Kylie Jenner’s recent Forbes cover, which declared her the “youngest-ever self-made billionaire,” isn’t sitting well with many people. On Wednesday, the day the cover was released, the 20-year-old was slammed by hundreds of critics for her rise to success, including one social activist who claimed that she made her fortune off cultural appropriation, HollywoodLife first reported.
Brittany Packnett, a writer and social activist with more than 150,000 Twitter followers, called out the Kylie Cosmetics founder on Twitter for profiting off the exploitation of Black women. (In June 2017, Kylie was accused of stealing the designs for her all-camo clothing collection from a Black independent designer, while in 2015, she and her sister, Kendall Jenner, faced backlash for styling her their hair in cornrows.)
In her tweet, Packnett criticized Kylie for profiting off the same features and styles that Black women have been called “ghetto” for. Packnett also suggested that, like Miley Cyrus (another white celebrity who has been consistently accused of cultural appropriation), Kylie has shed her culturally appropriative style now that she has made her fortune.
“You can get on the cover of Forbes + be a young billionaire by selling the very features, style and swag that Black Women have always possessed but got called ghetto for it,” Packnett tweeted. “And notice-now that she’s made her fortune? Those lip fillers came out. The fake tan disappeared. Just like Miley Cyrus before her, she’ll exploit black culture and black people for as long as its profitable-and then return to the comfort of whiteness.”
However, Packnett wanted to make it clear that the problem doesn’t lie solely with Kylie, but with America as a whole, arguing that “America loves black culture but not black people.” Packnett even accused Kris Jenner of knowing this, which is why many of her daughters have also appropriated other cultures.
Packnett’s tweets have since went viral with tens of thousands of people liking and retweeting them. Kylie has yet to respond to the controversy, but like her many bouts with cultural appropriation, it’s likely that she will remain silent until another scandal stirs the pot again. However, we hope that this time, she hears her critics out and addresses the issue.