- Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images
- Kim Kardashian West is being accused of blackface on the latest cover of fashion magazine 7 Hollywood.
- The reality-television star shared images from the photo shoot to social media on Thursday, and added the caption: “WHAT A DREAM.”
- People have commented on Kardashian West’s skin tone in the photos, which show her wearing a vintage Thierry Mugler gown with a curled bob hairstyle.
- Representatives for Kardashian West and 7 Hollywood have yet to respond to the criticism.
- An unnamed source said to be close to the star was quoted in a Page Six report saying Kardashian West’s skin tone appeared darker due to the lighting.
- This isn’t the first time Kardashian West has been accused of blackface. She was also criticized for her appearance in a 2017 KKW Beauty campaign promoting her contour products.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Kim Kardashian West is being accused of blackface on her latest magazine cover.
On Thursday, the reality-television star shared images from a photo shoot for fashion magazine 7 Hollywood. Many people in the comments noted that her skin tone appeared darker than usual in the photos, which show her wearing a vintage Thierry Mugler gown with a curled bob hairstyle.
In her posts about the cover, Kardashian West wrote: “Wearing Mugler Private Archives for 7 Hollywood. WHAT A DREAM.”
Wearing Mugler Private Archives for @7hollywood_mag. ✨✨✨ WHAT A DREAM ✨✨✨
Art Direction by @manfredthierrymugler. Photographed by @alixmalka
Styled by @maryammalakpour
Make Up @makeupbymario
Hair @peter.savic pic.twitter.com/x1hJ50H3q8
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) December 19, 2019
At the time of writing, Kardashian West and 7 Hollywood have not publicly responded to the criticism.
Shortly after Kim Kardashian West posted the photos, people on social media began to question her appearance
On Twitter, many accused her of blackface, or allowing her skin to appear darker than it actually is. Others compared her to famous women of color, and shared images of what Kardashian West typically looks like without a tan.
It’s not cool or cute. No I don’t feel honored as a black woman. Some fear us first bc of our chocolate, they hate & mistreat us. And you want to wear it like an accessory? Go rinse off our struggle! Anything for publicity.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) December 19, 2019
She doesn’t. That’s the thing. She just wants to take advantage of our features and culture. I’m so fuming right now
— Manute (@manuteasso) December 19, 2019
People shared similar sentiments on Instagram.
“It’s not that she bronzed and tanned for this shoot,” one person wrote in the comments of Kardashian West’s post on Instagram. “It’s the fact that she can WASH IT OFF whenever she wants her image to be viewed as more white adjacent.”
“It’s upsetting to real women of color because they don’t have the PRIVILEGE of going back and fourth and washing off their brown skin when it doesn’t ‘work for them,” they continued.
“I never comment on celebrity pages, but this looks like blackface,” another person wrote. “As a woman of four beautiful black children, you should really learn to be more conscious.”
Some pointed to times Kardashian West has been accused of cultural appropriation, as with the original name of her shapewear line SKIMS, formerly known as Kimono.
“Didn’t you just get ripped a new one for Kimono that you renamed SKIMS?” one person wrote. “Learn your lesson, be more racial sensitive. While you are half Armenian, you still live a very white, privileged life. Get it together. You’re actually my favorite but this is extremely disappointing.”
Kardashian West was widely criticized in June for naming her shapewear brand Kimono, despite the word being used to describe a traditional Japanese garment. After intense backlash over the name, she changed it to SKIMS, and said she never meant to “intentionally disrespect” Japanese culture.
Kardashian West and 7 Hollywood have yet to publicly acknowledge the criticism over the images, but a source said to be close to Kardashian West told Page Six the photo-shoot lighting was to blame
While neither the reality star nor 7 Hollywood has responded to the backlash, a source said to be close to the TV star is cited by a Page Six report saying that it was the photo shoot’s lighting that made Kardashian West’s skin look darker than it actually is.
“It’s the lighting that makes her look darker in this specific image,” an unnamed source told Page Six. “There are multiple covers and images from this shoot where the lighting looks more natural.”
“People are so quick to find the negative in everything and also often forget that she is of Armenian descent,” they are quoted saying.
This isn’t the first time Kardashian West has been accused of blackface and insensitivity
In June 2017, Kardashian West’s beauty brand KKW Beauty launched its famous contour kits. She promoted them by using photos of herself, which led to many accusations of blackface. Eventually, Kardashian West responded.
She spoke with The New York Times that month, and said she “obviously never want[s] to offend anyone.” She also said she “was really tan” during the photo shoot, and that the lighting and contrast of the image might have been “off.”
“But I showed the image to many people, to many in the business,” she said. “No one brought that to our attention. No one mentioned it.”
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 14, 2017
Months later, she spoke about the photos again during an episode of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”
“Oh my gosh, I’m seeing these photos from the campaign, the ones that we took, and people online are saying that I’m doing blackface, but I would never in a million years be disrespectful and do that,” she told her former assistant, Stephanie Shepherd.
Blackface was common in the early 19th century, but brands and celebrities have been accused of the racist practice in recent years
Blackface has been prominent since the early 19th century, according to the National Museum of African-American History & Culture. At the time, white actors would frequently apply burnt cork and shoe polish to their faces as a way to mock black slaves through caricatures.
This practice was especially common in movies and minstrel shows, and has since led to widespread and innacurate stereotypes of black people. In recent years, however, a number of public figures and brands – particularly within the fashion industry – have been met with accusations of blackface.
In February, for example, Katy Perry faced criticism after her fashion line released sandals and loafers that many said resembled blackface. Each pair of shoes had 3D eyes, a gold nose, and bright-red lips attached over black leather. They were quickly removed from stores, and Perry said she was “saddened” by the comparisons.
That same month, Gucci pulled a $900 balaclava sweater that people said resembled blackface from its stores. The black garment featured a high neckline that extended over the wearer’s face. A red circle – which resembled lips – was also drawn around an opening for the mouth. Gucci apologized for the design on Twitter.
Representatives for Kim Kardashian West, 7 Hollywood, and Thierry Mugler did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
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