Last week, Kim Kardashian released the first promotional image for her new beauty line. The image is above. Immediately after the release, everyone on Kim’s social media was like, “Girl, are you doing blackface?” This image definitely looks darker in general, and they definitely digitally enhanced her skin color/tone. I referred to it as digital blackface rather than the more terribly traditional makeup-driven blackface, because it’s clear that all of the Photoshop wizards played around with this stuff quite heavily. Kim also released more promotional images yesterday, and in addition to looking darker, she also looks like she was bitten by a radioactive bronze spider. She’s glowing, and it’s not that she has blackface. She has BRONZEFACE. Anyway, Kim tried to explain why these images look so strange (but she doesn’t really apologize for the blackface).
Kim Kardashian meant no harm. Last week, she shared the first promotional image for KKW Beauty on social media. It showed the E! reality star looking heavily bronzed, and some users accused her of “wearing blackface.” Kardashian, who worked with photographer Ben Hasset and makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, addressed the controversy directly in an interview with The New York Times published Monday.
“I would obviously never want to offend anyone,” said Kardashian, whose children with Kanye West are biracial. “I used an amazing photographer and a team of people. I was really tan when we shot the images, and it might be that the contrast was off. But I showed the image to many people, to many in the business. No one brought that to our attention. No one mentioned it.”
“Of course, I have the utmost respect for why people might feel the way they did. But we made the necessary changes to that photo and the rest of the photos. We saw the problem, and we adapted and changed right away,” the reality star continued. “Definitely I have learned from it.”
With that out of the way, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star wanted to get down to business. She will launch KKW Beauty Wednesday with one product: the Crème Contour and Highlight Kit, which includes a contour stick, a highlighter stick and a brush/sponge, all with dual ends. The package will be sold exclusively on her website—in four shades—for $48 each.
Do you buy her explanation that something was just “off” plus she was really tan when the photos were taken? Eh. I’m more offended by the idea that “the look” now is supposed to be “bright bronze and shiny.” I’m also sort of offended that they Photoshopped the sh-t out of arms in one shot – she looks like she has Barbie arms. These are promotional photos for her makeup line and obviously she’s approving everything. My point? Don’t try to say “oh, someone should have said something!” Be self-aware. Say, “I don’t know, you guys, am I really that dark and glowing?”
Photos courtesy of Kim’s Twitter.