However, between the wig and her noticeably darker tan, many claimed that they had initially mistaken Kardashian for a Black woman. Not only that, but some critics began noting the many similarities between her cover and Black stars like Diahann Carroll and Diana Ross.
"Too dark on the make up you look like a lightskin black woman..." as one Instagram commenter wrote, while another Twitter user outright accused Kardashian of "Blackfishing," writing, "Kim I love you but the black fishing isn't it."
As culture critic Wanna Thompson — who helped coin the term "Blackfishing" and previously wrote a piece on the phenomenon for PAPER — tweeted, "The thing with Kim Kardashian and her family's tireless history of cultural appropriation and Blackfishing is that she knows better."
"They know better. But they continue to do this because they know outrage sells," Thompson continued. "They're able to keep their name relevant by doing things like THIS."
The thing with Kim Kardashian and her family’s tireless history of cultural appropriation and Blackfishing is that she knows better. They know better. But they continue to do this because they know outrage sells. They’re able to keep their name relevant by doing things like THIS. https://t.co/rIE1fuYUXH— Wanna (@WannasWorld) December 19, 2019
In the wake of the backlash, Page Six reported that a source close to Kardashian claimed that it was "the lighting that makes her look darker in this specific image."
"There are multiple covers and images from this shoot where the lighting looks more natural," they said. "People are so quick to find the negative in everything and also often forget that she is of Armenian descent."
That said, Kardashian has yet to issue a public statement on the cover. In the meantime, see what else people are saying, below.
She got a light-skinned friend look like Kim Kardashian,— Aisha Harris (@craftingmystyle) December 19, 2019
Got a dark-skinned friend look like Kim Kardashian pic.twitter.com/pR99oU5UpS
Kim I love you but the black fishing isn’t it 🥺— Shelby B. (@shelboybye) December 19, 2019
GIRL WHAT IN THE BLACKFACE FUCK IS THIS???— ashley yates (@brownblaze) December 19, 2019
I’M SO SICK OF YEWWW pic.twitter.com/haPnpnzn2d
Wait it gets worse....black women can't even get credit for inspiring Kim Kardashian's blackface. 🤦🏾♀️— Dee Lamarr Shines (@DeeLamarrShines) December 19, 2019
She's channeling Diahann Carroll, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge NOT Elizabeth Taylor.
She's channeling BLACK WOMEN. #ThereIFixedIt 💁🏾♀️ pic.twitter.com/0t49ViVg3Q
Y'all really finna let Kim Kardashian cosplay as a black woman for the rest of her life and not say nothing huh? pic.twitter.com/Ex3N3L6MzT— Black Ginger Foutley (@some_girlll) December 19, 2019
Photo via Getty