Cultural appropriation has become an issue throughout the media in recent years. It is defined as, "a sociological concept which views the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture as a largely negative phenomenon." Now Instagram queen and youngest member of America's most famous family, Kylie Jenner is being called out on several separate occasions for her cultural appropriation.
1. Plastic Surgery Accusations
Kylie in February 2014 vs. July 2015
To give her some credit, she is still a teenager so she's changing as she grows up. But to claim that the only surgery she's had is lip enhancement seems kind of ridiculous; the entire structure of her face has changed over the course of a little over a year. A lot of people think that her enhanced lips are similar to that of a black person's or she is aspiring to look more that way.
2. Copying friends / boyfriend's ex-girlfriends looks
Their looks are very similar but is this inspiration or something else? Her friends always seem to have similar looks to hers but is that normal or something that adds on to her already lengthy list of racist accusations?
Kylie has rocked this style on many separate occasions but advocates, like Amandla Stenberg from the "Hunger Games," have something to say about this look. "Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalizations but it is deemed cool and funny when the priviledged take it for themselves," she said in her Youtube video that now has almost 2 million views.
She also left this comment on the picture:
4. "Black Face" Accusations
Obviously, she had to comment on this one because of the outrage all over the internet accusing her of black face. It is obvious that there has been some darkening of skin tone in her photoshoot with Marcelo Cantu. However, the apparent use of blue eyes and A LOT glitter make me think this is in no way black face.
5. Bindi Wearing
In the Hindu tradition, a woman wears a different color bindi at every stage and occasion of life. They are considered righteous and religious in Indian culture. Her blatant disregard for a cultural, sacred art is evident here.
Some reactions to this picture were:
At coachella they should have bindi detectors and if it goes off you have to attend a 2 hour seminar on cultural appropriation
— chandler (@chandowd) April">https://twitter.com/chandowd/status/45552479898331... 14, 2014
"hell yea lets wear some more bindis and headdresses and appropriate some more cultures" -basically every girl at coachella
— julianne (@julsbuls) April">https://twitter.com/julsbuls/status/45582826276231... 14, 2014
Separately, these accusations may not seem like an issue. But when we look at someone as famous and influential as Kylie, its hard not to get an idea of how she affects the media and the world. Instances like this add up and become more and more of a problem. She has an effect, no matter what she does, but she needs to make sure she has the right one.