Queen of cultural appropriation Kim Kardashian has recently faced massive backlash after filing to trademark the word “Kimono” for her new shapewear and lingerie brand.
The kimono is a traditional Japanese garment, dating back to the eighth century. However, the word is now awaiting review for trademark for items under Kardashian’s brand, which reportedly includes shapewear clothing and other items made of imitation leather, such as dog harnesses and whips, none of which have anything to do with Japanese culture.
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Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year. I’ve been passionate about this for 15 years. Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work. I would always cut up my shapewear to make my own styles, and there have also been so many times I couldn’t find a shapeware color that blended with my skin tone so we needed a solution for all of this. The third pic is the solution short. I developed this style for all of those times I wanted to wear a dress or skirt with a slit and still needed the support. Introducing Kimono Solutionwear™ for every body. Coming Soon in sizes XXS – 4XL in 9 shades. I can’t wait for you to feel this fabric!#KimonoBody @kimono Photos by Vanessa Beecroft
“Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year. I’ve been passionate about this for 15 years,” she wrote on Instagram. “Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work.”
“I would always cut up my shapewear to make my own styles, and there have also been so many times I couldn’t find a shapeware [sic] color that blended with my skin tone so we needed a solution for all of this.”
Unsurprisingly, Twitter users were quick to call out this incredibly toxic and problematic behavior, pointing out that Kardashian was erasing a very important part of Japanese culture and history:
— Ifey (@Chuckwu77) June 26, 2019
Kim Kardashian West running over Japanese culture on her way to trademark “kimono”
— sebastian (@sebadkid) June 26, 2019
Kimono: has a centuries long rich history and is deeply embedded in the traditions and culture of a country.
Kim Kardashian: OMg It hAs mY nAmE iN iT!#Kimohno
— Kyla Hsia (@kylahsia) June 26, 2019
Now when you google Kimono you’ll see Kim Kardashian. This is how they erase certain populations from history.
— Glori Nelson (@Glori_R_) June 26, 2019
Soon enough, the hashtag #KimOhNo began circulating on Twitter, prompting Japanese women to share stunning photos of what a real Kimono looks like:
— Emi🛰草野絵美 (@emikusano) June 26, 2019
— Tamlyn Tomita (@thetamlyntomita) June 25, 2019
— ミサキ🗼メンタルヘルスブロガー (@misakitokyo) June 26, 2019
Your products are great.
However, #kimono is NOT a name to be given for personal honor.
You can give your product another original name.
Please have some respect for the Japanese tradition.
Do not take “kimono” away from us ! pic.twitter.com/vOP7rWIhLo
— まき:orior ジャパンエキスポin Paris🇫🇷 (@Maki_orior) June 26, 2019
Let me share some of my kimono pics for a better understanding..
— Hiroko Kado (@HirokoKado) June 26, 2019
— Miyako 霊子 (@miyako_cheng) June 26, 2019
— Mayumi Narako (@MayumiNarako) June 26, 2019
— Emily 💖💛💙✌🏼 (@imagineer_emily) June 26, 2019
My culture is not your underwear. pic.twitter.com/DazrgxWj3k
— 幻想不思議庭園 (@Alice_musesSigh) June 26, 2019
— 栗男✨ (@tlmunderground) June 26, 2019
— deer_bear (@deer_bear_dear) June 26, 2019
Even after the backlash, Kim Kardashian West has been sharing product photos of her shapewear line on her social media accounts and has yet to admit any wrongdoing or acknowledge the concerns of the Japanese people.
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This comes as no surprise considering the businesswoman has been accused of appropriating Black and Asian cultures countless times before.
While many users are hoping the Kardashian will reconsider the name of her brand, she has already bought the rights to Kimono.com and has shown no remorse.