Many fans cheered when Kendrick Lamar praised the stretch-marked booty in his “Humble” music video, but the natural-haired woman it belonged to wasn’t as welcome.
Carter Kim, who is of Korean, Black and French heritage, faced a barrage of criticism over not appearing to be Black due to her loosely curled tresses.
Some took issue with the showcase of non-Afro hair.
Kendrick Lamar's new video for 'Humble' is lit but why we always showcasin one type of natural hair? That's not an Afro? pic.twitter.com/m1GZEaEMIz
— Maxine Chilliams (@_MAXedOut_) March 31, 2017
Because that is the hair type that is most vilified. But as far as people upset about the natural line and lyrics? It depends on your take.
— Samirah Gilli (@SamirahGilli) April 3, 2017
Others accused the model of donning a Brazilian curly sew-in or wig, which Kim called attention to on Instagram by thanking supporters who defended her.
I just wanted to thank everyone for everything.. the compliments, congratulations, support. I never pay attention to the negative comments but I do appreciate those who truly support and defend me. It's sad that people claim they are down for the cause but will find every reason to be against any type of representation, (guess I ain't black enough for you) so you really down for the culture or are you here to hate like the rest? I do this because I love this honestly. Nothing more nothing less. I am truly blessed for you all. (P.s thing young lady went to school with me so she knows what my awkward stages looked like.. lol ??♀️ thank you Kam) ?
“I guess I ain’t Black enough for you,” Kim said of negative commenters.
“I used to get teased for my hair and told my hair is fake,” Kim told Elle magazine. “I’m a little puzzled because a lot of it comes from African-American women. I’m just like, ‘Why wouldn’t you empower another African-American woman who’s just trying to pave the way for her career and also just represent us as women in a music video that has now gone viral?’ I would just think they would be happy with that, but everyone finds something.”
Twenty-one-year-old Kim, whose involvement in “Humble” was shrouded in secrecy when she signed on, has grappled with her race being dictated throughout her career as an actress and model.
“I have gotten denied by some agencies and some projects for either being too multicultural or even being ‘too pretty’ for a role,” she said. “I’ve gotten denied for being Black a few times. Surprisingly, that has happened and I have gotten ‘not Black enough.'”
Kim said she’s also “gotten a few different odd responses from Black producers, when they’re like, ‘Are you just Filipino or are you just Asian?’ A lot of people don’t really see that I am Black. It’s been a journey.”
By focusing on exemplars like biracial actress Karrueche Tran, Kim stays centered in her work.
“To watch her still progress and watch others progress without worrying about negative comments is kind of where I get my strength from,” she said.