Belfast Telegraph

Coco Austin hits back at cultural appropriation accusations

The rapper/actor is sick of the controversy.

Ice-T's wife Coco Austin has urged critics of her cornrow hairstyle to "worry about real issues" in the world instead of blast her with allegations of cultural appropriation.

The Caucasian model-turned-reality TV star debuted her new braids via social media last week (ends21Jul17), revealing she had nicknamed them "Da Coco Swoop", but she quickly found herself under fire, with many accusing her of 'stealing' from black culture by giving her style a new name.

She took to Instagram over the weekend (22-23Jul17) to defend herself against the backlash, insisting her new hairdo was actually modelled after the style actress Bo Derek famously rocked in the 1979 movie 10.

In a new video post, Coco tells fans, "So, recently I got social media's panties in a bunch because I did braids to my hair. This is so stupid. I can't believe I'm talking about it, and I believe this shouldn't be turned out to be a race thing.

"This is what happened: I did my braids and I called them Da Coco Swoop. I name all my styles that I do to myself... The braids before were called the Bo Derek braids. And it's a Coco-ism (sic). I've always done it."

"Why can't we all rename hairstyles or braids?," she asked. "That sounds so stupid. Why is everybody claiming something they shouldn't...? Why is everybody hating?"

Coco continued her rant against her detractors in a second video, which she captioned: "Let's put this to rest and worry about real issues we have in this world."

In the footage, Coco wondered why superstar Beyonce was never criticised for wearing braids in her Lemonade film, before trying to hammer home her point that hairstyling transcends race.

"At the end of the day, this shouldn't be a race war," she declared. "This should be a 'human thing.' Right? Everybody should be able to do it. It's a 'human thing.' Give that a shot. Not a race war. It has nothing to do with race."

Coco thanked her fans as she concluded the clip and delivered a pointed message to her critics, adding, "Get over it."

Meanwhile, her husband of 15 years, rapper/actor Ice-T, has also made it clear he is sick and tired of the controversy.

"I HONESTLY can't believe Clown a** MFs (motherf**kers) are STILL talking bout some braids for 5 days....," he tweeted. "SMH (shaking my head)".

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