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Kim Kardashian Accused Of Dressing Daughter In Fetish Mask & Exploiting Her Kids Amid Balenciaga Scandal

Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock / Instagram
Kim Kardashian, North West

Kim Kardashian has broken her silence surrounding the Balenciaga ad campaign scandal in a multi-part post on social media.

The fashion house is under fire after releasing a campaign featuring children alongside many hidden references to child pornography and sexual fetish culture — including bears in BDSM-style harnesses and documents referencing Supreme Court laws on child pornography.

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Kim Kardashian is under fire from critics for her lackluster and late response to Balenciaga's controversial campaign. 

Her Twitter acknowledgment came on November 27, a week after Balenciaga’s ad campaign went public. 

Balenciaga issued a statement on November 22, removing the ads from all platforms. Posting on their stories, the company apologized for “any offense our holiday campaign may have caused,” stating that the “plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign.”

Two hours later, the brand posted a second apology — this time, for featuring Supreme Court documents on child pornography as the background to a purse ad.

They apologized for the inclusion of “unsettling documents” and stated that they “strongly condemn abuse of children in any form.” 

Kardashian’s silence on the scandal isn’t surprising, considering her close relationship with the brand which has almost exclusively dressed her for the past year.

Kardashian’s clothing choices also aren’t her only tie to the company — in 2020 Kardashian sold 20% of her KKW Beauty brand to Coty Inc, the beauty company behind Balenciaga’s fragrances.

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Kardashian stated on Sunday that she will be “re-evaluating” her relationship with the brand.

The fashion and beauty mogul tweeted that her decision is based on Balenciaga’s “willingness to accept accountability for something that never should have happened to begin with.”

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Yet the company doesn’t appear to be acting accountable. On November 25, Balenciaga filed a $25 million lawsuit against the production company North Six Inc., and set designer Nicolas Des Jardins, for “including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot.”

A representative for North Six has said that the production company had no creative control over the photoshoot, and was not on set for the final arrangements. 

Kardashian noted her apparent disgust and outrage towards Balenciaga, and continued on to say she believes that “they understand the seriousness of the issue and will take the necessary measures for this to never happen again.” 

Kardashian is now facing scrutiny for the hypocrisy of her response.

On Reddit, fans took aim at Kardashian by comparing Balenciaga’s treatment of children to how Kardashian uses her own kids to further her brand.

“She exploits her children, one more than the rest,” wrote one user under a post about Kardashian’s statement.

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North West has been seen wearing Balenciaga clothing inspired by bondage.

The oldest of Kardashian’s four children with ex-husband Kanye West, 9-year-old North, has forged an identity of her own in the fashion industry thanks to Balenciaga.

North appeared alongside her mother at Paris fashion week this summer, dressed in a mask that some believe replicates a bondage mask.

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Fetish masks have been amongst the brand's many references long before their most recent controversy so many would argue that a child should never be wearing their clothing, even if Kardashian was unaware of the inspiration behind her daughter’s look.

Critics of the reality star argue, however, that Kardashian is not simply ill-informed about the exploitative nature of how Balenciaga styled her daughter. Instead, they believe she is complicit.

On Reddit, users noted that Kardashian’s daughter was seen at fashion week asking photographers to stop taking photos of her. The mom-of-four laughed off her daughter’s protest in an episode of her show.

   

   

Others referenced an ongoing and high-profile dispute between Kardashian and her children’s father over their kids’ social media usage.

West has frequently put his ex on blast for allowing their daughter to have a public TikTok profile. Kardashian, to defend herself, stated in February, “I am doing my best to protect our daughter while also allowing her to express her creativity in the medium that she wishes with adult supervision — because it brings her happiness.”

North’s TikTok profile is under her and Kardashian’s name and features a bio that notes that the account is run by an adult. However, the 9-year-old has proved time and time again that Kardashian has minimal supervision over her daughter’s TikTok usage.

Just this past weekend, the SKIMS founder interrupted her daughter on TikTok Live seemingly without permission or supervision.

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Kardashian quickly asks her daughter to turn off the live. North’s defense was that she was using the live stream to promote her mother’s skincare line.

It is becoming increasingly evident that the next generation of the Kardashian family is being used to keep the family’s well-oiled machine moving forward. Their role in the promotion of the family is no small part. Consequently, it becomes difficult to believe that Kardashian would accurately understand and admonish Balenciaga’s exploitation of children when she is doing the same very thing.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.

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