Maintaining the Kardashians is a hegemonic phenomenon that is pop-cultural which is vital to understanding competition, anti-Blackness, and desire in the usa today. Let’s turn to the scene that is very first of first bout of KUWTK. With telenovela-style jump cuts from Kardashian face to Jenner face, the family reacts to mother Kris Jenner’s (nee Houghton’s) remark that Kim Kardashian features a large amount of “junk in the trunk.” Her remark jests, and it also reveals that Kim features a photo shoot the overnight. Rather than eating through the fridge, perhaps Kim should fast and minimize her “jiggles.” Remarkable in this first of several thousand seductively unremarkable KUWTK scenes is the way the white, domestic parlor setting around Kim’s white ass secures Kim’s non-Blackness, which, through time, has secured her and her siblings’ highly financialized capacity to try out with nonwhite racialization’s fleshy forms and profitability, specifically for the intake of those people who are non-Black.
This all-American, foundationally non-Black family members collects around a provided hearth: Kim Kardashian’s physicality, her body. With her human body, she plays with flesh, but never risks a disfiguration of self that will make her not white, never dangers placing herself beyond the appropriate and social agreement that this woman is, certainly, possessed of mankind. 1
Here, in the 1st simple moments of this show’s 13 years of product, we come across the fundamental—and morally sinister—emollients of this show’s racial palate. We also see a foreshadowing of the highly metamorphosing project of Kardashian multiracialism: your family as well as the show’s multiracialism are, earnestly, anti-Black.
The Kardashians certainly are a prime exemplory case of multiracial white supremacy. 2 A commercial enterprise posing as being a family, the Kardashians are hell-bent on extracting gain that is financial Ebony individuals and Ebony culture, even while they stigmatize, in particular, Black women through their task of multiracial whiteness.
To change supremacy that is“white with “multiracial” may be the key to comprehending the stakes associated with the Kardashian domestic empire, also its anti-Black physical violence. In short: they create raced reality and value for, not apart from, the project that is homogeneous of (white) human being. And so they do this by aesthetically and biologically incorporating selective, “soft” variations on tropes of Blackness: be it by means of an ass implant, a cheekbone restructuring, or a mixed-race son or daughter. They endlessly perform with competition. The siblings have totally reshaped their faces through surgeries to look like white, European stereotypes of various indigenous African people, and, simultaneously, Kim has become enthusiastic about social justice. For her 39th birthday celebration, in October 2019, Kanye West donated $1 million in Kim’s title to four social-justice charities.
The latter isn’t done to absolve the previous, a lot less to “end anti-Black racism.” To the contrary, from these simultaneous actions, the Kardashians profit from and play utilizing the lived brutality of anti-Blackness for Black people.
The many faces regarding the Kardashians ( by which I also suggest the Houghtons and the Jenners) are, on their own, the countless faces associated with the monstrous hydra of blackface. And these many faces needs to be critiqued to a cultural halt. Any complicity (whether ethical or aesthetic) inside their personal accrual of Black cultural wealth—which is premised regarding the destruction of Black women’s vigor and also the nefarious, distorting emulations of their forms—must be reckoned with.
Screenshot taken by the writer
The Horror of Kardashian Multiracialism
What exactly is tricky about it argument is how Kim’s physicality is a non-Black formation that becomes multiracial, just like the final title Kardashian, into that the group of Houghtons, Jenners, and Kardashians congeal their public, domestic brand name. Such multiracialism that is foundationally non-Black crucial not just to your family’s billion-dollar enterprise, but in addition to contemporary anti-Blackness in the US.
Revenue, within the show, is made of explicit kinds of white supremacy and anti-Blackness working together in a Western, white humanist task. Particularly, this project positions people of African descent as nonhuman and/or constitutively not the same as white humans, and dispossesses African diasporic culture into systems of capitalist, generationally white value. Profit is also produced from liberalism—part of white supremacy’s dominion—and other harder-to-detect guises.