North Texas Daily

81-Fake: Kendall Jenner’s Controversial Tequila Brand

81-Fake: Kendall Jenner’s Controversial Tequila Brand

81-Fake: Kendall Jenner’s Controversial Tequila Brand
June 11
12:00 2021

The Kar-Jenner clan has always been notorious for their cultural appropriation. From the usage of traditional Black hairstyles and Halloween costumes that make a mockery of important aspects of other cultures. It really came as no surprise to some when the second youngest of the clan, Kendall Jenner, put her own little mark on the family tradition.

Jenner first introduced her tequila brand, “818 Tequila” on May 21, and  was immediately faced with backlash, especially from the Mexican community.

Twitter user @the_sunnyd stated, “There are so many other authentic, woman-owned tequila companies to [choose] from. Don’t support the exploitation of our culture and resources.”
The tweet highlights the reasoning behind the outrage and frustrations, which is the clear exploitation and appropriation used to create this product.

Jenner did very little to silence the critics and instead chose to share her experience, and the process in creating the brand. Jenner writes in an Instagram caption about the “dozens of blind taste tests, trips to our distillery, and entering into a world testing competition and winning…”
Nor did she mention educating herself on the history of tequila and how important it is to Mexican culture. Not once did she credit the natives of Jalisco, Mexico that ultimately did all the hard and dirty work for her and her brand.

The icing on top that truly solidified how tone-deaf she truly was to the situation was the commercial used to advertise her new brand.

The commercial featured her smiling with her braided pigtails as she drove, walked and horse-backed through fields. Meanwhile, the Mexican men who did most of the work are, of course, featured working and then briefly shown having a drink with Jenner at the end. These men were ultimately used as props and as an attempt to silence the critics.

The real question in all of this is: are we really surprised?

Despite being known as the least problematic member of the family, she does have a history of being completely tone deaf and insensitive. For example, her infamous Pepsi commercial, where she is shown in the midst of a protest giving a Pepsi can to a police officer, as if that was somehow going to solve the issue of systemic racism and police brutality.

Her response to the backlash was to claim it was never her intent. Her attempt to justify her actions simply emphasized her ignorance. It gives a great indication of her privilege. It is almost as though they don’t need to be educated on issues regarding race and cultural appropriation because at the end of the day, despite the backlash they may face by people of color, they are still going to get paid and still get some form of publicity.

And when your career is mostly based on how relevant you can stay in the media, any publicity is good publicity. Every form of it puts more money in your pocket.
Given her status, it is also incredibly disappointing that this seems to be her mindset. She holds a great deal of influence on a good portion of the public.

When there is a blatant disregard for things regarding something as significant and sacred as culture from someone of the Jenner’s status, it has the possibility of prolonging the concept of cultural appropriation. People will think situations of this nature are okay, and when people of color decide to speak out on the issue, the possibility of them being silenced and being dismissed as “sensitive” only increases.

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

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Briahna Henry

Briahna Henry

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