Unless you’ve completely gone off the grid, you’ve probably heard about the drama between Jordyn Woods and the Kardashian-Jenner clan. To make things short, here’s the gist: Khloé Kardashian’s now-ex boyfriend Tristan Thompson allegedly cheated on her with Woods, who is also Kylie Jenner’s best friend and right-hand woman. This interesting web of love and betrayal became the only thing the internet could talk about, via a countless stream of memes and tweets.
While the memes have been entertaining, some have taken things too far. Recently, haircare brand Bellami Hair came under fire for coming after Woods’s latest hairstyle, posting a now-deleted meme of the influencer’s short bob and captioning it: “When Kylie Jenner stops paying for your lifestyle, including your extensions.” It’s already a cheap shot to come after a woman of color’s hair, but the real issue is much deeper than that: It’s the fact that, though we live in a “woke” society, women of color are often still thrown into the dangerous and vile stereotype of gold digger.
The age-old tale of a woman of color searching for that one person as a meal ticket is long overplayed in the media—just take a look at Kanye West’s “Gold Digger,” an early-2000’s tale of a WOC trappin’ men for their black AmEx cards until said men “leave yo’ ass for a white girl.” While the idea of women of color using their male counterparts as a means of financial gain has been around for decades, the Woods scandal revealed another unnerving lie: POC using their white, rich friends for money.
In the majority of the memes, tweets, and Instagram comments referencing the scandal, the point of Woods losing her “meal ticket” (a.k.a. Kylie Jenner) is prevalent. Nothing about her hurting Kylie or the Kardashian-Jenners emotionally. Nothing about the nature of Tristan’s constant infidelity. Not even a rally cry from the women behind #MeToo or Time’s Up to defend Woods from the savage online victim-blaming after she told Jada Pinkett Smith on Red Table Talk that Tristan kissed her without asking for consent. No, no—it was all about the money and fame Woods is supposedly going to lose after severing ties with the world’s most talked about family.
But, can we all take into account that Jordyn doesn’t even need Kylie’s money to begin with? If you didn’t know, her family is already well-off. Her mom, Elizabeth Woods, is a successful talent and brand manager, while her late father, John Woods, was a sound engineer for Will Smith’s famous ’90s show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Outside of the money she can inherit, Woods is not one to sit on a throne and do absolutely nothing. The 21-year-old has a thriving modeling career and her hands in a variety of business ventures, including her athletics brand SECNDNTURE. When it comes to the “fame hungry” claims, it’s hard to believe considering Woods has been immersed in the world of the rich and famous since she was a child.
The lesson here: Jordyn doesn’t need Kylie, so why is it so easy for us to portray her as money-hungry? It’s because our minds are so programmed to believe that women of color strive to get to the top through someone else’s dime. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 46.9% of our workforce is made up of women, with 35.9% of that number being women of color. Plus, a survey reported by Forbes states that 54% of respondents who stated that they would marry someone for money were male. Not black or hispanic women, but the men we claim they take money from.
So, enough with the Jordyn Woods memes. We’ve all had our laughs, but what’s sadly even more comical is the fact that our generation claims to be so progressive, yet still needs to drag people down through the dated stereotypes. Instead of falling into the typical stigmas we’ve all learned to not love, let’s all just sit back and let the Kardashian-Woods drama unfold, unnecessary commentary not required.