Kim Kardashian and the Controversy of Kimono

Written by Saran Lawson

Kim Kardashian West has recently launched a shapewear line. She has been working on the collection for over a year. The idea of the brand is to create a shapewear line that is versatile. If you are a shapewear person then you know that sometimes the shapewear you need doesn’t exist for certain outfits. If you are a woman of color, and you are deeper skinned then nude underwear means the color default is bandaid. Side note, I didn’t know band-aids were supposed to be flesh toned. I just assumed they made it in that weird beige pink color until I got older and realized it was what the majority refers to as nude. Kim has decided to offer her shapewear in different flesh tones. All this sounds great but there are two tiny problems with this launch. 

The shapewear brand will be called Kimono. At this point, you should have raised your eyebrow or side-eyed this idea. Everyone who’s anyone knows what a kimono is. For those of you who don’t, it is a Japanese robe. In ancient times it was worn as a formal garment. Now it is worn as a robe both inside and casually outside. So, why would you name a shapewear company after a Japanese robe? I don’t know if anyone has pointed this out or not, but remember last year when Kanye had on those tiny sandals? His heel was hanging off the back of the shoe. They were the new Yeezy slides that he wore to Two Chainz’s wedding. He then told us, his slippers were not in fact too small. He was wearing them the Japanese way. The line also resembles the Yeezy brand tremendously. I’ll bet a good hefty amount of Instagram likes that he has something to do with why Kim is being dragged. Don’t get me wrong. She does a fair share of things to get dragged on her own, but this smells a little like Kanye. People were already side-eyeing her because first, African Braids that she got from Bo Derek. Now it is naming her shapewear after Japanese culture. What really took people out? SHE’S TRYING TO TRADEMARK KIMONO! Excuse me, I laughed while typing that. Trademarking Kimono has someone has pointed out, is like trademarking the word shoe. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s also incredibly brazen of her to take a word that is Japanese and resembles centuries of Japanese culture and trademark it. How incredibly colonizing of you Kim. 

The second issue? She offers the shapewear up to a 4x. There isn’t a single plus model in this ad. Not a single one. Guess who wears shapewear the most? Plus sized women. I did a lot of plus modeling and still moonlight as one till this day. I can tell you that one of the first things they want you to have in your model bag is shapewear (although I personally don’t like it because it’s uncomfortable). How do you offend a whole community of women who want to give you their hard earned money, just to say they’re wearing something by Kim Kardashian? I’m still waiting on the reviews by real women that can say they need shapewear. Despite her audacity, someone is going to buy it. I just want to know if it holds its own at the bare least to Spandex, the brands’ competitor. It’s the least you can do 

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