Everywhere you look there is news about Kim Kardashian. From scandals, politics, fashion, and family, her name will show up somewhere. Her celebrity is out of this world! She has 137 million followers on Instagram!!! Her influence is crazy and I can admit that I’m one of her followers. I love her fashion and swag, and her business acumen is undeniable. But everyone doesn’t have the same sentiments as I do, especially the black community.
Many in the community complain that she has culturally appropriated black culture with things such as hairstyles and physical characteristics, and I would agree and disagree with that. These things are not new in the black community and are labeled as, “unprofessional”, or “ghetto” until she did them and made it more mainstream. But I disagree with saying she single-handily culturally appropriated these things. What she did do is influence the majority of our society to change their perspective on these topics, and where there’s influence, there’s power. That’s not her fault, but she gets a pass in my book.
I gained a new level of respect for Kim Kardashian’s parenting. She understands that even though her kids are biracial, in this society, they are considered black. They are being raised with an awareness of their black culture, therefore, she practices and celebrates the customs. Take her daughters, for instance, they are not going to look at something like braids as something unfamiliar because they see their mother wearing hairstyles with braids that they will also see black girls and black women wearing. They can culturally identify with this. Take soul food, Kim Kardashian wasn’t raised with soul food but she cooks it for her family. She understands that identifying with black culture is an important part of her kids’ upbringing. If parents come from two different cultures and have kids, it’s the parent’s obligation to embrace each other’s culture for the enrichment of their kids.
Let’s look at her recent work with the justice system on prison reform. She has been pivotal of freeing two people, Alice Marie Johnson and “Jeffrey in Miami”, both who are black. Her recognition of the injustices in our justice system and the impact it has on black men in particular, gives a good explanation of why she wants to do something about it… She has a black son. In my mind, I envision Kim Kardashian being fearful of the day her son comes home with a story of being harassed by the police or being called the n-word at school, thinking about how she will prepare him or what she will say to comfort him. Just from the thought of this, she understands and empathizes with the black community in a way that many outside of the community would not.
When it comes to being a mom we all share commonalities no matter the race. We love our kids and are willing to do whatever it takes to make their environment a better place. I see her in a different light when I see her as a mother because I know the stresses of raising black kids, especially black sons. So when I see Kim Kardashian benefitting from black culture in ways that we can’t ourselves I no longer get frustrated, I give her a pass.
Until next time