Kim Kardashian West is an icon in her own right, but when it comes to Halloween, she typically steps into the shoes of legends bigger than her. For this holiday, the she channeled three music legends: Cher, Madonna and Aaliyah. And though Kardashian West saw tons of positive feedback for her arguably uncanny costumes, she was also heavily criticized for dressing up like a black woman.
On Saturday, Kardashian West tweeted a video of her Aaliyah costume. The ensemble consisted of sleek, pin-straight hair, smoky-blue eye shadow, leather pants and a diamond-encrusted choker, bra and belt. “Baby Girl Aaliyah,” she captioned the video, referring to the late R&B singer’s nickname.
Baby Girl Aaliyah pic.twitter.com/5GUHkNJgNi
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 29, 2017
Though some followers praised Kardashian West for her Aaliyah-inspired outfit, others considered the look disrespectful considering the reality star isn’t the same race as Aaliyah. (Kardashian West is of Dutch, English, Irish, Scottish and Armenian descent, while Aaliyah is black with Native American heritage.)
Legend or not Aaliyah is a black woman and you’re not. It’s offensive and you shouldn’t push this limit, but ok… 🙄
— Blogger Cassie (@LAGrlCrookdSmle) October 29, 2017
Kim Kardashian you do not have the right to dress up as Aaliyah so dust yourself off & try again pic.twitter.com/oivzyezyqg
— Mr.Gemini♊ (@RonnieThaGreat) October 29, 2017
kim kardashian dressed as aaliyah for halloween. that was my last straw for the kardashians/jenners fuck all of them
— TAI (@1_800TAI) October 29, 2017
On the flip side, some on the internet defended Kardashian West’s look. Her supporters argued that since she didn’t wear blackface, the costume was a simple homage and not racially insensitive. However, others contended that Kardashian West’s darker-than-usual tan was an attempt to emulate Aaliyah’s skin tone.
Kim Kardashian went as Aaliyah and y’all are about to drag her for no reason. Did she do blackface? No. Y’all find anything to b mad abt😕
— farri p. (@farrip_) October 29, 2017
What’s the issue with Kim Kardashian dressing up as Aaliyah? IT’S HALLOWEEN 😒🙄 Y’all acting as if she did black face. pic.twitter.com/U7t6QXVbPd
— icy. (@xotaylourrae) October 29, 2017
I HATE when y’all make me defend Kim Kardashian but her Aaliyah costume was nothing even adjacent to cultural appropriation. Please stop.
— Cinderfella. (@xMurderCWrote) October 29, 2017
Sis we have real issues and actual racism to be "offended" because someone wanted to dress like a legendary pop star. Ain't even blackface
— Its Marc (@Marc_Geer) October 29, 2017
This isn’t the first time Kardashian West has been accused of cultural insensitivity. In May, the middle Kardashian sister came under fire for a KKW Beauty photo shoot, in which some claim she wore blackface. Kardashian West was accused of blackface again in August, when her skin appeared darker than usual in a W magazine photo shoot with North West.
Kardashian West has yet to respond to the Aaliyah backlash, so we guess we’ll just have to wait for Halloween on Tuesday to see if she’s going to stir up controversy again or play it safe with her costume.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.