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Kim Kardashian West had a busy pre-Halloween weekend, paying homage to Cher and then showing off a striking Madonna costume. But she evoked plenty of controversy on Saturday night when she tweeted herself dressed up like Aaliyah.
Baby Girl Aaliyah pic.twitter.com/5GUHkNJgNi— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 29, 2017
People were pissed that Kardashian West—who was accused last summer of using blackface to help promote a new beauty line—dressed up like the legendary R&B singer who died in 2001 at the age of 22.
Legend or not Aaliyah is a black woman and you’re not. It’s offensive and you shouldn’t push this limit, but ok... 🙄— #𝙸𝚝𝚜𝙰𝚋𝚘𝚟𝚎𝙼𝚎𝙽𝚘𝚠✌🏾🌻💚 (@LAGrlCrookdSmle) October 29, 2017
Because when anyone else dresses as a diff culture than their own it's considered racist and cultural appropriation.— Ashley Donohue (@Ash_Baaash) October 29, 2017
It's offensive because babygirl is DEAD & you can't pay hommage when you're an Armenian just using her look as a costume. That's the issue.— Shaurenza Jiménez (@Shaurenza) October 29, 2017
You really should run these decisions by somebody first. pic.twitter.com/TwenxNR6Nm— Brandon M. Waiters (@B_changin_lives) October 29, 2017
Please tell me Kim Kardashian did not dress as Aaliyah for Halloween... pic.twitter.com/rMFIAlN5a4— RIP Layne and Kurt (@SethFromThe716) October 29, 2017
Kardashian West explained on Twitter that she was honoring some of her favorite musical legends.
My Halloween theme this year is ICONS! Musical legends!!! Paying homage to some of my faves!— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 29, 2017
Sonny & Cher pic.twitter.com/JMLRko409q— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 28, 2017
Kardashian West also had her defenders.
My GOD, this is not offensive. She dressing as Aaliyah. She looks great!— Reese (@beachydivine) October 29, 2017
She dressed up as a musical artist no black face nothing offensive. Y’all love to hate and reach for nothing stop it. It’s Halloween. pic.twitter.com/4uCnOpu65U— randibomb.com Ⓥ (@randibomb) October 29, 2017
She’s not trying to be Aaliyah it’s called Halloween dude and we dress up of our favorite celebrities this time a year— Maria Marleny Harris (@LaBellaMaria122) October 29, 2017
Whether you agree it’s appropriate for Kardashian West to dress like Aaliyah, there’s one undeniable truth at play here: No matter what Kardashian West does, half the people will love her for it and the other half will hate her.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.