No matter what step they take, Kardashian and Jenner have always been at the top news, even for the slightest of mistakes or changes. With that being said, all Kendall Jenner wanted to do was start a tequila brand of her own, and now comes the question, “why is Kendall Jenner accused of cultural appropriation by Mexicans, is it right?” might come to your mind. While it is true that disrespecting one’s culture is something that should not be allowed but what has Kendall Jenner done for such accusations to be put on her. If you have had such curiosity in you as well after reading out the news, then here you are with the answer to why such accusation began and whether it was the right decision to start the tequila company or not!
This is definitely not the first time for someone from the Kardashian and Jenner family to be put under fire, and this might as well not be the last one. One thing that remains constant is that when you are a white celebrity trying to act out of the normal standards, your actions are put under the microscope to even bring out the smallest of damage possible.
Who is Kendall Jenner?
While we speak about the Jenner and Kardashian family, there are some people who might not actually know who Kendall Jenner is. So, let’s check out who she is and what are the activities that she has done past this accusation, and how she has been under fire even before.
Kendall Jenner, at the young age of 14, was up and about with modeling as her start and then went on to become one of the most popular celebrities in the West. She later started with the production of nail lacquers as her a part of her first business venture, which then went on for more beauty products to be released. They now even have a line of exclusive lingerie collections which are way over expensive yet the best of products nevertheless.
The backlash faced by Kendall Jenner goes back to 2017, where her controversial Pepsi advertisement had gained major accusations due to the Black Lives Matter movement. Apart from this event, there were other backlashes faced by her during her modeling days as well! But she has been through them all, so let’s take a look at how cultural appropriation is being done through releasing a tequila brand.
What is cultural appropriation?
Before jumping into how tequila brand production by Kendall Jenner has created cultural appropriation issues, let us find out what does the word cultural appropriation mean precisely. Cultural appropriation is an act of owning others’ culture into one’s own community. This creates a major disruption when one of the major culture groups adopts the cultures from those minority groups and tries to gain an advantage through it. This creates a major disadvantage to those who belong to the cultural community, which is considered less dominant.
This sort of an action taken by the major groups is considered to be not only disrespectful but is also considered as exploiting one’s cultural richness. Cultural appropriation is also sometimes misunderstood and is applied to even tasting food of other cultures. It is to be understood that having just the taste of other food does not harm the cultural values in any way. However, if the person, after tasting the food, starts his or her own business and starts gaining profit from it will definitely be considered as a cultural appropriation act.
So how does Kendal Jenner starting a Tequila business be considered as an act of cultural appropriation, is what you might think? Some might say she is doing this to spread awareness about the small-town tequila producers. In contrast, others say that Kendall Jenner is doing this so that she can make profits out of such business, get Instagram followers, and there is no other supporting motive behind it. Due to such accusations, this has become a major talk of the town.
Tequila business and Mexico relation:
According to one of the laws in Mexico, the Tequila produced can only be done so in the state of Jalisco along with other limited places. Jalisco is the place of origin where it was actually created for the first time, and hence Mexico remains as one of the major countries to produce Tequila and provide it throughout the world. It is made from the blue agave plant, which is cultivated in most of the areas of Jalisco. It has also been the source of income for a major part of the villagers here in Jalisco. It was around the 16th century that it was first created. The work involved in the creation of Tequila is not less and is quite a hard work for all of the villagers here.
Right from planting, tending, and even harvesting all of the activities here remain as manual labor and have not yet been replaced by any of the modern types of machinery. This, in return, also produces the best of Tequila around the world.
Such hard work of the small-town people turning a plant into the best sold Tequila will definitely go in vain if higher class celebrities were to take up businesses on a large scale and promote them. Tequila for people from Mexico is not just a drink but is also a part of the tradition and culture that they have been holding up for centuries together.
Such culture and traditions which were held with utmost respect being used by some celebrities just for the sake of gaining profits and followers is definitely considered as an act of cultural appreciation.
Other celebrities who created Tequila Brands:
Well, if you thought Kendall Jenner was the only white celebrity to create a tequila brand, then you are wrong! As there are other stars which include George Clooney and Rande Gerber, who have also made their own brands back in 2013, though the brands were eventually sold in 2017 to Diageo for $1 billion. Apart from these two stars, others also followed the lead. Various celebrities, including Rita Ora, Dwayne, Nick Jonas, Adam Levine, and many others, have created their own line of this Mexican Tequila.
But the point here to be noted is that unlike Kendall Jenner, none of these celebrities had faced any backlash regarding their business. Hence one conclusion that comes from such a backlash is that it might be due to the gender due to which such backlash is being shown. Such a conclusion has been created as it has always been observed that people tend to aim at women who try and step out of boundaries and try to do something extraordinary. While this might partially be true, there might as well be other reasons as well, such as previous culture appreciation cases that have been shown by the Jenner’s family or any other unknown reasons.
Audience acts on cultural appropriation:
While gender still remains as the plausible condition due to which such a significant backlash was created, it still majorly depends on the audience that is being targeted through the brand. Like in the case of George Clooney’s brand, he kept a relatively reasonable price which could be affordable for anyone with a decent salary, but in the case of Kendall Jenner’s brand, it is mostly aimed at those Gen Z people and those millennials who would like to indulge in some expensive tequila. This simply implies that a majority of the people who cannot access this Tequila will be a major part of the backlash as this creates class indifference with just a brand of Tequila being produced.
That is all about how Kendal Jenner’s 818 tequila has become one of the most controversial brands among other tequila brands. Not only is it due to fame, but it is also now a topic of cultural appreciation. While her family still supports her, is it still right to gain profits from one’s sacred cultural tradition? Maybe not. But now it all depends on each one’s perspectives.