In the run-up to the premiere of Rob & Chyna, we look at Blac Chyna – the woman who, on behalf of black women everywhere, showed the Kardashians where they could stick it.
A strange thing began happening right around 2012 when Kanye West broke up with Amber Rose. A woman we had all taken to be a fancy piece of fetishistic arm candy and more bling than brains began laying the groundwork for what many misunderstood as pettiness at the time but have come to regard as a new wave of black feminism.
And in 2014, Batman got a new Robin and her name was Blac Chyna.
Together they stomped across the many halls of the internet, standing up for single mothers, sex workers, body pride, scorned women, black women and doing so with aplomb, gusto and the kind of shade that makes the Amazon forest weep with shame.
They are the matron saints of #LoudBlackGirl, a Twitter hashtag created to empower black women across the globe to own their truths, speak up for what they believe in and defend themselves from the constant attacks black women face from society on a day-to-day basis. They also scored a talk show and a clothing line and beauty range respectively, because black women have never shied away from a hustle. And as we’ve seen, Blac Chyna loves a hustle.
I like Rob the most because we see him the least.
Unfortunately – thanks Kanye and Tyga – when you talk about Amber Rose and Blac Chyna, it’s impossible to avoid the Kardashians. And I don’t like the Kardashians. At all. They’re pretentious culture vultures. I don’t like their mama. I have very little patience for their self-hating partners. I dislike their lack of any obvious talent or modicum of interest in anything outside their cellphones… I mean, think about it, if someone had told you that their plan to take over the world was to release a sex tape and take a bunch of selfies, you’d have had them committed.
And yet, here we are.
One thing you can’t deny, though, is their strong family bond. I assume it’s because they’re vapid narcissists with very few actual friends outside their paid help, who must be suffering from some kind of Stockholm Syndrome in fear of Queen Kim’s tyrannical outbursts. Whatever the reason, they seem especially tight. With the exception of Rob.
I like Rob the most because we see him the least. He rarely leaves his house (there was an obviously false but totally plausible rumour on the internet two years ago that Kim had him tied up in her basement), doesn’t share or overshare every minimal aspect of his life, and seems to take as wide a berth from his family as possible.
He’s clearly the only sane member of this dysfunctional Botoxed Brady Bunch. So, when he announced that he was getting married, in the most public way – via Instagram – to Blac Chyna, the ex-girlfriend and baby mama of his little sister’s boyfriend (I know, complex), AND that she was pregnant, the internet and the Kardashians had a Fukushima-level meltdown.
It. Was. Glorious.
The Kardashians give the phrase ‘bitch stole my look’ a whole and frightening new meaning.
And here’s why: the Kardashians have made stealing from, repackaging and profiting off black culture and art form in a way that must have Columbus turning green with envy. The Kardashians give the phrase ‘bitch stole my look’ a whole and frightening new meaning. In the ten years since their ascension to the holy throne of social-media royalty, they have single handed taken over the mantle from the entertainment industry and white washed the cultural norms and practices of an entire community for their own personal gain, and in the process convinced the world that they woke up like that, so to speak.
But they also seem very unaware that the Internet, like ex-wives and elephants, doesn’t forget. Apparently, neither does Blac Chyna.
Black women aren’t afraid of a little hard work.
Born Angela Renée White in a suburb of Washington DC in 1988, she was raised primarily by her mother, an exotic dancer who went by the name Tokio Toni. I can only imagine what it the options before mother and daughter must have been but, as we’ve said before, black women aren’t afraid of a little hard work. And Chyna, is a very astute woman, as you’re about to see.
She kickstarted her hustle at a Washington D.C. area McDonald’s (according to her interview in Elle magazine, ‘not in the back’ but at the cash register thanks to her ‘personality’) and then took a route many financially challenged black women take in the United States; she began dancing herself. Her mother was supportive. ‘My mom used to be a stripper,’ Chyna told Lola Ogunnaike, ‘so she was like, ‘If this is what you want to do, be the best at it.’ What black mother hasn’t said the same thing to their daughter? And she was. Quickly, she came to the notice of several prominent musicians and was soon being hired for private parties, music videos and magazine shoot and being name-checked by Drake on a track. She deferred her place at Johnson & Wales University in Miami and got to work.
America, and the world at large, have a fascination with the nude black female form.
Chyna became what’s known as a ‘Video Vixen’. She’s not the first and she won’t be the last; many women have found their way to Hollywood and her glittering dollars this way; Amber Rose (now has a TV show), Karrine Steffens (NYT bestselling author), Lauren London (actress), Draya Michele (reality TV star), to name a few. Exotic dancer to rapper/actor/baller’s girlfriend, to reality TV star in your own right to business owner and money in the bank. It’s the black girls’ version of the Paris Hilton route, without the sex tape.
These women have done remarkably well for themselves because, like Chyna, they understood one thing very quickly and used it to their advantage: America, and the world at large, have a fascination with the nude black female form. It is something that can be traced to one single world changing event.
In the 18th century the Dutch ‘exported’, for lack of a better word, Saartjie Baartman (the Hottentot Venus) from the Eastern Cape of South Africa to Amsterdam to exhibit her in museums as a marvel of humanity. Why? Because of her prominent buttocks and prolonged labia. Y’all, they smooth marched a naked black woman before the stunned white masses and put sister girl in a museum because she had a big booty. Sit with that for a moment.
The entire reason black women’s bodies have been so policed, fetishized, scrutinised and demeaned and degraded for centuries is because once upon a time some white boys decided we were freaks worthy of a museum exhibit. To add insult to injury, waves of white women, who have stolen, appropriated, pinched, copied black women’s beauty, have historically received praise for it. While we’re called ‘ghetto’, ‘ratchet’, ‘hoochie’, and the list goes on.
When Kim Kardashian’s sex tape dropped, and there she was having sex with a black man, she recognised her target audience. White guys with a black girl fetish who don’t have the balls to date one, and black guys who want a white girl who for all intents and purposes looks like a black one. Her posterior apparently magically transmogrified sometime around 2009, because black men like booty and white women and where you can combine the two – kerching!
Transformation complete, Kim rose, a virtual Venus from the sea of Instagram likes.
She got herself a string of black prominent boyfriends and set off a whole lot of plastic surgery rumours. She erased her baby-haired hairline, et voila. Transformation complete, Kim rose, a virtual Venus from the sea of Instagram likes. Her sisters followed in her perfectly pedicured footsteps and a dynasty was born.
What she didn’t realise that as she had leapfrogged her former friend, Paris Hilton and took centre stage, Chyna was in the background. She had befriended Kim via her baby daddy at the time, up-and-coming rapper Tyga (signed to Kanye West’s label). Then Tyga left her for the youngest Kardashian sister, the anatomically morphing Kylie Jenner, and the Klan, having sucked all the black knowledge they needed from her, boyfriend included, shunned her and shut her out. Then Chyna made her move.
She joined forces with Amber Rose and the two began a black feminist crusade to eliminate the shame and sexualisation surrounding black women’s bodies, gaining millions of fans in the process. Many of their fans are women of colour nauseated by the Kardashians’ media manipulation and culture culturing. They are black women who really need a bad-ass single-mother shero who made her money doing something unashamedly that millions of women across America do, and dulcis in fundo, doesn’t give a beep what you think of that. Liberating.
Chyna parlayed her insta-fame into a false lash business, which is apparently booming, got her own emojis and hooked up with Rob Kardashian. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s almost 100 per cent parallel to the rise of Empress Kim.
You’ve got to admit, the poetic justice in this union is EPIC.
Watching a famous white (passing) guy choose the black girl with thick thighs, chequered past and child by another man over a long line of Euro-beautiful modelesque girls his mother probably has on speed dial, made me feel like I was watching Cinderella arrive at the ball and step out of the carriage, Louboutins on 100, face beat to the gods, and wig at attention. Representation matters, Kris Jenner.
You’ve got to admit, the poetic justice in this union is EPIC. And I for one, am here for it. The fact that the only children to carry on the Kardashian name will be borne by someone they clearly envy/hate/emulate: an ACTUAL black woman. While they were playing chequers, Chyna was playing chess. And she captured the Queen.
So kneel Blac Chyna and arise Angela Renée Kardashian. May the force be with you.