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."
Meanwhile, others pointed toward the Kardashian family's past history of cultural appropriation, specifically their co-option of Black aesthetics and culture.
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
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, Got a dark-skinned friend look like Kim Kardashian pic.twitter.com/pR99oU5UpS