It’s already clear that Kim Kardashian will stand by Kanye West no matter what he does. But how long will Kim’s fans stand by her?
That’s what people are asking this week after photos of Kim with brown skin were published. Is this blackface?
Kim Kardashian’s photos for 7Hollywood are going over like a lead balloon now that they are visible to the public.
In the photo, Kim Kardashian appears with large, rounded dark hair that would have been popular many decades ago.
While it is not a straight-up Afro wig, the hairstyle holds a similar shape and is reminiscent of some black hairstyles.
But the larger issue with Kim Kardashian’s face and skin. Her skin looks less like a golden tan and more … brown.
Commenters were furious and flooded social media with explanations of why the image of Kim horrified them.
"This is traaaaaaaash," one writes. "They really need to start hiring black women instead of all these digital blackface ANTICS."
"Kimberly this looks like blackface," another explains.
"Maybe darkening your skin this much was something you were talked into by the folks who set up the shoot," a fan says, "but girl this is not a good look."
"You’re beautiful," that same comment continues, "but you should think about removing these photos."
"She looks African American, this is offensive," another points out.
"The first image I saw from this shoot I honestly thought was a black woman," a commenter admits.
That same commenter expresses: "C’mon Kim with the OD spray tan. It’s essentially blackface."
"Alexa, play ‘Brown Skin Girl’ by Beyonce," another writes.
That meme, inspired by Amazon’s virtual assistant, is used to point out when a song’s title or lyrics fit the situation.
Another commenter very directly accuses: "This is black face."
But that is not to say that Kim did not have her defenders.
"Why do people forget that she is half Armenian! STOP with the blackface, haters! Armenians come in all shades," one writes.
That same defender adds: "Kim is rockin’ the ’80s glam and she looks gorgeous."
"She’s a model and she was dressed by artists/photographers," another argues. "It’s part of her job title. She looks amazing."
"People are so quick to find the negative in everything," a Kim apologist laments, "and also often forget that she is of Armenian descent."
You’ll notice some recurring elements among Kim’s online defenders.
One, they think that Kim being Armenian is a get-out-of-shaming-free card when it comes to blackface or appropriated hairstyles.
Armenians … are white. Like Bulgarians and to a lesser extent, Italians, they have more olive complexion. They’re still white.
Also, it’s so interesting that any time that black people have concerns about someone, it’s dismissed as people being "negative."
Kim has been dealing with accusations of this exact thing for years and years.
One would think that years of callouts over racial insensitivities would make Kim more vigilant about photoshoots.
But it’s important to remember that celebrities exist within a very real "celebrity bubble."
Kim may hear fans when they complain and accuse her of things, but that doesn’t mean that she will embrace their criticisms and make an effort to change.
That siad, Kim does listen more than a lot of celebrities. It’s just that she appears to make the same mistake again and again.
At the risk of sounding like Kim apologists, however, we should note that Kim does not own this magazine. She modeled for it.
Reports have claimed that the lighting and editing are more responsible for her skin tone in the published photos than Kim’s actual skin.
If so, it sounds like Kim may be a partial victim in this.