Causing a stir with style. Kim Kardashian has been accused of cultural appropriation after wearing Hindu “om” earrings in a new photo shoot.
In the portraits she shared in late May, Kim, 40, used all KKW Beauty products and modeled a series of different edgy ensembles for her brand, even accessorizing with a septum diamond nose ring. The final three shots were the images sparking backlash as they showed Kim in “om” earrings, leading some fans and other public figures to speak out in criticism.
Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, issued a statement revealing the shoot “upset Hindus” and they now “seek [an] apology from Kim Kardashian.” The religious leader said the om is a “mystical syllable” containing the universe used to “introduce and conclude religious work.” Rajan said it’s “not meant to be used as a fashion statement or become a tool for sexy fashion.”
In addition to a public apology, Rajan told the law student it’s understandable if people wear the symbol to illustrate their “devotion” to their faith. On the other hand, he said wearing it as a fashion accessory in “a one-time photo shoot” can be seen as “disrespectful” even if that wasn’t her intention.
Kim’s other brand SKIMS is now worth a whopping $1.6 billion, the New York Times reported in April, but in order to make it a global success, she previously changed the Kimono name to SKIMS after being accused of cultural appropriation.
“I made the decision to name my company Kimono, not to disassociate the word from its Japanese roots but as a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment,” Kim previously explained about how she came up with the original name. “I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture.”
After seeing the angry responses, Kim issued a statement revealing she would be changing the name in August 2019, noting she never meant to offend anyone and was just trying to pay her respects. “I am always listening, learning and growing — I so appreciate the passion and varied perspectives that people bring to me,” the reality star wrote. “When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind.”