When hashtags like the #KylieJennerLipChallenge have teenagers all over the Internet bruising their lips to get the surgically-enhanced pout of the youngest member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, one starts to worry about the future of our youth. But then we remember that level-headed teens like Amandla Stenberg are out there, intelligently and patiently educating people on cultural appropriation, we start to worry less. Maybe, just maybe, the kids will be alright.
This weekend, Stenberg restored our faith in the youth by using her platform to shine a light on the blatant cultural appropriation of black style Kylie Jenner gleefully participates in while she shows barely any concern for the true issues black people in America face. Jenner posted an image of herself wearing cornrows to Instagram, to which Stenberg replied, “When u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter.” Ba-ZING.
No one expected Kylie Jenner to have a nuanced, thoughtful comeback and she failed to disappoint, brushing off Stenberg’s dose of truth serum with, “Mad if I do…mad if I don’t. Go hang w Jaden or something.” Ummm… good one, Kylie.
Stenberg then took to her own social media outlets to elaborate on the point she was making and did so beautifully. “Black features are beautiful. Black women are not. White women are paragons of virtue and desire. Black women are objects of fetishism and brutality,” she wrote. “The stigmas surrounding it are embedded in American infrastructure and psyche as evidenced by the ways black women are sexually assaulted and treated by the police – an act that goes frequently unreported by the media. When the media is not ignoring black women altogether, they are disparaging them.”
Stenberg has a point. Kylie Jenner and, you can argue, some of her family have made money off appropriating black styles of dress, wearing their hair and surgically enhancing their features to mimic the natural features and physiques of black women. Kylie Jenner loves to use black slang, has a rumored black boyfriend, has a biracial niece and will soon have a biracial nephew. With black culture and black people having so much of an influence over her life, you would think she would be more vocal about the injustices going on in her own country. But then again, who has the time to focus on black issues in between lip injection appointments and weave installations?
[via E Online]