In another case of brands using social media wrong, yesterday Marie Claire magazine posted a photo of Kendall Jenner rocking side braids in her hair. The picture would have been noticed and forgotten in the quick scroll of twitter, if it had not been for the accompanying tweet which read: “Kendall Jenner takes bold braids to a new level.”
And just like that, my twitter timeline lit up. If you are to read sites such as Huffington Post, the tweets from Black Twitter regarding this misstep by Marie Claire was outrage! The people were fed up and out for blood!
As someone who participated in such tweets, I will say that the claims of “outrage” were blown out of proportion. What happened was those who saw the tweet felt that once again, a major white outlet was claiming a new “epic” fad out of something Black people had practically been doing since the beginning of time. I cannot speak for every single tweeter who engaged in the topic, but most of those who did used humor to do so.
Humor has and always will be a great coping mechanism. The general feeling regarding the Marie Claire tweet was “Lord…another one.” And with that, hashtags were used, and pictures of white celebrities from yore were posted as punching lines to tackle yet another brand speeding down the appropriation lane.
What I can pull away as a negative from all of this is how a group of Black men and women joking and being carefree constitutes as “outrage” and “anger”. We took a ridiculous tweet and made it into something fun and comical, and yet even our humor is written as and viewed as something negative. It’s amazing that in this age, on a platform that forces people to be blunt in 140 characters, a very clear and honest open moment was seen as anything but.
Valerie Charles is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She blogs at GirlAboutBk.wordpress.com. You can follow her on twitter @Vivaciously_Val.