Listen fellas, I don’t really have a problem with Kim Kardashian. I won’t go telling her haters to wind their necks in or fly to LA to see her house on a sightseeing tour or anything, but if the moment arises, there’s a good chance I’ll defend her. Same goes for Family Guy, smoking and Michael Jackson.
Naturally, I should hate Kim for making the best of a sticky situation – turning a sex-tape into a multi-million dollar brand and being married with children – but I don’t. Many others do, though, and for more unsung reasons.
Take Kardashian’s Instagram for example. It’s pretty much a bible for haters, what with its nudity and admittedly sometimes-vulgar displays of $$$ – the latter of which some people blamed for her ending up the victim of a home invasion in Paris two years ago.
But can anyone of us say with a straight face that if we weren’t topping ‘Sexiest So-and-So Alive’ lists and had more money than sense our social media feeds wouldn’t be partial to the odd selfie or brag?
Her most recent controversy came not necessarily with nudity or vulgarity, but a haircut. In a series of polaroids showing Kim Kardashian emulating Bo Derek in the 1979 film 10, the reality TV personality was slated for calling her new hairdo ‘Bo Derek braids’ and not cornrows.
One commenter wrote:
You should be ashamed of yourself for calling your Fulani braids, boderick braids… you are truly a culture vulture.
Kim Kardashian should have learned by now how to properly deal with black culture and considering she has three black kids this behaviour is disturbing.
First of all, f*** you Kim Kardashian for wearing cornrows and calling them ‘Bo Derrick braids.’ Second of all f*** you again for crediting the creation of ‘Bo Derrick braids’ to a white woman who was culturally appropriating cornrows to begin with.
Stop me if I’m wrong but is a haircut really disturbing? Did she actually credit cornrows to a fictional character in a movie? The hyperbole, if anything, is what sticks out from this recent controversy.
Would it be so unfathomable to entertain the idea that Kardashian emulated Bo Derek in 10 for a series of #raunchy pics for the ‘Gram just because she fancied it and not to insult and ignore the Caribbean roots of cornrows? Could she possibly possess the ability to distinguish a white American actress from African American heritage? To be aware of both things simultaneously? Or is she too thick because she made a sex tape in her early 20s?
The problem here is the absolutist nature of a lot of internet discussions. The complete lack of critical thinking or the willingness to not apply any. If something catches our eye and doesn’t particularly tickle our fancy, it’s terrible, awful, the worst thing since Hitler, and it needs to go. The perpetrator needs to go, preferably to death row, otherwise there’s no justice in the world.
There are kids beyond this level of immaturity.
At the same time, this isn’t to say cultural appropriation doesn’t exist, nor that it can’t be on occasion crass and negligent in the face of those a part of the original culture. But personally, from a distance, I find it hard to believe Kim Kardashian is out here intentionally trying to mock the black community by referencing a famous actress and a hairdo she donned nearly 40 years ago. Besides, the villains of cultural appropriation are by definition dominant cultures. Kardashian is of Armenian heritage.
Cultural appropriation is a problem in society that needs addressing, but the Instagram of a celebrity like Kim Kardashian is probably not the place to start a fight against it.
It doesn’t look as if she’s taking it so seriously, judging by a new polaroid of her on the phone captioned ‘Hi, can I get zero f***s please, thanks’. Maybe we shouldn’t too.