Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Zendaya Coleman Weighs in on Kylie Jenner Blackface Backlash

Just when we’re settling into our new month’s theme, ‘Rejuvenation’ there’s a fresh ‘blackface’ claim, with Kylie Jenner of the Kardashian family being accused of trying to make herself look black in a new photoshoot that she revealed yesterday on social media.

Posting an image taken by photographer Marcelo Cantu to her Instagram page, 17-year-old Kylie revealed an editorial wherein she rocks multicoloured hair and dark, sparkling skin, captioning;

“How I wish I looked every day.”

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But, though the original caption has now been deleted, what followers took note of and believe Ms Jenner was referencing is her darker complexion – apparently created with a backlight, neon lighting and the skill of make-up artist Joyce Bonelli – which has launched race-fuelled backlash against the teen on the internet.

One Twitter user commented;

Girl, you are not black. This makes me so angry. Appropriating another’s culture is not some beauty trend. It’s a culture not a costume.

…why is it that ethnic features are only deemed beautiful on non-ethnic bodies?”

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In a recent update, Zendaya Coleman – who just last month was caught up in her own racial controversy, when E! News presenter Guiliana Rancic made comments about her dreadlocs (read more about that, here) – has weighed in on the debaucle, first by showing her support of the images by commenting on Kylie’s Instagram picture with a clapping hands emoji.

Sharp-eyed followers noticed though, and one ventured to call Zendaya out, commenting;

“@Zendaya I need you to explain why you support Kylie Jenner’s decision to publicly display blackface.”

Zendaya later repsonded to explain she had reconsidered her opinion of Kylie’s photos, saying;

“At first, I saw more of an avatar look but thank y’all for keepin me on point….we all gotta stay aware of what image we project #lessons”


Not all of social media are certain the shot represents blackface though, with some coming to Ms Jenner’s defence – one person posting;

“Kylie Jenner is a mess and she’s irritating but I’m almost 100% sure that that isn’t blackface.”

Today, Kylie has responded to the claim, posting to her Twitter;

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While the jury’s out on whether or not the shoot was an attempt to make Kylie Jenner look like a black woman, we at SPICE would love to know what you think – let us know in the comments box below or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @SPICETVAFRICA.

Image source:, @KylieJenner

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