VIEWPOINT: Kylie’s spotlight a black hole: Don’t get caught up with trivial hijinks

Kylie Jenner’s at it again. After getting grilled on the internet for Instagramming her cornrows, she was spotted sporting a du-rag in the front row at Jonathan Simkhai’s Spring 2017 show during New York Fashion Week, probably, we can suppose, because her stylist was booked for the day.

This prompted a mass of media attention, tweets, comments, magazine articles and various other forms of media either shunning or celebrating the teen’s infamous locks, which is how the youngest Jenner usually prefers it.

Although the Kardashian/Jenner clan hasn’t typically been on my radar, lately, they’ve been impossible to ignore. Jenner’s cosmetic line is all over the internet and all over the faces of tweenies and 20-somethings trying to get her look and she has sparked several racially charged debates about cultural appropriation.

Kylie’s hairstyles are getting way more attention than they probably deserve. Although the young Jenner’s style choice hasn’t been the best, especially given the political state of the country, maybe we shouldn’t be spending so much time feeding her celebrity (nevermind my full-page editorial).

It’s not that Jenner’s du-rag or cornrows aren’t offensive – obviously they are to many people, primarily within the black community. But I think that focusing the conversation about cultural appropriation as it relates to Kylie’s person only gives more power to her brand.

Jenner, and her entire family have built an empire founded on controversy — and what monumentally successful enterprise isn’t?

Kylie and her antics exemplify the kind of cultural insensitivity that we have come to expect from American celebrities who are given license to do whatever they please in the name of views, likes and followers.

It’s clear that no amount of tweeting, all-caps facebook posting or fashion policing on the internet is going to make Kylie think about her choices. The more people she enrages, the more she appears an object worthy of contention; which fuels her worth as a celebrity.

And it’s not Kylie’s fault that she takes every opportunity she has to push the envelope. She’s only 19, and she has grown up within a culture that celebrates this kind of spectacle: though she may not be right, Kylie is doing what her family, Hollywood, and to an extent, we, the readers and tweeters have taught her to do: make a mess and then become google’s hottest trending topic.

Kylie gets so many clicks because most people would rather read about her than Syria. And Trump’s celebrity functions the same way; he’s a riot. The reason so many people are actually paying attention to the election season this year is because it looks more like a reality tv show than a real election.

If we’re going to hope to see any real changes in the future, we have got to stop keeping up with the Kardashians and Trumps of the world and start reading real news about real things that really matter. It might really make a difference.

Read about the hazardous conditions under which the majority of fast-fashion choices that we consume are made and then decide to try to stop supporting companies who use sweatshop labor.

Read about how farm-laborers in this country still get paid a pittance and then decide to march in a rally to support their cause or volunteer for an organization that helps the cause.

Read the latest about violence against minorities in this country and share those articles on social media, and join Black Lives Matter discussions on campus, and drop Kylie altogether; she isn’t the main issue.

Rather than fixating on Kylie’s latest faux-pas, we should move the debate towards the roots of the issues of cultural appropriation and racism that saturate our society; and focus on what we can do to solve them.