Kim Kardashian ventures into private equity… and back into the white
Kim Kardashian looks different these days. Her platinum waves, lighter tan and possible reductions from cosmetic surgery have had publications speculating about “the end of the BBL era.”
For the Met Gala 2022, she underwent an intense diet to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s iconic 1962 dress. In early September, she posed in front of an American flag for interview issue of American Dream magazine.
Kim’s business relationships were also overhauled: On September 7, Kim announced that she was forming SKYY Partners, a private equity firm. She has joins Several celebrities are getting into private equity, such as Serena Williams, Gwenyth Paltrow and Leonardo DiCaprio. Kim has previously established herself as an entrepreneur with high quality companies such as SKIMS Shapewear, which has been rated at over 3 billion dollars this year.
However, the SKYY partners reflect Kim’s departure from the typical industries influencers are associated with – clothing and beauty – in favor of something far more exclusive. CNN business writer Allison morning explains that many celebrities are drawn to the private equity world because “this corner of finance, like most things with ‘private’ in their name, is reserved for elite institutional investors or individuals with private equity rrrr deep pockets.”
It’s rational to ask, “So what? Kim can’t change her looks?” and wonder how personal looks and business ventures are related. But it’s unrealistic to think that this personal rebranding is as harmless as it might seem. For an influencer like Kim, image and branding are everything. People buy influencer-owned products and brand partnerships because they want to experience the lifestyle they see in their feeds. Kim’s shift to whiter beauty standards is an attempt to be taken more “seriously” — a major shift when SKYY Partners launches.
Kim, like the rest of the Kardashian clan, has long been accused of embracing black culture for her own gain. For example, she tried Restyle Fulani braids as “Bo Derek”. Pigtails in 2018 and was accused of black fishing in a Ad for KKW Beauty a year earlier. As recently as February 2022, some thought Kim’s Vogue cover had a few too many similarities to other looks by black women like Beyonce and Naomi Campbell.
In recent months, however, Kim has dropped many of the black aesthetics she previously co-opted and claimed as her own. Instagram creator @darkest.hue wrote to her 120,000+ followers in July about Kim’s changing aesthetic. Along with pointing out physical changes, she noted three strategic image changes from Kim: “Play white savior to black people, publicly dating a quirky white man [Pete Davidson]and to distance yourself from the baby mommy stigma.
Other stars have made a similar career move: borrowing from black culture and then abandoning it when it no longer serves them. Awkwafina took a similar path as she began her career as a rapper and comedian, often using prolific AAVE and a blackas for her character Peik Lin in Crazy rich Asians. After starring in the critically acclaimed film The good bye, Awkwafina’s public role shifted from being a comedic to a more “serious” actress. When she became a Golden Globes winner and Critic’s Choice nominee, people were quick to point out how her sombre looks were fading.
Although Awkwafina claimed so She just grew up near Blackness in Queens Her neighborhood Forest Hills was 2.2 percent black in 2000 and dropped to 2 percent by 2019. AAVE probably wasn’t a big part of their upbringing; It was something she used and then discarded for fame. There’s nothing wrong with non-black people connecting with black music and culture, but witnessing the shift of non-black creatives is always mysterious.
Kim Kardashian’s (and Awkwafina’s) decision to stop co-opting Blackness should be a good thing, and it is. However, it is also a powerful example of how easily blackness is something to be performed and emulated by non-blacks for social capital, while blacks struggle to gain equal respect. Black women will never be able to change the color of their hair or the way they speak to step out of blackness when it is convenient for their careers. As the classic adage goes, “Everybody wants to be black until it’s time.” To be blackNow that it fits in with her goals, Kim seems to have finally decided that time is up.