Kim Kardashian West is drawing criticism for allegedly donning blackface for her latest magazine photo shoot.
The “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star graced the cover of 7Hollywood magazine, for what was intended to be a tribute to Old Hollywood glamour and screen icon Elizabeth Taylor. In the spread, she sports a short, bobbed wig, dramatic cat eye makeup and vintage Mugler designs.
Kardashian West called the shoot, which was art directed by Manfred Thierry Mugler himself, a “dream come true.” However, many feel offended by the 39-year-old’s deeply tan skin, calling out her latest look for “blackfishing.” Like Catfishing, the term describes someone who purposely alters their appearance to appear black.
“I don’t care, I don’t care, this is blackfishing,” one upset Twitter user wrote. “I’m sick of Kim Kardashian and her family using the black dollar, and using black culture as a costume to make money and pander to people of colour.”
#KimKardashian magazine cover has the internet upset. Many are accusing Kim of blackface or #blackfishing which is “an act commonly perpetrated by white women to appear of African or Arab ancestry." I see Beyoncé’s face in Dreamgirls while other saw the late #diahanncarroll pic.twitter.com/6trE5irjxw— Chronicle Speaks (@ChronicleSpeaks) December 20, 2019
Washington Post editor Karen Attiah commented on Kardashian West’s “obsession with blackness” tweeting, “I don’t see it as complicated. Her proximity to and appropriation of blackness has gotten her (and her family) paid. Handsomely.”
Attiah continued by noting that Kardashian West’s recent photo shoot is indicative of a larger societal issue.
“It’s America’s obsession with blackness, and black culture - without black people,” she said.
The thing with Kim Kardashian and her family’s tireless history of cultural appropriation and Blackfishing is that she knows better. They know better. But they continue to do this because they know outrage sells. They’re able to keep their name relevant by doing things like THIS. https://t.co/rIE1fuYUXH— Wanna (@WannasWorld) December 19, 2019
Wait it gets worse....black women can't even get credit for inspiring Kim Kardashian's blackface. 🤦🏾♀️— Dee Lamarr Shines (@DeeLamarrShines) December 19, 2019
She's channeling Diahann Carroll, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge NOT Elizabeth Taylor.
She's channeling BLACK WOMEN. #ThereIFixedIt 💁🏾♀️ pic.twitter.com/0t49ViVg3Q
Despite the criticism, a source close to the star denies claims that Kardashian West was sporting black face.
“It’s the lighting that makes her look darker in this specific image,” the unnamed source who was on set for the 7Hollywood shoot told Page Six. “There were multiple covers and images from this shoot where the lighting looks more natural. People are so quick to find the negative in everything and also forget that she is of Armenian descent.”