As the youngest member of the Kardashian Klan, 17-year-old Kylie Jenner has been subjected to a ridiculous amount of public scrutiny. The online world—and certain disparaging tabloid rags—are in a constant state of uproar over her relationship with the older rapper Tyga; and the misplaced ire seems more than a little race-related, to say the least. And every time the teenager (yes, she is a teenager) sports a heavy dose of makeup or drastically alters her hair, the pitchfork-wielding e-trolls smell blood and picket her posts en masse.
Lo and behold, they’re at it again.
On Saturday evening, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star posted a photo to her Instagram. In the image, captured by Marcelo Cantu, Jenner appears to be sporting blue-tinted dark makeup, achieving an Avatar-like effect. The makeup work was done by Joyce Bonelli, a celebrity makeup artist whose biggest client is Jenner’s big half-sister, Kim Kardashian. Jenner’s Instagram post was accompanied by the caption, “What I wish I looked like all the time.” Cue outrage. Her legion of Internet haters, sensing an opportunity, pounced all over Jenner, accusing the teen of posing in blackface.
And Complex, bastion of classiness and sophistication that it is, rounded up all the wildly exaggerated online criticisms into a post, posing the following question to its audience:
The vitriol forced Jenner to delete the Instagram post, and instead post an additional photo from the shoot sans caption.
If all of this seems ridiculous to you, it should. First of all, just last year, her half-sister Kim, who is married to the African American musician Kanye West, had a very unfortunate run-in with blackfaced revelers at the Vienna Ball in Austria that left her shaken and disturbed. The buffoonery was all captured on the family's reality program.
Also, Jenner is—again—17 years old, and every time she moves a muscle she’s pounced upon by the online hordes. The biggest crime that this young woman has committed is getting into a minor fender bender at 16. Otherwise, she’s contributed her time and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities ranging from the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles to the Robin Hood Project.
It’s time to leave Kylie Jenner alone.