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Is The Side Part Actually Back? Black Women Say It Never Left

Is The Side Part Actually Back? Black Women Say It Never Left

The Millennial-beloved side part is the latest 2000s trend to tease a comeback. But for Black women, they say the hairstyle never left.

Earlier this week, social media erupted in discourse after Nylon published a piece crediting Kim Kardashian for “using her influence to bring back the side part.”

The article referenced new Instagram posts by the SKIMS mogul in which Kim showed off her platinum blonde hair styled in a deep side part, noting that the “style is well on its way to making a full comeback,” despite TikTok’s aversion to the trend.

The style has also been sported by several other A-list celebrities in recent months, including Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner, and Hailey Bieber.

Now, Black women are flocking to Twitter to clarify that not only have they never stopped wearing side parts, but it’s been an important style in Black culture, as it can enhance natural texture, help styled hair stay in place, and allows for personal expression when a deep side part is locked in place with accessories and added designs.

These factors are particularly important given Western society’s history of weaponising Black hair and discriminating against Black women for how they wear their hair.

“Not Nylon giving Kim K credit for the side part, when it’s millions of Black mamas everywhere who been telling their daughters for YEARS, to get a side part-my mama included,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Nylon please…side part never went out in the Black community,” wrote another.

Others note that the entire Kardashian-Jenner family have notoriously stolen ideas, trends, and styles from Black women throughout their careers, profiting off a culture that does not belong to them.

While the reality TV family has benefited immensely from appropriating Black culture, Black women have long been stigmatised for the same traits. The fascination with these beauty trends that the Kardashian-Jenners sport (think: box braids, filled lips, and BBL bodies) serves as a reminder of the exploitation of Black women’s aesthetics and beauty in pop culture. 

Giving Kim credit for “bringing back” the side part is just another unfortunate example of this.

“What is this?” one woman responded to Nylon’s tweet. “Black women, whether we wear our hair natural, straightened or weaved/wig NEVER stopped wearing side parts.”

“Let me help, ‘Kim Kardashian has now again been influenced by an already existing, never losing momentum, been here, staying here, side part’,” wrote @fefetaughtme alongside photos of Black women with side parts.

Writer Kiara Valdes quote tweeted Nylon’s post, noting that the style “never left.” Adding, “I swear if it didn’t rain ppl would find a way to give white folk credit for creating water.”

While the side part might have never left, the style was deemed “cheugy” and “Millennial-core” by Gen Z on TikTok last year, leading to an intense generational divide on the app.

Though culture and race were not central to that particular conversation at the time, it’s clear these are important factors to keep in mind when discussing who is actually using their influence to inform beauty trends and popular aesthetics.

Because more often than not, the influence comes from Black women.

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