Kelly Osbourne sparks fervent backlash after wearing cornrows to NYFW

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Kelly Osbourne (and her dog Polly) has been making the rounds at New York Fashion week, sitting front row at shows like Christian Siriano, the Blonds and Jeremy Scott. But it's the images from her appearance at designer Xuly Bet's runway presentation Wednesday that have caused many to call her out for cultural appropriation.

The 31-year-old former Fashion Police panelist, who also helped style the Xuly Bet models, wore cornrows and a headscarf to the event.

See Kelly Osbourne's controversial look:

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Kelly Osbourne's controversial NYFW outfit
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Kelly Osbourne's controversial NYFW outfit
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Designer Lamine Kouyate and Kelly Osbourne pose backstage at the Xuly Bet fashion show during September 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Kelly Osbourne attends the Xuly Bet fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: J Alexander and Kelly Osbourne attend the Xuly Bet fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Kelly Osbourne (L) and Larsen Thompson pose backstage at the Xuly Bet fashion show during September 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: J Alexander and Kelly Osbourne attend the Xuly Bet fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Lamine Kouyate and Kelly Osbourne backstage at the Xuly Bet fashion show during September 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Celeste Durry and Kelly Osbourne pose backstage at the Xuly Bet fashion show during September 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Kelly Osbourne attends the Xuly Bet fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
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"I'm #obsessed with how they did my hair for @xulybetofficial," Osbourne wrote on Instagram.

I'm #obsessed with how they did my hair for @xulybetofficial 🙌🏽💜

A photo posted by Kelly! (@kellyosbourne) on

When one person commented on her Instagram saying, "I'm not even one to normally bring race into the equation, but this is just asking for it. The head wrap with braids?? Really?? *face fucking palm,*" Osbourne, whom Mic has reached out to for comment, responded to the post, saying, "The designers of the show I styled this morning dressed me. This has nothing to do with race only fashion stop being a part of the problem and be a part of the solution!"

But this didn't stop many from still arguing that it still in fact appropriation. "As a black woman this makes me uncomfortable. Like very. And just because it's fashion doesn't mean it isn't offensive. Fashion has been plenty offensive and stolen from cultures maybe it shouldn't," one person wrote.

Said another: "When a black woman wears cultural attire, she's looked at negatively, but when a white woman wears the same thing, it's 'elegant' 'beautiful' 'gorgeous.'"

And many have expressed similar sentiments on Twitter.

Celebrities, mainly the members of the Kardashian family, have been called out left and right for wearing cornrows without giving credit to the rich history associated with the hairstyle.

As Genevieve Ascencio, the vice president of digital at Factory PR, said to Mic, "If I can walk into a professional setting or a high-end store and I'm wearing cornrows and I am treated the same way a white woman were to be treated if she were to be wearing cornrows, then it'd be an easier pill to swallow... But I don't think we're labeled the same way. I think the reaction to races wearing the same style is where the problem lies."

A black designer might've styled Osbourne this way, but being that she's a fashion critic who's likely come across similar situations, she should've known there might be backlash when she agreed to wear the look. Regardless of who styles her, or who approved of her look, she is still a white woman wearing a traditionally black hairstyle. And for many, that is just not acceptable.


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