Kim Kashing In on Cultural Appropriation?

The Kardashian clan are no strangers to controversy. Many argue that it’s what has catapulted them to the grand success they enjoy today.  For this family, it seems their motto might run along the lines of — any PR is good PR (strong emphasis on the any part of the phrase).

Kim Kardashian-West has managed to infuriate the Internet yet again after posting several photos to Instagram and Snapchat causing followers to scream cultural appropriation.

Via Instagram

Kardashian-West is sporting cornrows known as Fulani Braids in a series of sexy snaps. For the unaware, these braids originated from tribes in East and West Africa. In true Kardashian fashion, she captions the look “Bo Derek braids”, after the look that Derek wore in the 1979 movie “10”.

Via Instagram

If you’re wondering what about this falls under cultural appropriation, note that Kardashian-West credits Bo Derek for the look instead of the Fulani women. Cornrows are a traditionally African-American hairstyle that is ancient but there’s no mention of that in her posts. Essentially, as a member of the dominant culture, she is profiting from the tradition of a minority group without proper attribution.

As the mother of three black children, many social media users see Kardashian-West’s actions as irresponsible and insensitive. It’s not the first time she’s done something like this either; when she first released the promotional pictures for her makeup line, many accused her of black-face.

Via Instagram

She addressed the black-face allegations almost immediately (she claimed she would never disrespect anyone), but has kept mum on these most recent photos.

Yes, we’re living through highly sensitive times and anything a celebrity does is subject to harsh criticism. As public figures, however, being informed about social issues is key to remaining trustworthy and relevant to social media followers.

While it might seem like the Kardashian-Jenner group has reached a level of popularity that is untouchable, this doesn’t mean their reputations are safe too.

How do you feel about the Kardashians and their social media etiquette? Are people too sensitive or are these reality TV stars outright offensive? Let us know your questions, comments and concerns below!

This entry was posted in alo public relations and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.