Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are at the center of controversy once again, only this time the cause of the online ruckus stems from a fashion choice the famous parents made for their 20-month-old tot, North West.
Kardashian took to social media today to share a photo of her adorable little girl, affectionately referred to as “Nori,” dressed in an all-black ensemble for a Fashion Week appearance.
Which, on its own, may not have ruffled too many feathers — had the outfit not included a baby bulletproof vest.
Or would it have made a difference? Honestly, many of the comments directed at the fashion-forward family make me wonder if the people are upset because of Nori’s bulletproof vest or because of their own predilection for societal gender norms.
janay__bailey insisted, “You make her look like a little boy with the clothes you put her in and her hair like that!!! :/.”
Some commenters criticized the couple’s tendency to dress their daughter in all black, implying it’s a “boy’s” color.
— psLoveAngel (@AngelxnDisguise) February 17, 2015
And from tia_marie02: @kimkardashian there u go putting that beautiful baby in black again looks like a bullet proof vest …. poor baby wants to wear pink (sic).”
While others outright implied the baby must be a boy to be wearing an outfit like that.
@KimKardashian wow you have such a cute son
— thesilentequestrian (@quietequestrian) February 17, 2015
Other comments ranged from, “Your daughter should wear a colorful tutu,” to far more harsh and insensitive insinuations.
So, wait, the fact that they dressed their baby in a bulletproof vest is secondary to the fact that she isn’t “dressed like a girl”? Is this for real?
First of all, when did men corner the market on the color black? In fact, all black ensembles are known to be chic and classic in style-conscious circles — a cursory glance at Anna Wintour, Vogue‘s arbitor of style, sitting front row at any fashion show will likely prove as much.
Second, what’s with all of these people insisting Nori should be wearing pink and twirling around in tutus simply because of her gender? I have a 2-year-old son who loves to rock a tutu. He also loves fire trucks. And dinosaurs. And belting out early-1980s Bette Midler songs with me when we’re so inclined.
Also, for the record, I can count the number of times on one hand I’ve worn pink in my adult life.
Does that make my son any less of a little boy? Me any less of a woman? Seriously, how ridiculous does it sound to wonder out loud if the color of the clothes you wear can or should dictate gender?
It’s disturbing that the problematic part of Nori’s outfit for so many people was simply that she wasn’t dressed in a way that caters to gender norms — and not that she was wearing a bulletproof vest.
One would think if someone was going to consider something distasteful, they might consider it to be putting a toddler in armor.
Still, fashion is art to many people. Perhaps Kardashian and West were using Nori’s ensemble as a vehicle to make a statement about the state of the world. Perhaps they were trying to bring to light the gross injustices of being famous — i.e. not even children are safe from being targeted.
Or, and perhaps most likely, they dressed their cute daughter in a baby bulletproof vest simply for the sake of style. And, really, what’s so wrong with that?
The truth is, fashion, like art, is subjective.
What one person finds offensive, another person may love. I don’t find fault with this bulletproof vest, whereas I was less than thrilled last week when Kardashian dressed Nori in real fur.
We shouldn’t raise kids to look or dress a certain way. I mean, really, who writes the book on what’s right anyway? Girls don’t have to dress girly. By trying to force our kids to fit a certain mold (especially in regards to gender), we’re setting them up for confusion and, quite possibly, self-hate further down the road.
Kardashian and West are giving their daughter room to imprint her own personality — whatever that might look like — on her style as she grows. I can’t find fault in that parenting logic.
Besides, personal fashion perspectives aside, I think we can all agree North West is clearly loved… and that’s what matters most.