Bo Derek Says Queen Nefertari Should Be 'Flattered' by Kim Kardashian West’s Braids

Keeping Up With the Kardashians star Kim Kardashian West ignited controversy on Monday when she showed off her new hair—blonde cornrows—and called herself “Bo West.” The name change was a reference to actress Bo Derek, who wore cornrows in the 1979 film 10

The star didn’t directly address the storm of hate, but she has received support from the woman who inspired the look.

“Hey! It’s just a hairstyle that I wore in the movie ‘10’ @kimkardashian calls it the Bo Derek because she copied my particular pattern of braids,” she wrote on Thursday.“I copied it from Ann-Margret’s backup singer from her Vegas Nightclub Show. And we all copied Queen Nofretari [sic]. I hope Her Royal Highness is flattered.”

In the top part of her photo, Derek, 61, was likely referring to the Egyptian Queen Ahmose-Nefertari. She was married to Ramses II, who reigned during the New Kingdom Period, and was the first of the great royal wives. Along with Cleopatra, she is also one of the most well known Egyptian queens.

She was buried with braids, as shown in the picture Derek posted to her Instagram account. (Historically, Nefertari is portrayed wearing her hair in braids, not cornrows.) 

When Derek wore the look in 10, she made an immediate splash—thanks in part to the scene where she ran down the beach. At the time, the actress made the style a “cross-cultural craze,” according to People magazine.

Her defense of Kardashian West this week wasn't the first time Derek stood up for the Kardashians and their cornrows. She also defended Kylie Jenner in 2015 when she went with them. “It’s a hairdo! That’s all it is,” Derek said in a 2015 interview, according to The Cut. “No, seriously, of all the important racial and cultural issues we have right now, people are going to focus on a hairstyle? No, no. I’ll save my efforts toward important racial and cultural issues.” To Derek, the backlash was “stupid.”

While she had plenty of haters, Kardashian West also found support through sister Khloé Kardashian. “I am squealing like a little pig looking at all of Kimberly’s Instagram’s from the day!" she wrote Monday night. "Oh my God is she not sooooooo on fire right now? FEELING THE FANTASY.” She added: "Between her pictures and her clap backs.... I'm just living for it all. Confidence looks great on you Keeks." 

The following day, Kardashian West seemingly responded to the uproar by posting a picture of herself on the phone, still rocking her cornrows. “Hi, can I get zero fucks please. Thanks,” she captioned the image.