Kendall Jenner Is In Hot Water For Her Use Of Emoji

The eternal politics of social media


Kendall, Kendall, Kendall, the poor girl can't seem to catch a break at the moment.

If you count the Pepsi fiasco, alongside the minor issue of using images of dead rappers allegedly without their estate's permission, Kendall isn't exactly winning any 'woke' points right now.


A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on


That being said, the 21 year-old model's career is still as strong as ever, of course.

She's the September cover girl for W Korea, the face of La Perla, Fendi, Adidas and more and still boasts 82.9m followers on Instagram and 23.7m on Twitter.

The Kardashian-Jenner clan, intact, just made the cover of the Hollywood Reporter to mark 10 years of their show.

Their cover story was named, 'The Kardashian Decade' heralding the success of the family that extended past Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

sister power... girl power 👊🏽

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

Kendall celebrated the exciting cover with a few social media posts over Instagram and Twitter, captioning the lead shot 'sister power…girl power' with a medium hue fist bump.


The issue here centres on Kendall using a semi-dark skin tone emoji.

There has been much debate surrounding 'digital black-face' (which is the use of gifs depicting black people performing exaggerated reactions and darker skinned emojis) and how the performance of blackness on social media contributes to a two-dimensional portrayal of black culture.

Though her sisters are mixed-raced (their father being Armenian Robert Kardashian and not Bruce Jenner), Kendall herself arguably is not mixed race and so people took umbrage with her use of a non-white emoji.

Plenty of people voiced their upset with her use of the darker skin tone. Pointing out that her family has a broader issue with the black community regarding appropriation.


A lot of people have stood in Kendall's defence, saying that not only are her sister not completely white, but also claiming 'it's just an emoji, chill.'

Unfortunately, though, it appears that vast majority of voices defending Kendall's use of emoji are white people. And really, the people in the position of privilege need to let the dissenting voices from the black community be heard.

Twitter, in particular, is such a minefield when it comes to these issues, and Kendall of all people should arguably be wary of her references to race at the moment.

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