Kim Kardashian's Skims face masks accused of 'casual racism'

WION Web Team New Delhi May 21, 2020, 11.24 AM(IST)

Kim Kardashian Photograph:( Instagram )

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A controversy stoked when a black model was seen sporting a lighter coloured Skims mask that did not match her skin tone.

Kim Kardashian West recently recorded new success when her line of face masks became sold out within the first hour of release. Capitalising on the coronavirus pandemic, Kim Kardashian launched a line of face masks under the name of her shapewear label, Skims. 

The non-medical masks come in five skin tones and there is reportedly now a waiting list for them. But while the masks must be a success story for the TV star, it has also attracted some criticism with some accusing Kim of “casual racism”. 

Basically, a controversy stoked when a black model was seen sporting a lighter coloured mask that did not match her skin tone while the others in the photograph had masks that matched theirs. Netizens pointed that this was racism as it was casually denigrating that model’s colour. 

The Skims site has now changed the model and the mask she wears.

Meanwhile, Skims announced that it would donate 10,000 masks to various local relief charities in Los Angeles, where wearing a mask is mandatory if physical distancing is not possible. 

Other brands too have joined to make masks and use it as a tool to keep their profits running. Brands such as ASOS and Boohoo have faced criticism for profiteering from the crisis by making “fashion masks” in leopard and paisley prints that offer little or no proven protection.

As for Kim Kardashian, this is not the first time when the Reality TV star has stoked racial controversy. Her label’s name Skims was originally launched as Kimono, that people pointed out was racially insensitive and cultural appropriation as Kimono is a popular Japanese traditional dress name. She henceforth changed it.