Is Kendall Jenner‘s 818 tequila a case of Mexican culture appropriation?
Some critics are arguing yes — mainly because her product hails from Jalisco, Mexico.
But, okay, let’s rewind a second. In case y’all missed it: Kendall announced her new venture, 818, back on February 17 via Instagram. At this time, she informed fans that she’d won all of these competitions after entering anonymously, so judges genuinely liked what they were getting with her tequila without having any clue that it was connected to a Jenner.
Yet while Kendall’s sisters and mom showed all their support, many users in the comments instantly found a reason to fault the 25-year-old’s new business.
One user wrote:
“Something about Kendall Jenner making tequila rubs me the wrong way. Like the idea of white celebrities taking from local Mexican artisans and profiting off our traditions and agricultural business yet only visit Cabos and Puerto Vallarta for vacation spots…”
And, like, we get that to an extent, and it’s certainly a valid opinion. However, from Kendall’s post it honestly sounds like she worked her a** off creating this blend, too. So, from what we’ve seen, we also don’t completely agree with this perspective either.
Another user commented:
“Kendall Jenner starting a tequila brand, with zero knowledge on Mexican culture and calling it ‘818 tequila’ is GENTRIFICATION. The 818 does not claim Calabasas. What about those smaller, family owned Mexican tequila/mezcal brands? They deserve the hype & support.”
Again, while this person has a point, one thing that really strikes us is that when Justine Timberlake released 901 back in 2013 — also tequila — we NEVER heard anyone claiming he was at risk of cultural appropriation.
Is there some sort of double standard here? Another user remarked on colonization, stating:
“Kendall Jenner coming out with her own tequila brand… what’s next on the Kardashian/Jenner colonization list?”
Huh. Believe us, the KarJenner clan has no shortage of appropriation in their history. But starting an alcohol business? Should we add this one to the list?
One thing we’d also like to point out is that tequila has an incredibly complex history, with origins dating back to the Aztecs. However, it wasn’t until Spanish colonization that we ended up with what is now our modern tequila.
Anyway, in case you missed Kendall’s post, ch-ch-check it out here:
But what do you think, Perezcious readers? Should we take the criticism seriously? Is there too much appropriation here for y’all to ever feel good about Kendall’s award-winning brand?
Or has Kendall NOT exploited Mexican culture, and she’s within her rights to create a tequila if she so chooses?
Let’s see those comments below!
[Image via Kendall Jenner/Instagram]