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Twitter Is Dragging Kim Kardashian for Her Latest “Blackface” Photoshoot

Kim Kardashian

Oh, Kimberly. You’d think the 39-year-old media mogul would know better by now, but Kim Kardashian’s dark skin color Twitter reactions have us realizing otherwise. In case you (somehow) missed it: Kim was recently on the cover of a magazine called 7HOLLYWOOD and, uh, she’s essentially in blackface—at least as far as most folks are concerned. From her hair style and deeply darkened skin tone, to her makeup and photo retouching, Kim’s latest cover story has her poaching on a Black woman’s identity more than ever.

According to 7HOLLYWOOD, the issue was supposed to honor old Hollywood film stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren. Which is…confusing. Many on Twitter were quick to point out that Kim Kardashian’s appearance for the photoshoot was more in line with the appearance of Black stars such as Dorothy Dandrige, Diahann Carroll, or Diana Ross. Others were even confused the first time they saw the cover photo, believing that the woman pictured may have been Tracee Ellis Ross or Taraji P. Henson.
A source close to Kardashian is in full damage-control mode, and has reached out to PageSix to her defense. “It’s the lighting that makes her look darker in this specific image,” they said. “There are multiple covers and images from this shoot where the lighting looks more natural,” the source added. “People are so quick to find the negative in everything and also often forget that she is of Armenian descent.”

Lest we get into a debate over Armenian race and identity, let’s at least consider what actual women of color on Twitter think. After all, we can all agree that Kim benefits from the privilege of being able to “try-on” signifiers of Black identity—whether it’s experimenting with injectables for a fuller lip, or swapping out her naturally straight hair for cornrows, a protective style meant for kinky-curly hair textures. She can get by with making these looks part of a new “trend”—whereas these visual markers are often not debatable for Black women. Not to mention, they can even get called “unprofessional.” We know Gabrielle Union already has thoughts on that. And so does Twitter:
“The thing with Kim Kardashian and her family’s tireless history of cultural appropriation and Blackfishing is that she knows better. They know better,” tweeted writer Wanna Thompson. “But they continue to do this because they know outrage sells. They’re able to keep their name relevant by doing things like THIS.”

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