The Kadarshians Versus Black Culture
Disclaimer: this is one of those articles that require that I ask the reader to read with a light heart. This is in no way trying to misrepresent anyone. In fact, the purpose of this text is to prove that we can find positive benefits from others. That we need others to live a full life. So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s begin.
The Kadarshians are globally known as a powerful family with an immense and a heavy influence. Most of their influence has come in a form of stereotyping. But they have also changed how society does things, … using what the society already has.They make perfect study subjects when it comes to social behaviour and influence. Why? Let’s dive in.
How do we know about this family?
We know them because of Kim Kardashian. Basically we know of Kim because of her s*x tape. It was ‘leaked’ on the internet. The tape was with Ray-J, a then Black rapper now turned Tech mogul. But, instead of Kim stressing herself because of her enemies’ actions, she turned lemons into lemonade. She transformed the humiliation that was intended to harm her, as a woman, into a moment of an opportunity. Kris Jenner, Kim’s mother helped Kim reshape her destiny.
Frankly, leaked s*x tapes always target to humiliate women. Because for some odd reason, the society makes it okay for men to be in sextapes but god-forbid should women do it too. A topic for another day.
Black Culture Involvement
The Kardashian/Jenner family have been in the forefront of mixed-race relationships since their popularity. All but one have publicly dated Black and loved doing it. Kris Jenner, the momenger, is currently dating Corey Gamble, a black businessman. Caitlin (aka Bruce Jenner) dated a black man after her transition from being a male into being a woman. Kim is married to and has 4 children with the black billionaire rapper/icon/mogul Kanye West. Khloé has a child with her on-and-off black NBA player boyfriend Tristan Thompson. Kendall is dating a black NBA basketball player Devin Booker. Kylie Is dating, and has 2 kids with the black rapper Travis Scott. And lastly, the only male child in the Kardashian family, Rob, has a child with the black rapper and Model Angela White, aka Blacc Chyna.
For some reason, people speculate that Khloé Kardashian’s father is OJ Simpson, a black retired basket ball player. Which would mean that Kris Jenner has always been into Black guys as early as the 80s when it was almost illegal to do so.
Why Date Black?
The Kardashians probably saw beyond the race. Perhaps they loved the culture and the beauty of the black people. They saw beyond the criminalisation and vilification of Blacks. They also saw an opportunity to build ‘together’ with their Black partners.
Because, let’s be honest, there was a time when anything related to Black people was not cool. Black models were not visible enough in the media for centuries..because it was deemed uncool to associate beauty to blackness. (A topic for another day.)
Now, we need to remember that there is a great risk (and an opportunity) when anyone crosses a division line. When one forms a collaboration with the other side. One of those biggest risk is to be rejected ….not by the opposition side but by your own people.
Kardashians, the Mediators
Why is this important? Why are Kadarshians important to the Black culture?
Believe it or not, the Kadarshians have also convinced BLACK people that being Black is cool. The Kadarshians have done what many Black role models were NOT doing with their influence. We must remember that many Black celebrities have been chasing to look white ….more white than Whites themselves.
Exhibit A: Many Black celebrities have straightened their hair to fit in the White culture… to be accepted by the White market. They also wear straightened wigs …not afro wigs, but the straightened ones. (See why Black women wear wigs here LINK.)
Exhibit B: Some Black celebrities have had plastic surgery … transforming their African features to look less African and more Western. The nose job being the popular preference.
We have hundreds of Black celebrities who have changed their nose structure. Thus, affirming that Black people who have Black features are embarrassing (so, they’d rather distance themselves from such features).
Icons who will always be remembered for alergedly cutting off their African nose include: Lil-Kim, Summer walker, Michael Jackson, Latoya Jackson, and Nene Leakes…
However, those who enjoy distancing themselves from blackness are the same people that accuse the Kadarshians of being ‘culture vultures’… Meanwhile, they’re the ones who have abandoned their own culture. They’re the ones who have adopted the original culture of the Kadarshians.
Black Celebrities who have adopted White likeness It is unfortunate that on this list I will include our beloved and highly respected Queens, whose art I love dearly. My love for them doesn’t change because of what I raise here. But it is important that we use them as examples because they hold the biggest influence in the Culture today. They have been in a better position to make being Black cool again …than the Kardashians could have ever done.
But they didn’t…until the Kadarshians did it first.
One thing that no-one will ever take from Beyoncé is her work ethic. The Kadarshians are no match when it comes to this or her talent. However, we know, as per Mathew Knowles, her father, that Beyoncé had to maintain white likeness to make it in the industry. Even today she continues to keep her blondeness — perhaps due to her sponsorship contract with L’Oréal?. (Caution: there are many black people who were born blond, that’s not the point.) The point is that when we think of Beyoncé, we think of a blonde woman with straight hair. Which is not her natural aesthetic.
Beyoncé has finally joined the Black is Beautiful movement, which is great …But she did so only when being black was already cool again. Which is recently, post the birth of her own children.
Queen Nicki Minaj
There is no rapper, dead or alive, male or female, that matches the talent and strong will of this icon. She has used her voice time and time again to fight for the rights of many underdogs, including her peers in the music industry. She has been the voice of Black women from the beginning of her career, no doubt. She has promoted having a big behind since the beginning of her career as well. So, why is she making this list? She is here because of hardly promoting black natural hair. The topic of Black hair runs very deep within the community. It would have been nice to have her promote black her too…such as Lauryn Hill did. When we think of Nicki Minaj, we think of a Black woman with straightened or other colour hair. But she also makes it known that her character requires the wigs.
In fact, I predict that until the Kardashians promote Black hair as cool, no main celebrity will do it.
Queen Naomi Campbell
The one and only most influencing dark-skinned Black model. A glass-ceiling breaker. An icon. Her work ethic remains unmatched. And the cherry on top is that, luckily, Naomi has never bleached her skin …unlike the many Black icons who do once they’re in the industry.
Naomi has single-handedly convinced all of us that dark-skinned girls are beautiful in their chocolate skin. That dark-skinned girls can sell magazines when on the cover. That dark-skinned girls were beyond attractive. She did all of that in a time when being black was definitely seen as uncool. She has singlehandedly opened doors for thousands of black models.
So, why is she here on this list? Like all celebrities, when we think of Naomi Campbell, we think of a beautiful dark-skinned woman with long straight hair. In fact, we have never seen Naomi’s natural hair.
It seems as if there is no success in the industry while wearing black natural hair. Perhaps, the Kardashians will fix this part through their mixed-race children, or by wearing afro wigs. (I don’t know.) But I know that Kim has already tried, when she wore cornrows (and Black people complained and bashed her.) … But I know that they can convince Blacks that succeeding while wearing natural hair is possible.
With all these examples of the most influential Black icons who have changed a part of themselves to resemble less of their Africaness, we can all agree that it was absolutely necessary, at some point in time, to have the Kadarshians convince Black children that their features were cool too. The same way Black icons were affirming white children that their features, noses, hair, skin were cool.
Kardashian Story Lessons
The big lesson in the Kardashian Story is that we all need each other to uplift ourselves, regardless of race or gender. I do not see the Kardashians as ‘Culture Vultures’. I see them as mediators who have noticed that the Black Culture was being abandoned by its own celebrities.
They took an opportunity to say, “hey black kids, black people, it’s okay to be you too”. “Hey black kid, black people, you don’t have to cut your nose off to look like me”. “You don’t have to cut your lips off to look like me.” “You don’t have to cut your behind off to look like me.” “You don’t have to bleach your skin to look like.” “I, too think your features are cool”.
The Kardashians …they did that.
But it hurts for Black people to acknowledge that the Kardashians succeeded in uplifting the black aesthetic, doing what Black celebs were ought to do.
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