Kim Kardashian Responds to Allegations That Her Beauty Ad Used Blackface

"No one mentioned it."

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(Image credit: James Devaney)

If Kim Kardashian knows nothing else, she knows how to present an image of herself. And as she ramps up her launch of new beauty line KKW Beauty (opens in new tab), she's counting on folks to invest in their desire to look and be like her.

But in a promo shot for the range, Kardashian has drawn social media fire for her quite, ah, dark skin tone. This image was tweeted June 14:

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The next day, a pretty significantly lighter version of that exact image was posted on Kardashian's Twitter account:

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It isn't so weird that a photoshoot could end up with an unintentional lighting effect; after all, younger sis Kylie got into that same kind of situation a couple of years ago. But combined with recent controversies surrounding the Kardashian-Jenner family and possibly ripping off (opens in new tab) black creators (opens in new tab), social media users didn't let Kim's original image go unnoticed:

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Plenty of folks defended Kim's look, attributing it to tanning, contouring, photography filter tricks, and more. Others gently suggested re-uploading the image at a brighter tone, which she eventually did:

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In an interview (opens in new tab) with the New York Times about KKW Beauty, Kim directly responded to the entire situation, apologizing and also explaining that no one on her team noticed anything off about the image:

"I would obviously never want to offend anyone. I used an amazing photographer and a team of people. I was really tan when we shot the images, and it might be that the contrast was off. But I showed the image to many people, to many in the business. No one brought that to our attention. No one mentioned it.

Of course, I have the utmost respect for why people might feel the way they did. But we made the necessary changes to that photo and the rest of the photos. We saw the problem, and we adapted and changed right away. Definitely I have learned from it."
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