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“It’s exhausting watching Black women create things and have them sleazily stolen and imitated by other groups that are supposed to be our allies.” 

Graphic illustration by Rachel McBride/VOX ATL

Nikita Dragun Is In Black Business…Again. [OPINION]

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Nikita Dragun’s problem is that she claims everything as her own.

She’s been in hot water on numerous occasions, including moments when she wore box braids, excessively tanned herself, oddly branded trans icons with the word “d*ck” for her music promotion, and more. The list goes on and on. However, her most recent incident has incited some deeper engagement from audiences.

Dragun is a 25-year-old social media influencer who rose to fame on YouTube, where she started out doing makeup tutorials. She is a transgender woman who has been able to climb to fame and influence despite her marginalized status. 

Her scandals have reached new levels recently, and her latest debacle is a conflict that started over an image in this post:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom)

The photo was used alongside others in a promotional video for Dragun’s new song, “D*ck.” The line reads, “You wear sh*t that I already wore.”

The woman in the photo is a Black rapper that goes by the name Asian Doll. She took offense to the post, and it started an entire online disagreement between the pair. Asian Doll went to Twitter to voice her grievances, some of which TheShadeRoom shared here:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom)

Dragun continued the conversation on her Instagram here

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom)

Dragun’s words were, “This statement was to show that Trans women set THE trends for cis gender females. Yet never get the credit. This was not meant to be shady towards you. You just happened to be an example.”

She then continued to post a series of Instagram DMs on her story to continue discussing the matter. One of her viewers wrote, “Girl stop black girls gave trans women and gay people culture quit playing on our name.”

Dragun disagreed. She said, “No. Black TRANS women and black GAY people gave the culture.”

Dragun’s statement is true, but it neglects to mention that she is not a Black woman.

There is a huge issue with non-Black people, specifically non-Black women, fitting themselves into our culture without asking permission, respecting boundaries, or understanding their place.

Dragun first misstepped by claiming Asian Doll, a Black woman, was ripping her style. The fashion piece in the image above is actually inspired by Caribbean festival-wear, which we’ve seen other Caribbean artists like Rihanna and Nicki Minaj wear fervently. For Dragun to take another, lesser-known influencer and use their image to label them a copy-cat was a bad move on many counts.

Think about artists like Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. Would Dragun have reposted their images and claimed they were copying her or “wearing sh*t that she already wore?” No.

Is Dragun entitled to Black Caribbean fashion just because she has a picture of her wearing an inspired piece before Asian Doll? No.

It’s exhausting watching Black women create things and have them sleazily stolen and imitated by other groups that are supposed to be our allies. 

It happens with white women getting lip fillers. Kylie Jenner got lip fillers then started a cosmetic line based around lip kits. She got this surgery so that she could emulate afrocentric facial features. She used this to capitalize off of said afrocentric features by selling this dream to all types of women. She’s since amassed a $630 million fortune from her cosmetic line. Also, as a result of her social stature, she’s influenced thousands of other non-Black women to get lip fillers.

It happens with gay men imitating Black women to give them their feminine and precocious dispositions.

It happens with Asian pop groups rebranding our music scene and the K-pop industry exploiting Black culture without supporting Black people.

It happens with non-Black trans women like Nikita commodifying our creations then progressing to a point where she claims them as her own.

The point of me saying all this is that no matter how far society tries to remove us from our creations, Black women are the creators. That includes both cisgender and transgender women. That includes non-binary Black people who identify with Black womandom.

That does not include Nikita Dragun, nor does it include anybody else who claims that we “wear sh*t they already wore.”

 

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