Amber Rose Kanye West Media representation sexuality white privilege white women
Kanye West Does Not Care About Black Women2/24/2015
by Kinsey Clarke “And when he get on, he’ll leave you’re a** for a white girl.” —Kanye West, “Golddigger” Mr. Kanye West has never sp...
by Kinsey Clarke
“And when he get on, he’ll leave you’re a** for a white girl.” —Kanye West, “Golddigger”
Mr. Kanye West has never spoken truer words, as he became the latest celebrity to add his two cents after ex-girlfriend Amber Rose made comments about 25-year-old rapper Tyga and his rumored relationship with minor Kylie Jenner, which caused a Twitter beef between Rose and Jenner’s older half-sister, Khloe Kardashian. West’s recent interview with The Breakfast Club shed some insight on how the rapper chose to place the whiteness of the Kardashians on a pedestal in comparison to black women like Amber Rose.
One of the first comments in the interview that made me look at my computer screen sideways was when Ye expressed his opinions on classism, stating: “Ghetto is fun. I’m from Chicago, my wife got a big ass. I stay ghetto.” Okay. So here we have a man who, over the course of his career, has gone from seemingly supporting black people to now only discussing black issues when he feels it benefits him and his brand. From his quote, I heard, “See? I’m still hood. I even have a down, rich white girl with a fat a** to prove that I’m still hood.” His comments are groundless, because before he was with Kim Kardashian (who makes him so “hood”), he chose to be in a relationship with Amber Rose—whose popularity is due partially to her honesty about struggling growing up in South Philadelphia—only to imply later that she’s dirty for the very same reasons that he was attracted to her.
Even in defending the childhood of young Kylie Jenner, Amber Rose is painted (by the media, as well as by West) as the aggressive, angry black woman trope who is simply “jealous” of the Kardashian family. Her early life as an underage stripper and rise to fame based on both her relationship with Kanye and the marketing of her body is questioned and scrutinized. However, Kim Kardashian and her family are shielded from the same criticisms, though their current celebrity status and entire media empire was built off of a sex tape that Kanye’s wife appeared in. This is due largely to Kim’s whiteness, as well as her background as a wanna-be socialite daughter from a wealthy family.
Kanye goes on to talk about his wife and the effect he believes her body has had on the entertainment industry , using her recent spread in Paper magazine as an example. He compares Grace Jones to his wife, stating: “Grace Jones’ physique was as new and different as Kim’s physique...you know my daughter has a chance to be shaped like my wife so… between this age and the age where she’s like that, I’m going to be fighting for that shape to be considered the highest.”
I’m going to stop you right there, Mr. West, because Kim is definitely not a trailblazer in making enhanced round posteriors “more acceptable.” First of all, to undermine the genius of Grace Jones and compare it to the mediocrity of a Kardashian is a slap in the face of the excellence of black women. Kim’s physique— that many feel has been bought and enhanced through plastic surgery—is the same physique that black women possess, and yet our bodies get labeled as “ratchet” or “distracting” or “unprofessional.”
The only reason Kanye thinks Kim is different and “new” is because she is a white woman. Furthermore, what kind of father discusses the possible body type a toddler will have when she’s grown up? The entire conversation is bizarre and out-of-pocket, yet Kanye goes on to talk about how his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose—who is naturally curvy—is somehow “dirty” in comparison to the Kardashian when he says he “had to take thirty showers before he got with Kim.” As Danielle C. Belton pointed out at The Root, how the public has interpreted these women’s successes—which stem largely from using their bodies and sexualities to build a career—is due largely to how race and class impact how we see them in general.
Rose is a self-identified biracial woman who is very light in complexion, but even that does not afford her the privilege of white purity extended to the Kardashian women. Here, we can see that Kanye has fallen into the trap of demonizing the black woman in an effort to protect white womanhood. This is something men (of all races) have been doing in this country for centuries. His attack on Amber Rose demonstrates that he regards her as undeserving of basic decency, even though she did not verbally accost him at all. Even if Kanye disagreed with whatever Amber Rose said about Tyga, there was no reason for him to personally attack her character, considering he once loved her deeply. By calling Amber dirty after she ended their relationship, Kanye has actually deemed himself the original Pig-Pen.
So we have to ask ourselves: Despite all his grand-standing and preaching about racial oppression, does Kanye West really fux with black women as a whole? His recent comments and actions suggest that he does not.
Am I surprised? Not at all.
Kanye fulfilled his self-prophecy. He got a white woman and left a trail of venom in his wake after showing the world his true colors. For a man who goes out of his way to stan for Beyoncé, he sure does have a disdain for other black women who do not fit into his ideal mold. The old Kanye West is gone for good now, and it’s best we let him pass.
Photo: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock; Helga Esteb / Shutterstock
Kinsey Clarke is a senior at Michigan State University. She enjoys aerial silks and solo trapeze in her spare time. You can follow her personal Twitter account here.