Kim Kardashian Is Being Accused of Cultural Appropriation Again
26th June 2019

On Tuesday, Kim Kardashian announced that she was launching a new line of shapewear, and as with most things Kim does, it provoked some polarizing reactions. 

While some people (Chrissy Teigen included) applauded Kim for designing shapewear specifically for all our favorite high-slit dresses, other people took issue with the name of her line: Kimono. 

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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

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Kimono might be a play on Kim's name, but some people pointed out that giving her shapewear and undergarment line the same name as a traditional Japanese dress could be culturally offensive.

Before long, the hashtag #KimOhNo started gaining traction as people used it to criticize Kim for the line's name. They wrote that the formal garment is an integral part of the Japanese culture, and called her use of the term disrespectful.

To make matters worse, the Los Angeles Times also reported that Kim had trademarked "Kimono", along with Kimono Body, Kimono Solutionwear, Kimono World, and Kimono Intimates. The trademarks were filed for items including clothing, underwear, headwear, luggage, dog harnesses, whips, and actual kimonos. 

Of course, it's not the first time Kim has been accused of co-opting another culture — she's been called out for appropriating Black culture with her so-called "Bo Derek braids". 

The reality star hasn't responded to any criticism about the Kimono line's name, but in her announcement, she called it her 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," she wrote, adding that the line would come in sizes from XXS-4XL, as well as in 9 shades.

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