In the USA, there is a centuries-long history of performing Blackness for profit in the entertainment history. For decades in the 1800s-1900s, Blackface was the #1 form of entertainment in the United States. Yet, Black people were not even 'Black enough' to represent themselves in this form of ‘entertainment’ (see right).
There are many things that were staples of the intensely popular vaudeville performance style. White performers would emulate Black skin with black paint/ink, wear scruffy wigs to approximate Black hair, and put on their preferred blaccent (the English of the enslaved) of the day. They would shuck and jive and gesticulate white crowds into a frenzy of humor.
Today, the KKKardashian-Jenner clan does the same thing. They culturally appropriate as hard as they can. One-by one, they have siphoned wealth out of the Black community via the institutions of the kangaroo court, power harassment, and symbolic rape (yeah, I said it). These sirens have become top-tier sex symbols by prostituting the stereotype of the hypersexual black male (black buck). They’ve become world-renowned influencers by mocking and stealing the styles of Black women all day.
FYI: For all you People-of Non-Color and their Minority Pets who are inclined to start caping for her in the comments (“sHe’S a MoDeL tHaT’s WhAt MoDeLs Do” or “iT’s JuSt A hAirStyLe”) take several seats! Kim Kardashian is a billionaire.
With all that money, why didn't she hire somebody to help her and her family be respectful??? FOH.
The moment an actual Black woman (Blac Chyna) showed up to marry their fat-ass, irrelevant brother (Rob) and wanted to take on the name (Kardashian), they had a problem. Legally, Blac Chyna should have been able to (since she intended to marry him). However, the trademarked KKKardashian-Jenners rallied and barred her from doing so. Allegedly, they felt that her using the name would be a detriment to their brand.
Don’t believe me brethren?
What a world!
What a world it is when you can mix-and-match, blend, or distill white supremacy as you please! What a world it is where you can attenuate white privilege into cultural appropriation, and then transfigure that into click-bait/free advertisement and that into money and that into mogul status and that into a legacy of being a philanthropist!
For those of you Minority Pets that wanna claim that the KKKardashian-Jenners aren’t white, but Asian, take several goddamned seats:
Some of them (the mom, and the Jenners) are indisputably white.
Anthropologists (we’ll turn a blind eye to whether the analyses of anthropologists are to be trusted overall) consider Armenia to be one of the regions where Caucasians (we’ll also ignore the misinformation in that term for now) come from. 'Caucasian' is the culturally prescribed technical term for white people in the US.
You can’t employ white privilege as they do unless you look the part. EVERYONE is aware that optics is everything in the shallow area of people-activity that we call ‘entertainment’. So: even if I granted that some of them aren’t 'technically' just white, they STILL would be considered white because they’re 'white-passing'. Looking white is all it takes for them to be white.
I'm putting all of this behavior (blackfishing, blaccents, culture-specific gesticulations and cultural appropriation) under the umbrella of symbolic blackface.
As was said, the KKKardashian-Jenners do all the regular disrespectful stuff: they darken their skin artificially, they wear Black/African hairstyles, and they copy Black fashionistas down to the button. They even prefer to marry and procreate with Black men (instead of their own) for the sake of hypergamy, etc.
However, their unique brand of symbolic blackface is using plastic surgery to emulate and exploit the body of the full-figured Black (African, really) woman for capital gain.
Over the last decade, these Transformers went haywire with their surgeries, so as to produce the kind of change that only a shape-shifter ought to be capable of:
Kylie Jenner went from clearly white to a racially-ambiguous white-skinned person by making many changes, including thickening her lips.
Introducing the 'spicy white'...LOL!
For the record, the members of the KKKardashian-Jenner clan aren't the only ones who have used symbolic blackface to build their brand. They're just the most extreme case. I've talked about entertainers that have done it elsewhere on my blog. But to refresh your memory, here is a short, inconclusive list of other entertainers who have flirted with symbolic blackface:
Miley Cyrus (an actress/singer who used symbolic blackface to shed her "good girl"/"childish" image after working at Disney. After baptizing herself in fetishized hip-hop for years (~2013-2017), she cast off the "blackisms" afterwards, alluding to it as a phase. She later apologized when called out about this to attempt to absolve herself.)
Katy Perry (a singer who, like Miley Cyrus, used symbolic blackface to increase her clout and level up as a performer. She also stole content from a Black Christian rap musician named Marcus Gray to produce her hit song 'Dark Horse'. According to the last source, this song got her "four weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 in early 2014, and earned a Grammy nomination for Perry, who performed the song during her 2015 Super Bowl halftime show". Talk about exploiting Blackness for entertainment and profit!)
Justin Bieber (another singer who used symbolic blackface to level himself up as a performer. From his jumbled AAVE at the end of one of his first hit songs "One Less Lonely Girl" to his two-time faux loc transgressions years later, he gesticulated and blaccent-ed his way to millions of dollars).
Nora Lum a.k.a 'Awkwafina' (an actress who engages in symbolic blackface by specializing in regularly using a blaccent and gesticulations to distinguish herself from other mediocre actors. She ignored an opportunity to apologize and refused to apply herself to scrutinize her problematic behavior. Yet, somehow, she can talk about refusing to do an Asian accent for people...).
The list goes on: Iggy Azalea (a rapper who blackfishes and uses a blaccent in her music), Bruno Mars (a singer who exploits his racial ambiguity to flirt with blackfishing and used R&B to reinvigorate his once-stalled his career), etc.
It's 2022, and the women of the KKKardashian-Jenner clan are slowly deflating themselves one by one. They are quietly re-aligning themselves with normative whiteness as best they can. (I even heard that silly-ass Kim K wants to be a lawyer LOLLLLZzzzz).
But, in all seriousness:
Their version of symbolic blackface (at least in part) has made them rich beyond belief. Cosplaying Black/African women's bodies has made them household names.
But what have Black people gotten from being used to do achieve all this?