Entrepreneurs

Cultural appropriation? Kendall Jenner’s 818 tequila is rained with criticism and memes after launch


6 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.


For a few years now, tequila has positioned itself as one of the most popular in the world. For this reason, many international celebrities have launched their own brand of Mexico’s most iconic alcoholic beverage . The most recent is model Kendall Jenner with her 818 tequila , but after the launch she has received a wave of criticism and memes , accusing her of cultural appropriation .

On May 17, Kendall presented his tequila brand 818 with a video that caused a lot of controversy on social networks.

The 25-year-old model appears in the clip, touring an agave field in Jalisco, the cradle of tequila in Mexico, accompanied by jimadores and local workers. The oldest of the Jenners wears jeans with a white T-shirt, and a shirt with a green, white and red shawl print. To complete the look, she wears her hair tied in two braids and a beige hat hangs from her neck. Like this or more ‘Mexican’?

Cultural appropriation, the new Kendall Jenner controversy

Although Kendall Jenner may have intended to highlight the Mexican roots of her tequila, the concept and marketing strategy proved quite controversial.

Netizens immediately began to accuse her of cultural appropriation , which is when someone takes and uses elements of a culture that is not their own.

In general, cultural appropriation is exercised by people who belong to historically and socially dominant groups in the process of colonialism, who take and display elements of a historically oppressed group. For example, a young American millionaire using the clothing and context of the peasants of Mexico as if they were a costume and props.

Social media users are singling out her for taking advantage of Mexican farm workers.

And also for taking the tequila in a glass and not in a typical tequila shot .

Some said that they find it disrespectful that the model tries to look like a Mexican when she is not.

Commercially, how does Kendall Jenner’s 818 tequila fare?

The drink is already on sale in its three varieties: añejo, reposado and blanco; But don’t be too quick to try to buy it (if you had thought about it), as it was only released in limited production in California and is already out of stock. However, they plan to make it available throughout the United States by next summer 2021.

Last February, Kendall announced that he would launch his own brand of tequila made in Jalisco, Mexico. The model spent four years fully involved in making her drink, from research and testing to tastings.

What an amazing experience I have had so far, learning about this beautiful place, its beautiful culture, and the beautiful people! Jenner wrote on Instagram a couple of months ago.

Kendall Jenner isn’t the first or only foreign celebrity to launch herself as a tequila entrepreneur. Celebrities like Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) , George Clooney , Rande Gerber , LeBron James , Kevin Hart , Brian Cranston, and Aaron Paul have their own agave distillate firms, be it tequila or mezcal. Even Elon Musk launched his ‘Teslaquila’ , but Mexico took the name off it.

In fact, several netizens have defended the model, saying that they only criticize her for being a woman and for being part of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, since male celebrities have not received as many negative comments when doing exactly the same as her.



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