Would it even be a Met Gala if we didn’t talk about Kim Kardashian and her dramatic outfit?
As usual, the star raised a few eyebrows with her choice of a full-body, all black, head-to-toe outfit by Balenciaga that many in the fashion world were hailing as “sleek”, “futuristic”, and even “inventive”.
But not everyone was impressed.
Memes online compared her to everything from a Dementor from Harry Potter to the women’s bathroom sign.
One Instagram post in particular pointed out the hypocrisy in what Kim was wearing to the several burqa bans currently happening across Europe.
“A lot of the things they’re demonised for, you see a Western woman do the same thing and everyone’s like ‘oh look at her go’”
– Lusyomo Simatele
The @girlsagainstoppression Instagram is a feminist page run by a collective of 7 young women around the world. Lusyomo Simatele is 22-years-old and is one of the owners of the account.
As soon as the group saw Kim’s outfit they immediately questioned it, especially given everything that has recently been happening in Afghanistan.
“It’s like sis, do you not know what’s going on in the world? This is not the time, it’s unsavoury, it’s tone-deaf,” Lusyomo says.
Even though Lusyomo isn’t Muslim herself, members of the group are and they were all openly discussing issues around Islamophobia as soon as they saw Kim’s outfit.
“When Muslim women are fighting for their rights, there’s a lack of sincere allyship,” she says.
“A lot of the things they’re demonised for, they’re marginalised for, you see a Western woman do the same thing and everyone’s like ‘oh look at her go’.”
“Muslim women shouldn’t have to bear their experiences on their sleeve or talk about their trauma for us to realise Islamophobia is wrong.”
– Lusyomo Simatele, co-owner of @girlsagainstoppression
The post is being shared widely on the platform, performing more than 10 times better than the account’s average. But Lusyomo and the team are shocked at the lack of understanding in the comments section around Islam and Muslim women.
“This has very little to do with Kim Kardashian. It’s one of those times where you have to use the context of pop culture to bring social justice to the forefront for people to truly understand how big a problem it [Islamophobia] is.
“So many people didn’t even realise that so many countries that are considered progressive are banned head coverings.”
Lusyomo says many people have reached out to them accusing Kim of cultural appropriation and she’s not surprised by this.
“Let’s not pretend that the Kardashian clan does not have a practice of cultural vulture.”
But the group are hoping their post will mean more people do their own research on Islamophobia and speak up.
“One of the main issues for Western society when it comes to coverings is they can’t explain why Muslim people cover using Western, or European logic so that leads them to frame the practice as barbaric.
“What they’ve decided is as a whole, it’s bad, and people who use this practice to empower themselves are bad. I really just want people to go out of their way to educate themselves because people who practice head covering deserve safe spaces to do so.”