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The most ignorant word in the English language might have to be “classy.”

We often use it as an adjective to describe refinement and respectability. However, I wrote before about the term also being used to justify and even mask some pretty despicable behavior from folks. This time around, it’s being used to encourage slut-shaming.

We all know how slut-shaming works: Basically, a woman can be an ax-murdering, tax-cheating, baby-kicking, don’t-know-how-to-fry-a-piece-of-chicken-worth-a-damn bogey(wo)man, but she better not have had sexual relations with multiple men outside of a good religious-based marriage (with a man), or else, she’s a slut. And there is nothing worse for a woman to be in the world than a slut, right?

Hell, you don’t even have to be promiscuous to be considered a “slut.” Sometimes a shortened hemline can get you that label. Sometimes it is how you talk or even where you were born, which could result in you wearing the scarlet letter. You can just be an attractive woman in a space where men are scarce and be hit with the “slut” label. I was actually called a “dumb slut” one time for cutting a guy off in traffic. Try to make sense of that one…

But while it is true that every woman in society has to maneuver around the landmines that can get them labelled as sluts, it is also true that “class” is often used as a shield to protect some while also being used as a tool to oppress others: like women of more marginalized identities.

I see much of that at the center of the Amber Rose and Khloe Kardashian Twitter/Instagram beef. Rose, who used to date Kanye West, who is now married to Kim Kardashian, called herself standing up for her new BFF, Blac Chyna, who has a child with rapper Tyga. In case you missed it, Tyga is allegedly getting a little too close with 17-year-old Kylie Jenner, the younger sister of Kim Kardashian, who was Chyna’s good friend at one time.

In an interview with The Breakfast Club, Rose says this:

Amber Rose: “She’s a baby, she needs to go to bed at 7 o’clock and relax. Nah, I’m over that. That’s ridiculous. He should be ashamed of himself. That’s how I feel, for sure.”

Angela Yee: “What happens if you run into them in LA?”

Rose: “I ain’t speaking to them. At all. That’s ridiculous He has a beautiful woman and a baby and left that for a 16-year-old that just turned 17. Like, hah. But guess what, that’s up to her and her mother.”

I get Rose’s point here. This is a grown man who broke up with the mother of his child only to turn around and pal around with an individual who hasn’t even come into adulthood yet. There is something predatory in all of it that bothers me. If I were Kris Jenner, no way would I want Tyga, who clearly has issues he needs to sort out internally, to be around my impressionable child. And if these were non-celebrities with non-celebrity identities, I think a whole lot of other folks would likely feel the same way about this situation too.

However, Rose’s last thought about it all being “up to her and her mother” is what she probably should have stuck with when asked to comment about their relationship. After all, none of this is any of her business. You don’t see Blac Chyna saying anything and sticking up for herself. Matter of fact, when the beef started, it was Chyna who sent out an Instagram message about how “unbothered” she was with the whole dust-up (some best friend she is…). So why is Rose being so messy?

Me thinks there is tinge of jealousy and envy simmering beneath the tweets. As noted in an article from Complex, in the same interview, Rose made some equally side-eye worthy remarks about another Kardashian sister. In particular, she tells the Breakfast Club:

“When Kim first came out, I was like, ‘Who the f**k is this Puerto Rican girl with Paris Hilton?! This b***h is beautiful!’ Yeah, I thought she was Puerto Rican, I’m from the East Coast. So, that’s initially what I thought of Kim. I was just like, ‘Wow, this girl’s amazing.’” So, what changed? “But it’s just sh*t that I see her do, like she posted a selfie, and she had like one of her boobs out of the bra or whatever. It’s just fake to me,” Rose said. “If I wanna have my titties out, on a beach, that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. “I’m not gonna have my titties out and be like, [impersonating Kardashian] ‘Oh my god! I can’t believe like, uh, they caught me with my boobs out!”

Well that might be because the masses don’t react the same way to a bare-breasted Rose as they do to a naked Kim K. And that is no shade. Both are beautiful women with exceptionally crafted bodies, but as Awesomely Luvvie once wrote, The Kim Kardashian Model doesn’t work for black women.

In other words, while a topless and bottomless sex tape made by the daughter of a late high-powered attorney is viewed as shocking, cheeky and even artful, a nude Rose is not. Why? Because it’s not viewed anywhere out of the normal realm of what we kind of expected from a biracial former exotic dancer from the low-income part of South Philly. Therefore, no one is going to care too much if Rose is on the beach topless, because in the minds of the masses, she never embodied the ideals of what we deem as “classy” anyway – even if the “class” we are talking about here is who has access to selling “respectable” yet s*xy images.

And that has to rightfully bother Rose, who makes her living off of her image, especially her body. Truth be told, she should have been the one who #BrokeTheInternet with that viral and history-making editorial styled by Jean-Paul Goude. Hell, she has the better and more natural form, with the legitimate genetic roots. But that pesky white woman privilege got in the way of all of that. So once again, it is Kim K’s sexuality that gets endorsed and institutionalized by the system, while the blogs are debating if the pictures of Rose standing on a balcony overlooking a beach in a string bikini makes her looks like a classless slut, or worse, a classless slut and bad mom.

According to the Huffington Post, a study published last year in Social Psychology Quarterly has revealed “that when a particular group of women call each other ‘sluts,’ it has little to do with perceived or actual promiscuity, and everything to do with social class.” I can definitely see that. And I’m sure that’s what Kylie’s big sister Khloe meant to highlight when she decided to fire back at Rose in a series of tweets for meddling in family business. In particular, she writes in two tweets:

“’I was a stripper since I was 15 years old,’ Amber Rose told Foxx. Please don’t worry about my sister who has a career & her sh*t together at ONLY 17…people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. (2) Please stop talking about us in interviews mama. None of us talk about you.”

To which Rose would respond:

“I’ll be that lil whore to support my family like ur older sister is a whore 2 support hers. We’re even”

Well, those are just fighting words. And that’s what happened for the rest of the afternoon. The two “celebs” traded jabs, memes and old leaked pictures about who was the sluttiest of them all. A winner in the slut wars has yet to be declared, but it was clear that Rose definitely was in her feelings.

And who could blame her? If Rose was stripping since 15 years of age, then she didn’t have the privilege of protection, which Kylie has in her life. And I’m guessing the same can be said for Rose’s BFF, Blac Chyna, who started her dancing career supposedly at 18 years old. There was no silver spoon in place to pay off media, clean up images and pad her fall in the event that Tyga tried to screw her over and leave her as a single mother. Everything for those two has been a grind upwards. And while Kylie’s decisions are respected by the public at large as an exercise in being sexually liberated, unfortunately, we haven’t really come around to seeing either Rose or Chyna, who are adults now, as anything more than glorified sluts.

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