Musical artist Cardi B has come to the defense of model and reality star Kylie Jenner. In the new video for the Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s hit “WAP,” Jenner makes a cameo appearance that has since sparked controversy in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Details of the Video: The video was released last week to much fanfare. The collaboration between two popular female rappers is a milestone for the music industry. With over 60 million views already, it is clear that it is resonating with fans all over the world. In the popular video, Jenner struts into the scene wearing a sexy leopard-print outfit.
Media Backlash: The backlash to Jenner’s appearance was immediate and strong. Opponents of the inclusion of Jenner cite that the video should have been focused on the power of black women, alleging that the inclusion of Jenner dilutes that goal. One of the most outspoken critics of Jenner’s appearance is journalist Danielle Young. The writer took to Twitter to criticize Cardi B for including a white woman easily strolling down the hall as not being in sync with black women working hard to get somewhere. Young called Jenner’s appearance a visual indictment of the struggle that the black community faces.
Young is not the only critic of the video. A petition through Change.org has already amassed nearly 70,000 signatures of protestors wanting Cardi B to remove Jenner from the video and replace her with a black woman.
Cardi B’s Reaction: In response to the backlash, Cardi B responded with a series of tweets that indicated that not everything is about race. The popular musical artist said that she wanted to include Jenner in the video after she was kind to her sister and daughter at a child’s birthday party. She also added that her husband, rapper Offset, is friends with Kylie’s on-again-off-again partner, Travis Scott. Cardi B has since deleted the tweets.
Jenner’s Family Controversial History with the Black Community: The backlash to this video is another example of the Jenner family appropriating black culture to advance their own brand for financial gain. There is no shortage of examples of when Jenner and her family have been called out for using this culture and the sensitivity to inclusion for their own benefit.
Jenner has been criticized for using lip fillers to change her appearance to look more like a black woman. Her equally famous sister, Khloe Kardashian, was criticized in 2016 for wearing “bantu knots,” a hairstyle generally reserved for black women. Sister Kendall Jenner also found herself in the middle of a media firestorm after an appearance in a Pepsi commercial in which she was featured handing a police officer a can of the soda at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Arguably the most famous of the sisters, Kim Kardashian West, has also had her fair share of criticism for using the black community to gain more fame and followers. Most famously, she was accused of the practice of “blackfishing” for purposely making her skin appear darker in color. Kardashian West has also been under fire for wearing her hair in braids, mimicking popular styles worn by women in the black community.
While Kardashian West has tried to rectify these past actions as of late by being a vocal proponent of the black population and their fight for equality, the family still carries a reputation for using this for their gain. There is no doubt that these old feelings are fueling the backlash against the music video appearance by Jenner.