Fashion icon and reality television star Kim Kardashian is facing criticism for “cultural appropriation” once again after posing for a photo shoot in which she incorporated a religious symbol.
Kardashian did a photo shoot last week using all of the star’s KKW Beauty products, displaying some of the photos on Instagram and Twitter. The photos show Kardashian wearing lots of makeup with her hair in long braids. She also can be seen with a large silver nose ring and big silver earrings that portray the “om” symbol, a sacred syllable in the Hindu faith.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 23, 2021
“Om” is used in Hinduism and other religions mostly of India. It is “considered to be the greatest of all the mantras, or sacred formulas,” according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The syllable “om” is made up of three sounds “which represent several important triads: the three worlds of earth, atmosphere, and heaven; thought, speech, and action; the three qualities…of matter (goodness, passion, and darkness); and the three sacred Vedic scriptures (Rigveda, Yajurveda, and Samaveda).” It is spoken at the start and finish of Hindu prayers, meditation, and chants. It is also utilized in Buddhist and Jain practices.
Some of Kardashian’s followers were not pleased with the businesswoman’s decision to incorporate the “om” symbol in her photoshoot, as noted by Fox News.
“Is now a good time to mention that the Om is a sacred symbol to Hindus and not just an accessory?” one user wrote.
Is now a good time to mention that the Om is a sacred symbol to Hindus and not just an accessory?
— Ria Sen (@sen_ria) May 23, 2021
“Leave our culture and religion alone,” someone else added.
Leave our culture and religion alone.
— om (@swiftsza13) May 23, 2021
“STOP CULTURAL APPROPRIATION OF INDIAN CULTURE!!! WHAT’S UP WITH THOSE EARINGS GIRLLLL???” a third added.
STOP CULTURAL APPROPRIATION OF INDIAN CULTURE!!! WHAT'S UP WITH THOSE EARINGS GIRLLLL???
— Niyati Sharma (@NiyatiS33957421) May 23, 2021
“Can Westerners for once respect other cultures?? ॐ is a religious symbol, not your aesthetic […]” another said.
Can Westerners for once respect other cultures?? ॐ is a religious symbol, not your aesthetic 😩
— ∞⁷ (@bitchesstaygold) May 23, 2021
Some came to Kardashian’s defense, however, and didn’t appear to be as offended by the use of the “om” symbol in the photoshoot as others on Twitter.
“Hang on folks … we believers in India wear OM pendants earrings and rings so Don’t [sic] think Kim’s caused any harm to our religious sentiments. Embracing Hinduism or any religion from the heart can only bless and empower,” another user chimed in.
Hang on folks … we believers in India wear OM pendants earrings and rings so Don't think Kim's caused any harm to our religious sentiments. Embracing Hinduism or any religion from the heart can only bless and empower
— R K (@RK49795075) May 27, 2021
Rajan Zed, a leading Hindu statesman and president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, called out Kardashian’s actions on his website and “suggested Kim Kardashian … undergo training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that she had a better understanding of the feelings of communities.”
This is not the first time that the famous family has been accused by the social media mob of inappropriately using another culture’s customs. In 2019, as Kardashian set out to start her own shapewear line, she was accused of culturally appropriating the term “kimono” for her brand.
As Fox News reported at the time, “Kimono, which means ‘thing to wear’ in Japanese, is a type of traditional outfit worn in Japan, featuring wide sleeves on a long, loose robe that is that bound by a sash. The garment is worn typically by women.”
Social media users came after Kardashian, saying that she should use a different name. She eventually did change the name to “SKIMS.”
Kardashian’s half-sister and model Kendall Jenner was also accused of cultural appropriation by members of the woke mob earlier this year when she started a tequila brand.
As The Daily Wire reported, “In an Instagram post, Jenner announced the launch of her tequila brand, 818 tequila, which is presumably named after the Calabasas, California, area code. Jenner said her tequila brand had already won eight awards, including best reposado at the World Tequila Awards.”
After she announced the brand, social media users criticized Jenner and accused her of culturally appropriating Mexican culture.
“Something about Kendall Jenner making tequila rubs me the wrong way…like the idea of white celebrities taking from local Mexican artisans and profiting off our traditions and agricultural business yet only visit Cabos and Puerto Vallarta for vacation spots,” one user wrote. “And not to mention profit off the brown hands that actually plant, grow, harvest, ferment, and distill the agave plants in Jalisco.”
Something about Kendall Jenner making tequila rubs me the wrong way..like the idea of white celebrities taking from local Mexican artisans and profiting off our traditions and agricultural business yet only visit Cabos and Puerto Vallarta for vacation spots…
— LaMesaQueMasApluada (@estyledesma) February 17, 2021
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