Photo Credit: Alix Malka; Amanda Seales/Instagram
Kim Kardashian’s in trouble for appropriating black culture again, but this time it’s for black face. Now it isn’t Virginia Governo Ralph Northam shoe police smeared across the face black face but moreso just darkened skin. This was a Thierry Mugler photoshoot for 7 Hollywood Magazine captioned with “WHAT A DREAM” which is funny because one could say she dreams to be the complexion she was made out to look like. And there was no shortage of backlash for her photoshoot. One commenter wrote, “Can we leave this family in 2019? She appropriates and disrespects black people because they let her get away with it and she uses the ultimate “but my best friends are black” defense to defend her horrible actions. She’s a modern day Al Jolson…” Another wrote, “What’s with the darkening [of] her skin color? She in no way is that complexion naturally. Unacceptable.”
Denying this was attempted blackface was a source close to her speaking to Page Six saying, “It’s the lighting that makes her look darker in this specific image,” the source who was on set for the shoot said. “There are multiple covers and images from this shoot where the lighting looks more natural. People are so quick to find the negative in everything and also often forget that she is of Armenian descent.”
Just in case there was any question about the Kardashian’s complexion in relation to the photoshoot, the internet chimed in with plenty of selfies of her looking just as white as can be. And one person who was particularly offended by this was comedian and Floetry singer Amanda Seales. Pointing out the obviousness of this, Seales posted a video online starting off with “but what is there to say? What is there to say? WHAT IS THERE TO SAY?” She went on to say, “Cause what folks will say is but she has black children. Stop it! But she’s middle eastern. Stop it. But she’s helping black people get out of jail. Stop it!” As for the claim that she was channeling Elizabeth Taylor, she said she was more so going for “Beyoncé, Diana Ross and Diahann Carroll.” She said, “Y’all be praising this sh-t, that’s why she don’t care,” she continued. She said it’s, “Someone trying to take your rhythm but not know your blues.”
What’s interesting here is that the first name that came to mind with this who has done similar is Mariah Carey. But guess what? She’s actually black. So if she chose to use bronzer or tan, that’s different. Intentionally trying to look black, not so much. And yes there’s a racist history there and the constant reminder of others biting off of black culture without either any acknowledgment of the origins or being condescending towards those it came from. It also occurred to me while looking at this that I’ve grown so used to seeing this type of stuff that the fact it’s offensive almost didn’t occur to me. This is one of those instances where someone in the room should have said this wasn’t a good idea. Her team is large enough for that. This ranks up there with the H&M monkey hoody and Gucci blackface sweater. We continuously allow these brands and companies run blatantly offensive campaigns without saying anything. This could have easily been done as a photoshoot with her natural complexion. Smh.
Kim Kardashian was just white a few days ago, this blackface aint it pic.twitter.com/HRP8ThCq7P
— Wut Eet Doo Baybeee (@crassiux) December 20, 2019