By now the most of you have probably already come across the images of the “new & cool” “mini buns” post worn during a Marc Jacobs fashion show and accredited to the fashion designer. Normally I would want to put a link here to the originating post, not to do the shame & blame game but because I would want readers to be able to look for themselves and base their own opinions however, since there was a considerable amount of outrage about the “mini buns” the fashion post has since been removed from the Mane Addicts website.
Now when I first came across the post I had the same reaction as most…what in the heck are “mini buns”, how/when have Bantu Knots become “mini buns” and how old is Marc Jacobs if he “created” BANTU KNOTS/ZULU KNOTS or as some say “mini buns”?!?
The backlash and outrage poured out from all corners of social media and I was informed that the Mane Addict’s writer felt like she was being “harassed” after commenting on an Instagram image of the post. Now, like I said this post is not to point the finger and yell “get her” plus the like I mentioned the issue was “rectified” by removing the post…(would have been nice for there to be a new article giving proper credit to those that actually created the style perhaps a little more details about the background …but yes it is gone.)
This brings me to what I saw as the issues. 1. A style that was created (not by a fashion designer!!!) with cultural and historical meanings somehow being “re-branded” as a up and coming “new” style created by a designer without any reference whatsoever of its actual origins, history, background and meaning. 2. The fact how something that is not “new” but simply renamed, slapped with the name of a big fashion designer and donned by models has all of a sudden become something that is a must see and must try…again without proper credit!
It is not only the post that made me cringe but the thought that there are so many people out there that live in a little bubble “unaware” or choosing to be “unaware” of the meaning and origins of the style that would actually walk around saying “oh I am rocking the “mini buns” inspired by Marc Jacobs”. The lack of acknowledgment and the lack of understanding why people find it offensive to not only change the name of a style by omitting its historical background and actual origins only to “make it better” by pretending like it never happened just unnerved me!
I have seen some “clever” (snarky) comments pointing out, “So whenever you wear a ponytail do you give credit to the origins of the style?!”. This made me laugh because 1. If I am honest, I haven’t a clue who “created” it and never have I ever said I am donning a ponytail inspired or created by xyz and 2. statements like that just add insult to injury if you ask me. Instead of trying to fix the situation at hand, trying to understand where and why the outrange came from; it seemed like the better solution would be an “it is not my fault, you did it first” approach!
Another common comment I saw is “So are “we” not allowed to wear the so called Bantu Knots”? Now, this……*shaking my head*…..I have always been open minded when it comes to personal choices. It is not my place to tell one part of the world not to rock something because I am NOT the fashion police I am not the maker and creator of all things hair and hair style related however, in this particular situation it is not even about that! It is not about who gets to wear Bantu Knots!
It is about how something that has been around (before Marc Jacobs) based on heritage, culture, history and traditions can so easily be…should I say attempted to be erased by putting on a sparkling new and trendy name and all of a sudden a “new look” has been born. I cannot nor do I wish to monitor how everybody looks day-in-day-out and that is not the point!
I was shown some tags on Instagram as a response to the “mini buns” stupidity and the one that put a smile on my face was #ITaughtMarcJacobs along with all the beautiful Bantu Knot photos I saw. (Side note: keep it up lovelies you are totally rocking the BANTU KNOTS!)
With just a little research I was able to scratch the very surface about Bantu Knots…just the very surface. Bantu Knots also known as Zulu Knots originated from Africa in fact it is said to derive from the Zulu people. The term Bantu was actually a colonial term used to describe the local Zulu people that spoke the Bantu dialect. Are we seeing where and how the style was born?? As you can imagine, Bantu was not used to describe just one particular group of people since the langue spread from West Africa to other regions in the continent with different regions picking up different dialects. Like I said this was a little research to shed some light on where the style should be credited!
To end my podium speech all I can say is the damage was done and will probably happen again (I am not a pessimist just a realist) but next time it would be nice if the issue is rectified by a proper apology, acknowledgement and credit given where it is due and who knows perhaps a little more forethought going into articles…you know research! – Le Fin-