Three months after Kendall Jenner surprised us all with her controversial new tequila 818, she’s back with a photoshoot that is just pure, unadulterated cultural appropriation. Hey, it’s what the Jenners do best.
The new campaign features Kendall Jenner wearing a pretty dark tan (sigh) and loose pigtails commonly associated with Mexican women, while riding horses through what looks like Mexican fields.
YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME…..leave it to Kendall to be as tone deaf as possible, this is so offensive. Modeling that chic migrant worker look for her tequila brand, watch her cry and say she didn’t know later on for the 100th time 🙄😠 pic.twitter.com/7n4VypvSVv
— ARS (@ESNYstylessa) May 18, 2021
Given her trademark ‘ethnically ambitious’ lewk (*screams into the abyss*), she appears to be dressed as a knock off Mexican migrant worker on their farm.
One of the interesting (read, fucking annoying) things about Kendall Jenner’s new shoot is that it’s not like she didn’t know cultural appropriation was a thing, or that this new brand of hers was controversial. The backlash to her initial launch was centred around the gentrification of Mexican tequila, and how people felt it was uncomfortable and unnecessary for a ridiculously rich white celeb to slap their name onto the work of local artisans.
Instead of taking people’s concerns and criticisms on board and choosing to be respectful to the culture she’s capitalising off, it appears Kendall Jenner has just waited for the commentary to die down and then just ??? dressed up as a Mexican???
I guess if you include pictures of you hanging out with locals and pretending to be one of them, your blatant cultural appropriation can be dismissed as Gentrification Lite??
I can see the pain in this old mans eyes Kendall Jenner pic.twitter.com/FRNnL2iaF9
— burner (@stoned69) May 19, 2021
If you’re confused about why this shoot is problematic (to say the least), there are actually a number of reasons.
The most obvious one is the Kardashian-Jenner clan’s constant cultural appropriation and race-fishing. They continually rake in profits by stealing Black and brown women’s features, style and culture – and then either feign ignorance or just deny accountability.
I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but POC are not costumes!! You can’t dress up as us and exploit the ~cool~ parts of our culture, whilst never actually uplifting our communities or experiencing the trauma of being a POC in the white, white west.
Soz but it’s not cute to dress up as migrant workers for a fun shoot yet have no understanding or connection to the people you’re emulating.
Pair that with the original criticism of her gentrification of tequila, and you get a pretty thoughtless photoshoot that just tries to make Kendall ~ethnic~.
Something about Kendall Jenner making tequila rubs me the wrong way..like the idea of white celebrities taking from local Mexican artisans and profiting off our traditions and agricultural business yet only visit Cabos and Puerto Vallarta for vacation spots…
— Estefanía (@estyledesma) February 17, 2021
Kendall Jenner starting a tequila brand, with zero knowledge on Mexican culture and calling it “818 tequila” is GENTRIFICATION. The 818 does not claim Calabasas. What about those smaller, family owned Mexican tequila/mezcal brands? They deserve the hype & support.
— princesa (@jenjocelyn) February 17, 2021
Kendall Jenner being completely out of touch with the rest of the world is not exactly anything new. Remember when she was accused of cultural appropriation because she wore an afro for a Vogue shoot that referenced diversity? Or that time she was in a PepsiCo ad that was BLASTED for trivialising the Black Lives Matter movement?
Ah yes, because handing someone a product of one of the world’s biggest corporations is going to solve institutionalised racism and alleviate you of your moral duties to not exploit POC.
Either way, Kendall Jenner clearly hasn’t learned anything from the Pepsi debacle. Girl, read the room.