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The Devil Works Hard But Kris Jenner Works Harder: How Kim Kardashian's 'Skims' Became Team USA's Official PJs

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kim kardashian

America’s true first family, the Kardashians, have done it again.

Kim Kardashian’s “Skims” will be official underwear, loungewear, and pajamas for female U.S. athletes at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Kardashian broke the news on social media with photos of Team USA wearing the shapewear brand’s latest collection of neutral-toned items. 

Though nothing should surprise us anymore about the Kardashians’ ability to reinvent themselves and penetrate every industry imaginable, the family continues to surpass expectations, whether we like it or not. 

How Kim Kardashian’s ‘Skims’ became the official underwear of Team USA. 

According to her announcement, it was Team USA who made the first move by inviting “Skims” to join the team. And though the Kardashian name isn't exactly synonymous with patriotism and national pride, the partnership is not bad for a woman who is constantly ridiculed for her lack of intelligence and talent

Kardashian and her scrupulous momager, Kris Jenner, have certainly weathered the jokes about their credibility and merits but, in the end, their work ethic continuously proves itself. 

“Skims” is just one of the many multi-million dollar businesses owned by the savviest family of female CEOs the world has ever seen. 

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But just how worthy are Kardashian and “Skims” of its place on the garments of some of the U.S.’s most talented female athletes?

‘Skims’ has a controversial history in Japan.

Kardashian’s billion-dollar shapewear brand has a controversial history that may not make it the best export, particularly in Japan. 

If you’ll remember, “Skims” initially launched under the name “Kimono” back in 2019, before accusations of cultural appropriation pushed Kardashian to rethink the name. 

At the time, Kardashian was heavily criticized for building an underwear line under a word that translates as “clothing” and is used to refer to traditional Japanese garments.

By taking ownership of the word, Kardashian engaged in the very American tradition of cultural erasure for Japanese people and Japanese-Americans. 

Kardashian did quickly rectify the situation by changing her company’s name but the irony will remain as she takes the brand to Japan for the summer. 

‘Skims’ isn’t produced in the U.S. 

Then there is the issue that “Skims” isn’t exactly an all-American brand.

Though the brand has declined to specify the exact location of manufacturing, many “Skims” items are branded with “Made In China” and “Made In Turkey.” 

Kardashian has also expressed hopes to set up a factory in her ancestral home of Armenia, though she has not said whether or not she intends to produce “Skims” there. 

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Of course, before there was “Skims,” Nike has been providing items like sports bras and spandex shorts to Olympians from manufacturers based primarily in Asia

Ralph Lauren, who has designed the team’s opening and closing ceremony looks since 2008, is also primarily produced outside the U.S. 

With or without Kardashian, Team USA regularly shows up to competitions in items that exploit cheap foreign labor and provide limited benefits to the American economy, so perhaps she is the perfect fit after all. 

Is Kim Kardashian the best face of America?

Perhaps the biggest question mark over “Skim’s” suitability to provide garments to Team USA stems from conflicting opinions on Kardashian herself. 

The Kardashians have become a shorthand for everything wrong with modern American and celebrity culture. 

The family is criticized as being fake, superficial, self-obsessed, and “a bunch of talentless narcissistic brain-dead bimbos.” 

Yet, in all that their haters rage against, there is something innately and undeniably American about the Kardashians. They are capitalism in human form; their success story has been about selling themselves over and over. 

Their omnipresence has the power to seep its way into everything from celebrity news cycles to criminal justice reform, and now, the Olympics.

America and the Kardashians are nothing if not domineering and impossible to ignore. 

If the American Dream is about the pursuit of prosperity and success above all else, then there’s no one living it more than Kim Kardashian.

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.