After reading an article on Elite Daily, discussing ‘how bad’ Kendall Jenner felt about the Pepsi advert debacle, I felt compelled to write about how the Kardashians systematically and continously exploit Black people, (mostly for the sake of profit) then refuse to take responsibility, when confronted about said exploitation.
Let’s start with Khloe, Kim and Kylie. Their booties have become something most women aspire to and most men drool over. Though all have insisted that their booties are real, basic logic tells us that the chances of their booties being real, are quite slim. The fakeness of their booties is not the topical area here, because there is nothing wrong with having a fake booty. If you can’t have it naturally, buy it, who cares? The point of contention arising from their fake booties, is the deliberate intention behind those booties. The Kardashians have emulated a typically Black woman figure – slim waist, wide hips and voluptuous ass. This is a figure popular amongst Black men and in the ‘urban’ world, in terms of, what is perceived to be most attractive. In emulating the desirable figure found in most Black women (and not so typically in White women), the Kardashians enjoy the benefit of being popular and marketable in the white world (as a result of them being White) and the ‘urban’ world (as a result of them bearing the attractive and desirable features of Black women). Thus, the Kardashians are able to make an easy transition from the White world to the ‘urban’ world, making sizeable profits in both worlds, all while simulating a Black woman’s aesthetic.
Then there’s the saying, “everyone wants to be black, but no one wants to be black.” Who personifies that more than the Kardashian clan? With their cornrows, Bantu knots, fake full lips, Black boyfriends, sometimes colloquially Black way of speaking and even dressing, it’s not difficult for one to establish that the Kardashians love appropriating black culture (wanting to be black). Yet amidst all of that, we rarely see any of them comment on #BlackLivesMatter, institutional racism, police brutality and other issues central to the unequal dynamic Black people are subjected to. Remember when Amandla Stenberg called Kylie Jenner out for cultural appropriation, after Kylie posted a picture of her rocking cornrows? Kylie’s response demonstrated a complete refusal to assume responsibility and engage with the concerns arising from appropriation of Black culture. One would think that, based on how ardently they appropriate Black culture, they would engage that same verve in support of Black people and the real life situations Black people face. The Kardashian clan is all too happy to immerse themselves in Blackness, but have no issues in exercising their White privilege, by separating themselves from Blackness, when Blackness becomes a crime or ‘uncool’.
The most recent overt exploitation of Black people, occurred with Kendall Jenner and the controversial Pepsi ad. Since the ad was released and received a bitter backlash on all social media platforms possible, Pepsi has since issued an apology and even apologized to Kendall Jenner (excuse me?!?!) Kendall however, has yet to issue an apology, but it seems as though her camp have been keen on emphasising ‘how bad’ Kendall feels about the ad. But here’s the thing, what exactly does she feel bad about? That the response to the ad was so negative? Or that an ad she consented to be a part of (also probably provided her input into the creative content of the ad) was a distasteful initiative whereby #BLM and issues central to minorities were mocked, to make a profit? Also, how bad must Kendall be feeling, to not have issued an apology? How bad must she be feeling to not take responsibility for a role she as a consenting adult, took upon? How bad must she be feeling, for exerting her lack of social awareness at the expense of Black people? Instead of taking responsibility, it seems that Kendall would instead like to exercise her white female privilege, by crying crocodile tears, hiding from the world, victimizing herself, while keeping the world informed of ‘how bad’ she feels.
Great form Kardashian clan. Great form.