Both Vanity Fair and Harper’s are off to a rocky start this year after two reporters from the magazines were accused of “mocking” 7-year-old Blue Ivy Carter in a new picture.
The comments came in response to a picture of Beyoncé, Blue Ivy and Megan Thee Stallion at a New Year’s Eve party, which the 24-year-old rapper shared on her Instagram on Monday. The picture brought forth tons of love and well wishes for the Carters and Stallion, as well as over 2 million likes.
But Vanity Fair film critic K. Austin Collins seemingly had other thoughts.
In the since-deleted tweet, the writer wrote, “I have a feeling the jay z face genes are about to really hit Blue Ivy, and I feel so sorry for her.” In response, Harper’s digital editor Violet Lucca tweeted, “They haven’t already?” Collins replied, “You’re right. But she’s lucky — if it happens now, she’ll definitely grow out of it. Get the ugly duckling phase done early.” Lucca then added: “Or she’ll get plastic surgery at 16 a la Kylie Jenner, and we’ll all have to pretend that she always looked that way…I can’t allow myself to feel too sorry for the incredibly rich!”
In the wake of the comments, many came out in defense of Blue Ivy, including author and activist Mikki Kendall. In a Twitter thread Thursday, Kendall called out the “impact” that words can have and suggested that mocking kids is always too far. “There's nothing harmless about insulting a child's features regardless of whether that child has famous parents or not,” Kendall wrote. “There's no value in colorism, anti-blackness or attempting to pretend that class is a justification for targeting a 7 year old with insults..”
Beyoncé herself has been known to reject such criticisms, highlighting the fact that negative critiques of Jay-Z’s looks often center on his most Afrocentric features. In 2016’s “Formation,” Beyoncé sang a bar referencing it: “I like my baby’s hair, with baby hair and afros. I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.”
After the controversy their tweets created, Collins and Lucca both deleted them and briefly made their Twitter accounts private. Once the accounts were made public again, Collins tweeted an apology. “I’m sorry about the Blue Ivy tweet — bad joke, and black girls, in particular, deserve better.” Lucca tweeted, “Sorry I was cleaning my apartment while this blew up ... children of famous ought to be off-limits, but time and again they haven’t been. So I said something petty and have been called ugly, old, and a racist.”
The incident is not the first time that media personalities have been called out for comments against Blue Ivy. In 2014, a producer of BET’s 106 & Park was suspended for a comment she made about the then-2-year-old. Delivering lines about Blue Ivy’s hypothetical thoughts during the MTV Video Music Awards, guest host Karrueche Tran said: “I really did wake up like this, because my parents never comb my hair.’” BET president Stephen Hill later apologized for the joke and explained that Tran was simply reading lines.
Blue Ivy seems to have thrived amid the controversies — as have her healthy, natural tresses, which nearly broke the internet first thing into the New Year.
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