Here’s the thing about mainstream human behaviour: only when white people jump on a fad will a lot of media feel the movement is fit to declare a trend.
Take twerking, for example. Born out of the predominately African-American hip-hop scene in New Orleans, twerking’s been around for over two decades. No one paid much attention to it, though, until Miley Cyrus applied the term to every bodily movement she made in 2013, prompting millions of impressionable young white girls to start gyrating on everything from school desks to the bathroom sink. Twerking went nuts; major publications felt compelled to analyze how a dance that’s been around since the early 90s is changing feminism and Oxford Dictionaries even awarded it runner-up for Word of the Year.
Now, let’s fast-forward to September 2015.
The latest trend taking the internet by storm is “man braids,” which is exactly what the term suggests. Since man buns are no longer cool, white males going for the Yulia Tymoshenko look is only a natural progression. It’s only been a few months since braided bros have started to upload their crafty crowns and fishtails to Instagram, but that’s enough for people to start declaring man braids the hottest trend of the season and hailed successor to the hipster beard.
And who’s been braiding their hair, exactly? Young, trendy, model-esque white dudes of course. The perfect mannequin for a trend.
Nevermind the fact that black guys have donned cornrows and other braids literally forever – at the forefront of sports a la Allen Iverson and music through Lil Wayne, just two ridiculously high profile examples from the past two decades – because, hey, it’s not really a trend unless the fairer skin appropriates it.
Just some food for thought the next time someone encourages you to jump on the next big bandwagon. Unless that’s the Blue Jays bandwagon, everyone should be on that by now…