Cosmopolitan magazine has declared the Kardashians America’s new first family. Certainly, this symbolic dethroning of the Obamas is shot through with every kind of upsetting racial implication, a point Black Twitter has been swift to point out. Apparently now that the official first family is African-American, achievement of a nuclear family is no longer a mainstream cultural aspiration. While Black families continue to labor under the burden of being exceptionally normal like the Obamas or escaping the supposedly normal “pathology” of the non-nuclear Black family, Cosmopolitan is now giving white Americans an opportunity to visually revel in and experiment with embracing a white female-centered family structure. The cover image for Cosmopolitan’s November issue features America’s new chosen “first family” consisting of six white women, including Kris Jenner and her five daughters, three by her first husband, and two by her former husband Bruce Jenner, who has now transitioned into Caitlyn Jenner.I hate to think that Rutgers students are taking student loans to learn this junk.
American families are changing, and we should celebrate the fact that the two-parent, nuclear family ideal has gone the way of the floppy disk. But the terms upon which we come to celebrate this family structure are deeply problematic. Why is it appropriate to celebrate Kris Jenner’s new status as the matriarch of a family of daughters, when we have pathologized Black mother-led families unrelentingly since 1965?
Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Brittney Cooper teaches Women's and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers, and writes in Salon: