Kendall Jenner’s supposed ‘trauma’ over her Pepsi ad is the epitome of performative white feminism
She’s a fake ally, this proves it
Ah poor Kendall Jenner. All she wanted was to end institutional racism with a tasteless Pepsi advert, but now that the whole internet called her out for it, apparently she’s “traumatised.”
A source said that she is “terrified she will never work again or become a laughing stock” and that “this has been very painful and embarrassing to her.” Most people gave her the benefit of the doubt because they recognised that her participation in the advert probably wasn’t intentionally malicious. But her supposed “trauma” and a lack of apology regarding the advertisement is making everything worse for her.
Kendall could be focusing on the real issues at hand, such as the fact that Pepsi tried to rewrite the real narrative of political protests across America, speak over minority voices, or you know – the fact that they tried to commodify racial struggle. Yet instead, supposedly she’s worried about her career and her own feelings.
Not only does this make her look insensitive, it also makes her look like a fake ally to whatever “cause” she was meant to be supporting. I’m pretty sure everyone would have more respect for her if she just admitted that she fucked up and that she has learned from the experience. Her “trauma” is doing nothing for the causes she’s adamant she’s fighting for, so an apology might be a step in a better direction.
Those defending her by using her young age as an excuse or the fact that she only was advocating for “peace” and “change”, need to understand that she has eyes and a brain to process information that she read from the script. Also, she probably employs people who can give her guidance on which jobs to take. Let’s be honest, it’s not like her lifeline depended on the Pepsi advert because she’s pretty financially secure – it was her choice.
So really, there’s no excuse – she needs to just own up and move on. Otherwise it looks like she doesn’t quite understand the depth of the issues surrounding the advertisement. If she was really for creating a positive change, she should have no problem admitting she made a mistake. Her silence is a perfect example of a performative allyship to people of colour and not a genuine one.
Sure, the advert is ethnically diverse, but of course POCs are given secondary roles. The hijabi girl is stereotypically frustrated, but can only capture the perfect shot when of Kendall in the protest, a black woman has to hold her wig while Kendall goes to save the day and the Asian guy only looks happy when she decides to “join the conversation.” Are we supposed to feel thankful that queen Kendall has decided to grace everyone with her presence?
At the minute it’s looking like her white saviour complex means that she’s only happy to be involved in such a “political protest” as long as she’s in the centre of attention as the spokesmodel for all the oppressed people in the video. This is everything that’s wrong with white feminism, not only is she blatantly hijacking minority issues but as soon as conversation moves away from her, she’s nowhere to be seen.
The ending where she hands over the Pepsi can to the policeman deliberately draws parallels from the iconic photograph by Jonathan Bachman, in which Ieshia Evans stands in front of a line of police in defiance. That single image is a symbol of resistance for many BLM protesters, but Pepsi’s parody makes a mockery of that and Kendall’s complicity is embarrassing. So instead of focusing on her hurt feelings about the backlash she’s faced, maybe it’s time for her to get over it and focus on those whose feelings she hurt with that horrendously insensitive advert.
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