You’d think Kim Kardashian West would be able to foresee potentially embarrassing race-related missteps by now.
After all, it’s not like the reality TV star hasn’t been called out for cultural appropriation before.
There was the Fulani braids incident, the underwear line named after traditional Japanese clothing, the magazine cover emulating Saartjie Baartman, a black woman forced to travel 19th century Europe in an ‘human oddities’ show, and accusations of darkening her skin in campaign shots for her beauty line.
So it’s a surprise to see such a savvy media operator lay herself bare to such criticism again. Or perhaps she simply doesn’t care.
Either way, Kardashian West is being forced to once again defend herself against accusations of blackface, after appearing on the Winter 2020 cover of the 7Hollywood magazine with noticeably darker skin.
In a shoot directed for the avant-garde fashion magazine by Thierry Mugler, a photograph shows Kardashian West posed on a bed, in a cocktail dress and 1960s-inspired hair.
But her skin shade is the same as that of the black model whose arm appears beside her – and it’s causing consternation.
Not to worry, there's a viable explanation. Apparently.
According to a source “close” to Kardashian-West, who spoke to US outlet Page Six, the effect is due to “lighting”.
“It’s the lighting that makes her look darker in this specific image,” said the source, who may or may not have been Kris Jenner, speaking through a vocoder.
“There are 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 often forget that she is of Armenian descent.”
While it is true Kardashian West does have Armenian heritage through her late father, Robert Kardashian, her natural skin shade is far lighter than the image suggests – something acknowledged by the source.
Of course, there could be absolutely no reason why Kardashian West and 7Hollywood would deliberately pick the one image from the shoot that would almost certainly cause controversy… thus generating more attention… no reason at all...