for straightening the little girl’s hair and slamming her for being ignorant to a black child’s hair needs. Kim set the record straight, but after posting another photo of North with straight hair, the criticism came right back.
First of all, let’s set the record straight. North looks just as fabulous rocking her natural curls as she does when her hair is straightened.
Some of the backlash surrounding North’s hair being straightened is because they believe it’s unhealthy for her hair. Initially, there was speculation that North was wearing hair extensions.
It was also assumed that the texture of her hair would require chemical processing to straighten. Since none of us have ever handled North’s hair, it’s not ours to speculate it’s texture or fragility.
Kim explained her side of things at the opening of her LA pop-up store.”I think everyone thought it was this crazy pressed thing — I mean, I just used a flat iron and everyone was saying she was wearing extensions and I was like, ‘No, she has curly hair, so that’s what the length of her hair is when it’s straightened.’ I was just seeing these things online and they were just ridiculous.”
Kim also went on to explain that North is aware she can’t straighten her hair all the time. “She wanted to try straight hair so I said she could try it for her birthday party and then if she liked it, she could do it in New York for her birthday. It’s very limited to just that, and she knows that.”
Everyone got all stirred up again when Kim posted this picture of North and Kanye. Despite the sweetness of the photo, people thought she straightened North’s hair again.
The fact that people don’t trust Kim to be able to handle her own child’s hair is pretty ridiculous.
Kim reiterated her and North’s understanding on straightening her hair on Twitter and explained that the photo she posted was from North’s birthday in June. In the same way that some little girls are allowed to wear makeup on special occasions, North can straighten her hair. No harm, no foul, right?
Apparently, people on the internet didn’t agree. Kim’s photo was met with some pretty harsh commentary, which many of her photos are. When you come for someone about their parenting, however, that’s on a whole other level.
People don’t seem to believe that a 5-year-old girl might want to experiment with her look. It’s totally common, probably even more so for North, whose famous family switches up their glam all the time.
Commenters also seemed to have a tough time grasping the fact that North is biracial. There’s no way of knowing what her hair is like without handling it, and you should never, EVER try to handle someone’s hair without their explicit permission. Many black and biracial women wear their hair straight. It’s simply not that deep.
This commenter expressed that North wanting straight hair might be symptomatic of something deeper and slammed Kim for not teaching her daughter to appreciate the features they associate with being black.
Kim’s fans were quick to come to her defense, saying that every single thing she does with her children shouldn’t be open to public critiquing simply because they’re famous. The issues people have expressed might have come from a good place, but they are simply personal matters that strangers on the internet shouldn’t try to influence one way or another.
As for Kim, we’re sure this isn’t the last time she’ll feel obligated to explain her parenting choices to the world, especially as the mother of three biracial children.
If you’ve ever been in public with a child and had someone tell you how you could be doing something different with said child, you might understand how infuriating and unnecessary these situations can be. Kim has been handling it to the best of her ability, with patience, class, and restraint that some of us might not be able to show if we found ourselves in similar situations. We hope that North is happy no matter what her hair looks like because she’s an adorable kid who should get to enjoy being a kid.