Kim Kardashian has received lots of backlash over the years because of her controversial Instagram pictures and posts. Kim Kardashian, along with other members of the Kardashian family, has been accused of cultural appropriation before. Kim Kardashian’s original shapewear line was called Kimono, a direct appropriation of the Japanese style of clothing. She also got cornrows, which she referred to as “Bo Derek braids,” essentially accrediting the style to Caucasian actress Bo Derek rather than the Fulani people of East and West Africa.
Photographs and choices such as these have been heavily criticized by the media. Kim Kardashian recently posted an Instagram picture of her photos for 7Hollywood magazine. In the Instagram post, Kim Kardashian’s skin was significantly darker than her true skin tone. The backlash was immediate, and people began to accuse her of cultural appropriation and blackface.
Olivia Bashura, a sophomore at Mt. Hebron says, “I feel like because they have popularity, they think they can do whatever they want.”
Bashura viewed the photograph as offensive. She believes that images such as these send an incorrect message that their behavior is acceptable.
Bashura stated, “I think that they deserve it because if they could get away with things like that, then everyone can get away with anything, especially because they’re so popular.”
Cultural appropriation remains a recurring offense by Kim Kardashian. From her shapewear line to her choice of hairstyle, Kim Kardashian has been the target of significant backlash over the last few years. Students at Mt. Hebron have varying views on the ethics behind cultural appropriation.
As society evolves, people’s perspectives change on these topics.
Lauren Lewis, a junior at Mt. Hebron, said, “It depends if your doing it for the right reasons. We’re such a progressive society, I feel like everybody’s doing everything now. As long as you’re not hurting anybody I don’t see a problem with it.”
Pooja Nambiar, a senior at Mt. Hebron, said, “In some cases [the internet] is really too sensitive because people who are just trying to express themselves receive a lot of backlash. But in this case [the backlash] was justified if she really was trying to make her skin appear darker.”
The precedent that is set by the Kardashian’s actions and posts could promote the wrong message. A long-standing battle is whether influencers should consider their audience before posting, or if the Internet is simply too sensitive.
Nambiar said, “In some cases it is really too sensitive because people who are just trying to express themselves receive a lot of backlash. But in this case, it was justified if she really was trying to make her skin appear darker.”
The Kardashian’s history with cultural appropriation spreads a concerning message. Whether or not the photograph is an example of blackface remains up for debate, but the more important message is that black culture has been repeatedly appropriated by the Kardashians.