Reality star and socialite Kim Kardashian West sparked controversy for dressing as the late R&B singer Aaliyah for Halloween.
Kardashian West shared video and photos of herself on social media dressed as Aaliyah, prompting criticism from many regarding her apparent cultural appropriation.
"Legend or not Aaliyah is a black woman and you’re not. It’s offensive and you shouldn’t push this limit, but ok," one Twitter user wrote in response, Refinery 29 reported.
Others found the costume offensive not just because Aaliyah was black, but because she tragically died in a plane crash in 2001.
"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," one Twitter user wrote.
Despite the backlash, many felt the criticism was unwarranted and went too far.
Vanity Fair published an article questioning the fairness behind the criticism of Kardashian West, saying that while the conversation about cultural appropriation is a valid one to have, "we would be taking our national obsession with identity politics too far if one could only tribute artists from one’s own race."
Many defended Kardashian West on social media, dismissing the costume as an example of cultural appropriation.
"Kim Kardashian went as Aaliyah and y’all are about to drag her for no reason," one Twitter user commented. "Did she do blackface? No. Y’all find anything to b mad abt."
"I'm not a Kardashian fan either BUT people are taking it way too far to say she has no right to dress up as Aaliyah," one Refinery 29 reader commented. "She looks great! And her sisters look great as well. People are making this about race and this is unnecessary. And yes, I am African american who is writing this. Too many people complaining just to hear themselves."
"Not a Kardashian fan, but seriously people it's freaking Halloween!" another wrote. "How is this offensive? The point is to dress up! As a Rihanna fan no one said ANYTHING when she dressed as a Mexican/Chola. The hate for the Kardashian is so annoying people should focus that energy towards something else."
"So we went from' dont do black face' to only black people are allowed to 'if you aren't black you cant like black people,'" added another commenter. "Im confused, im all for no black face, but im not sure what people want anymore. Nothing seems good enough."