Kim Kardashian is denying that she has appropriated Black culture and dismisses allegations of “blackfishing.” Blackfishing is a term used when non-Black women attempt to make themselves look racially ambiguous by overusing spray tans, wearing darker makeup and hairstyles made by Black women.
The beauty mogul has been accused of both blackfishing and cultural appropriation in the past and sat down with i-D magazine to address those accusations while being the mother of four Black children.
“I would never do anything to appropriate any culture,” said the Skims founder. “But I have in the past got backlash from putting my hair in braids and I understand that. Honestly, a lot of the time it comes from my daughter asking us to do matching hair. And I’ve had these conversations with her that are like, ‘Hey, maybe this hairstyle would be better on you and not on me.’ But I also want her to feel that I can do a hairstyle with her and not make it that big of a deal either if that’s something that she’s really asking for, and really wants.”
“But I’ve learned and grown over the years, and figured out good ways to communicate with all my kids about all this,” she continued. “I’ve definitely learned over time, and I’ve tried to pass that culture of learning onto my kids too, but then there’s also a history of braiding hair in Armenia, and people forget that I am Armenian as well.”
Kim was also asked about the original name of her loungewear brand Skims, which was previously called “Kimono.” The brand was just supposed to be a play on her name and pay homage to Japanese culture, but once announced it received a lot of backlash online.
“I came up with the Kimono name because it was a play on my name, and because I was so inspired by Japanese culture. To me, it was just paying homage to it, but I quickly realised that it wasn’t being seen that way,” said the beauty mogul. “I would never intentionally try to appropriate the culture in that way. It wasn’t my intention at all. So I just was like, “Okay, shut it down. It doesn’t matter that we have so much product already. We have to figure this out. We need to take our time and slow down for a second and figure it out and change the name.”