By Abi Ishola
When it comes to the Kardashians the first word that usually pops in my head is appropriation. I'm sure I'm not alone in that regard. From Kim's curvaceous figure, Khloe rocking Bantu Knots, everything about Kylie Jenner's Puma ad, and Kylie Jenner's Faux Locs and braids that had fashion magazines singing her praises, the Kardashians have become notorious for adopting black style without properly giving credit where it's due. Just ask Amandla Stenberg.
Enter Kylie Jenner's lip kit. Since she's launched the popular product, to her credit, she's made it a mission to show how her color range looks on light and dark skin tones. Yet the whole idea of her having plump lips in the first place is yet another form of appropriating the natural features of black women, which have proven to only be celebrated by the masses when unnaturally adopted by a white woman. #PrettyLipsPeriod anyone?
This month she expanded on her popular lip kit by introducing a nude shade called Brown Sugar, specifically for women with darker skin. Jenner tapped her friend/singer Justine Skye to be one of faces for this new effort. I understand that she has a brand and she's entitled to expand it and tap into various markets, but the idea of Kylie Jenner selling a black woman a product to enhance her pout is like Rachael Dolezal creating a full line of natural hair care. (Considering what we know about Ms. Dolezal, it's probably already in the works).
When it comes to cosmetics, we welcome brands who keep black women in mind since we've been so undeserved in the beauty world. But what happens when you know you're being targeted by a celebrity who has profited off of appropriating black culture without showing the slightest bit of concern? Has Jenner made an effort to educate herself on the origins of black beauty traditions? Has she even shown her admiration for black women as a whole with sincerity? We get it, we're pretty amazing. Kylie, please figure out how to express that when profits for your brand aren't involved. Hell, Tina Marie dedicated almost an entire verse to outstanding black female poets, so it shouldn't be that hard. It's #SquareBiz.