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Former Hills star Lauren Conrad is catching some flack over a recent post on her site about summer pool hair styles. In the post, Kristin Ess,the stylist, uses cornrows as an example of how to keep your hair healthy while going to the pool. Deep condition it and braid it in cornrows. Pretty simple, right? Well that was until Conrad wrote, “Okay, she kinda looks like she’s going to jail, but I promise she’s not.”

So apparently to Conrad, cornrows = jail time.

Or maybe she’s watched on too many episodes of “Orange is the New Black”.

In any event many commenters took issue with her jail reference:

“Wow, give a girl cornrows and ‘she kinda looks like she’s going to jail’? Maybe have a think about this one… Amandla Stenberg’s got some good ideas if you’re stuck”.

Ellis also took to her Instagram page to deny the fact that she meant to be racist and that cornrows and jail are equated only to Black culture:

Wait… tell me why this has anything to do with race or culture? She looks like a bad ass who is standing in front of a gate you guys. And I stand by my opening line… because if I were going to jail I would wear my braids for a low maintenance look. My goodness, you can’t say ANYTHING on the interwebs anymore.


Clutchettes, do you think the post/article was racist?

Photo Credits: The Beauty Department/Getty Images

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  • “stop associating braids with black culture” is the dumbest statement I’ve heard in a while. Just stop talking clueless white girl…Just. Stop.

  • Rizzo

    could be seen as micro aggression — comment in regards to the cornrows ” … kinda looks like she’s going to jail … “

  • DakiMinded

    The cornrows are thrown together and she’s standing in front of a
    gate with a baggy t-shirt. People really need to look at CONTEXT. Not
    what you want to see, or want to get offended by. If this was a picture
    of better cornrows, or with a better background, or of a Black woman,
    etc. etc. then maybe it would be offensive and out of pocket. If she
    said it and the girl was by an actual pool with a swimsuit or
    something…then sure she’d get the side-eye.

    Yes, historically
    Black women were the ones who wore cornrows but we are not the only
    people who wear them now. People do tend to wear certain styles in
    prison (at least stereotypically). Whether it be braids, or buzz cuts,
    or a bunch of tattoos/piercings, etc. And yes, I wear braids, have had a
    buzz cut and body piercings just talking about perception here.

    Because if we want to get that deep about it, we’re all “culturally insensitive” to someone:

    For instance, I’ve heard WAY more Black women say negative things about
    “Celie Braids” (Color Purple), or Felicia Braids (Friday), or even
    Cleo’s cornrows in Set it Off. Why don’t more Black women with short
    natural hair wear cornrows without extensions (cause they don’t want to
    look like Cleo, right? lol) Where’s the articles about that?

    A thoughtless comment? Maybe. Inherently racist? Not so much.