Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

Kylie Jenner in hot water over 'Handmaid's Tale' themed party

The 'tone-deaf' billionaire has angered fans by dressing up as a character from the dystopian show

Kylie Jenner dressed up as a character from 'The Handmaid's Tale' for a recent party. AFP
Kylie Jenner dressed up as a character from 'The Handmaid's Tale' for a recent party. AFP

A small part of California became Gilead for the night last week, thanks – in part – to one social media star.

Beauty mogul and influencer Kylie Jenner has found herself subjected to criticism in recent days after hosting a party themed around The Handmaid's Tale, a dystopian story first captured in the pages of Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel.

The tale has since been turned into an Emmy-winning TV series starring Elisabeth Moss, with the third season landing on screens in the US on June 5.

It was a party to celebrate the premiere episode of the new season, as well as the birthday of Jenner's close friend Anastasia Karanikolaou, that landed the star in hot water.

The 21-year-old, together with friends, dressed up in the red capes and white bonnets as worn by characters in the Hulu series, which is set in a fictional, near-future US, ruled by the totalitarian government of Gilead following civil war.

With fertility rates in a perilous decline, the few remaining fertile women of the country are enslaved, and beholden to couples of high ranking in order to try and stabilise the population.

It is these women, known as handmaids, that Jenner and her pals emulated, welcoming revellers to the party with choruses of "praise be", as shown in social media videos from the night.

The bash – which was also attended by Lionel Richie's daughter, Sofia – drew ire from fans and commenters, who decried Jenner for glorifying (albeit fictional) women who have limited human rights, by law forbidden from working and reading, and forced to bear children.

"Kylie Jenner throwing her friend a Handmaid’s Tale themed birthday party complete with robes, Gilead flags ... is so tone deaf, at any time, but especially when women’s rights and autonomy are particularly under attack," one Twitter user posted.

"Kylie Jenner is having a party themed after the Handmaid’s Tale ... so ... who's gonna tell her that her party is literally celebrating female enslavement for their biological reproduction?" wrote another.

Jenner has not yet responded to criticism, though posts from the party – which were shared via Instagram story – are not visible on her social media accounts.

It's not the only controversy the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star has weathered in recent weeks either, after being called out for her new skincare line.

A face scrub in Jenner's new line Kylie Skin contains walnut powder, a divisive ingredient which many beauty experts and dermatologists say is too abrasive and can damage delicate skin.

On her brand's Instagram page, Jenner instead claimed the "fine" textured powder used was "really gentle". "Some walnut scrubs are kind of harsh on the skin," she said. "This isn’t too abrasive.”

Updated: June 10, 2019 02:53 PM

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