Kendall Jenner responds to ballerina photoshoot backlash but doesn’t plan on apologizing
Listen, I am all about supporting artists and very much against cultural appropriation. But I’m going to have to stick by Kendall Jenner on this latest “scandal” concerning a photoshoot she did for Vogue España, where she’s dressed up as a ballerina. In case you have a life, a job, and better things to think about, a bunch of ballerinas are mad at Jenner for the ad, and although Kendall Jenner responded to the ballerina backlash, she’s not going to apologize for it. And she really doesn’t need to.
ICYMI, Jenner’s in this ad for Vogue talking about how she misses being a carefree kid. She says, “I’ve always been adventurous, so I love doing stuff like that — I don’t know, just stupid stuff. I love walking around; being able to be free.” And she’s wearing ballerina and dance clothes as she says this. Because dance and ballet clothes are pretty and feminine, but also strong and make for good photos and shit. Seriously, watch the video and try to guess what the scandal is. It took me three tries.
The big friggin’ deal, according to a bunch of dancers, is that Jenner is not a dancer. And she’s not — they are correct on this matter. Everyone knows she can’t dance. She’s definitely not doing any pro moves on the spot either; she’s just prancing and playing around with the flowy skirts. The upset dancers on social media claim this is appropriating dance culture.
Please, please hold your laughter and try to not spit your Bloody Mary through your nose (the hot sauce burns). Let’s see what the ballerinas have to say. They’re mad that their art has been reduced to a photoshoot. They’re mad that Jenner was hired to do a shoot when she’s not a dancer and a real dancer wasn’t hired for the part.
But the piece wasn’t about a dancer — it was about Kendall Jenner. And not hiring a ballerina to be in a photoshoot featuring a barre and some slippers is not the same thing as like, not hiring a transgender actress to play a transgender character. It’s not. It’s really not. No dancers (or “dance culture”) was harmed in the making of this video. Also, ballerinas can’t claim appropriation, since it’s mostly wealthy, white women who get into ballet.
Cultural appropriation involves white people using or stealing aspects of a minority’s culture — like models walking around in Native American headdresses or white women dancing in Indian saris. It’s a way of subjugating another culture. Ballet is an elitist activity. It’s also something that mostly wealthy white people go and see, since it’s expensive. Ballerinas aren’t being held down because Jenner tied up some ballet slippers up her calf. No — just, no.
Dancers do not agree. They feel very, very oppressed by Jenner’s portrayal of a dancer.
Jenner wrote in a blog post, “It confuses me how people can get that upset when there are so many important things going on in the world. But, it’s obviously not going to stop me from working hard and being me.” It confuses me, too. She added that she wishes she could have some real drama. “It’s so funny that people are getting pregnant and married — or having crazy drama —but my drama is ballerinas being upset at me! With my Vogue Spain shoot, I didn’t even know I was going to be a ballerina until I went into hair and makeup,” she wrote. So get off her case already.
Let’s not forget that Jenner has in fact appropriated culture for real, like when she and Kylie were called out for wearing corn rows but not using their platform and fame to back causes like Black Lives Matter. So, uh, ballerinas? You need to get over yourselves. Sorry (not sorry).