Kim Kardashian received backlash after being accused of not representing dark skin tones in her line of SKIMS masks.
On Saturday, May 16, Kardashian released her line of face masks on the SKIMS website. The nonmedical masks were priced at $8 a pop and came in several shades that were intended to represent various skin tones. Upon the release, the makes sold out on the website, and fans of the brand had to sign up for a waiting list if they were interested in buying one.
Despite its financial success, the SKIMS masks were almost instantly faced with controversy. The Guardian reports that Kardashian was called out for the colors of the masks on social media sites like Twitter. Several commenters accused her of "casual racism" and also said one of the masks was too dark for one of her black models. In the promotional photo, the mask on the model was visibly darker than her skin, which made her stand out over models with fairer skin. Many wrote to Kardashian directly on Twitter to share their distaste for the design of the mask.
"The nude shade for the Black model is inaccurate, offensive, and culturally out of touch," one commenter shared.
"Soooooo y'all didn't have brown for homegirl orrrrr....?" another added in reply to Kardashian's photo of the model.While several users were upset with Kardashian's line, many tweeted in her defense. Some pointed out that the masks for white models aren't representative of their true skin tones, either. Others accused the spectators of finding ways to bash the star despite her efforts to support those who have been affected by COVID-19.
"Honestly in shock to how many ppl are taking offense to this. Why does everything have to be offensive to ppl?" one Twitter user asked.
"Okay but when I first seen the pictures of the masks I noticed how white the whitest skin tones mask was. That doesn't match our skin tone either. Stop making little stuff like this such a big deal," another user shared.In addition to being accused of not representing all skin tones and shades, SKIMS and several other fashion brands have been bashed for using the coronavirus to market their products. Nicknamed "coronawashing," the act of making products specifically for the pandemic and to promote social distancing has been frowned upon. Brands like ASOS and Boohoo have dubbed them "fashion masks" reportedly as a way to make a profit during the height of the illness.
Although the brand is facing criticism, Kardashian intends to use them for good use. She pledged to donate 10,000 masks to various charities in Los Angeles. The city is currently still on lockdown, and those who have to leave their homes are required to wear a mask outside.
SKIMS recently removed the image of the model from its website. Kardashian has yet to address the backlash publicly.