Kylie Jenner, the youngest daughter of Kris Jenner, landed the August cover of Forbes magazine, on which she is labeled as “the youngest-ever self-made billionaire.” Considering the social status of of her family, many people criticized the statement. However, it was activist Brittany Packnett who provided historical context to why whiteness and access allowed Kylie an unfair advantage in America.
Self-made means having succeeded in life unaided.
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) July 11, 2018
Through a series of tweets on Thursday, Packnett says that the makeup mogul and the entire Kardashian family use cultural appropriation to attain fame and wealth. She said that the style and features the clan is propped up for are the same things used to label Black women as ghetto. The activist believes same style aesthetics seem to disappear once a certain level of success is attained.
And notice-now that she’s made her fortune? Those lip fillers came out. The fake tan disappeared. Just like Miley Cyrus before her, she’ll exploit black culture and black people for as long as its profitable-and then return to the comfort of whiteness.
Why? Because it pays.
— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) July 11, 2018
Packnett is aware it is a problem with how America uses race as a tool. “The problem isn’t Kylie. The problem is America. If she didn’t exploit it, someone else would have,” she wrote. She points to how Miley Cyrus also reverted to “whiteness” once she was done appropriating Black culture.
The educator and writer explained that appropriation is beneficial because “America loves Black culture and not Black people.” She then said momanger Kris is an “evil genius” for being able to understand how to work within the white imperialist capitalistic system of America. “She understands that in America, proximity to Black culture will make you richer than being Black eve will. They used America for exactly what it is. Racist and capitalist,” she tweeted.
During the critique, Packnett took a moment to tuck in information for how people can use their voice to help block President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
Since y’all are here…
Call your senators and tell them to block #Kavanaugh. 202-224-3121.
Because a swift swing right in the court will jeopardize women’s rights, voting rights, and human rights.
— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) July 12, 2018
She ended her discussion sharing a list of articles proving the longstanding history of cultural appropriation in America and how it is harmful.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.