Once again I am scrolling through my Instagram and what do I see? Some MORE WHITE PEOPLE FUCKERY!!! Before I go in on the what the exact nature of the latest infraction of white people fuckery, I have to thank social media and its never-ending ability to weaponize information in how quickly it can be analyzed, ridiculed in memes, and disseminated. Now, for the latest installment in “this shit needs to stop,” we have the lovely white folks at Vogue magazine and model Karlie Kloss to thank! In a recent article on the fashion magazine’s website titled “Karlie Kloss Has a Fresh New Spring Shoe Idea—And You Might Already Own a Pair,” there featured a white woman model who is rocking a white T-shirt, blue jeans, and Timberland tan construction boots. Now this is alarming for several reasons: the cultural appropriation of urban Black aesthetics, the blatant double standard in acceptable styles of dressing, and the feigning of ignorance by the editors and the folks at Vogue.
“While last winter saw the return of the throwback sneaker, spring just might be shaping up as the season of the work boot,” for a fashion magazine whose slogan is “before it’s in style it’s in Vogue” they clearly have grossly underestimated their ability to spot trends and be on the bleeding edge of fashion because Black New Yorkers have been wearing Timberlands all four season for decades now. I as a native New Yorker I remember wearing my Timberland boots in the fall, winter, spring, and even the summer time with shorts long before “trendsetter”(read with venomous sarcasm and utter disgust) Karlie Kloss thought of a Timberland boot. I remember a few years back when rapper, philanthropist, trendsetter, entrepreneur, and BLACK MAN hailing from the Brooklyn ghetto of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Jay-Z, was wearing those same tan Timbs that Kloss wore with a white T-shirt and blue jeans.
Because of Jay-Z’s influence I would argue that it is his swag/Black urban aesthetic that Kloss has appropriated and because she is white has legitimized and gets praised for it. Furthermore, how is Kloss getting recognized for culturally appropriating an urban Black aesthetic (a white t-shirt and Timberland boots) but me as a Black man wearing the same outfit I’m labeled as a “thug” and discriminated against and not allowed in certain establishments such as malls in the South? If urban Black New Yorker’s and Jay-Z have been wearing Timberland boots for decades and popularized it through his influence respectively, how the fuck is spring 2017 “shaping up as the season of the work boot?”
White folks and their incessant need to lay claim to the essence of people of color (cultural appropriation) is the ultimate form of theft! We can’t be oppressed without white folks claiming the oppression they inflict upon us as their own as if white supremacy and racism isn’t unidirectional. White folks clown us for the hue of skin and then spend literally billions of dollars to “tan” their skin. Now we have even more soul stealing in the form of Karlie Kloss and Vogue Magazine strategically using their influence in the erasure of urban Black creativity in aesthetic expression and their legitimizing of such practices without giving credit to the true mavericks and trendsetters, Black folks!
Oh I’m not done with this foolishness so stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I further go in on Karlie Kloss and Vogue Magazine!