Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian Slammed For Not Being More Vocal About Black Lives Matter
Kylie Jenner and the rest of the Kardashian-Jenner family have long been complex when it comes to race issues. As a whole, the family has been accused of appropriating Black culture in order to increase their own visibility and popularity.
These criticisms have primarily focused on two elements: the way the sisters alter their own appearance (through things like hairstyles and photo editing) to appear Black themselves and the way that the sisters have seemed to seek out famous Black men to date — especially rappers and athletes.
Now that civil unrest over long-standing racial tensions between the police and Black activists has come to a national boiling point, fans are turning their attention to the way celebrities are responding. Many are not happy with Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian because it seems that they aren’t speaking up in support of Black Lives Matter as much as their fans would like.
The Kardashian-Jenner sisters have complex relationships to race
The criticisms surrounding the Kardashian-Jenner sisters and their treatment of race are long standing. In a 2014 opinion piece for The Washington Post, Sally Kohn wrote that that the Kardashian’s behavior was “actively exploiting and reinforcing racial and gender biases.”
Kohn points to Kim Kardashian’s famous cover shoot for Paper and how the pose very closely mimicked a 1976 portrait of Carolina Beaumont that was shot by the same photographer and used as part of a work titled “Jungle Fever.” Ultimately, Kohn accuses Kardashian of “exploiting the fetishization of women of color to line her own pocket.”
This is similar to the criticisms that Kourtney Kardashian has faced when it comes to promoting her brand Poosh. Kourtney Kardashian posted a photograph of protesters with comments about how she was committed to teaching her own children to do better when it comes to race. However, many saw her discussion of her own brand within the post as exploitative.
They accused her of using the movement to promote herself rather than actually promote change in the culture at large.
Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner have biracial children
As fans have looked to celebrities to take a stand about the issue of police brutality, many have pointed out that they expect more from Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner in particular because of their closeness to the issue. Both women have biracial children who could be victims of these racist biases themselves.
In a Twitter comment thread, many were quick to point out that the sisters are happy to adopt visual markers of Black culture but not to get involved in the fight for Black rights.
One wrote, “they’re more than happy to get fake tans and lip injections, but when it’s time to speak up and support the race they’ve been trying so hard to mimic… [it’s] crickets.”
Others pointed out that they may believe their wealth excepted them from the brutality: “They are rich. They don’t care that their children are Black presenting, past the aesthetics, they think them being rich will protect them from abuses.”
Fans would like to see more from Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner
Fans would like to see a more vocal outcry of support for the Black Lives Matter movement from Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. Kardashian, in particular, has specific ties to social justice causes.
She is currently working on a law degree as part of a professional shift toward activism. She has used this new cause to launch The Justice Project, a reality TV series that examines biases in the criminal justice system and works to free those who have been victims of these prejudices.
Fans are definitely expressing their frustration that women with such cultural influence, personal ties to the Black community, and claims of social justice interests aren’t working harder during this moment of change to voice their support.