Kourtney Kardashian has recently announced that she’s expecting a baby with Blink 182 drummer and husband Travis Barker. The loved-up pair have been inseparable since their initial coupling back in 2018, and while the Kardashian clan is definitely celebrity royalty at this point, there’s one particular Barker kid who’s making a serious name for herself online—and not always for the best reasons.
Introducing Alabama Barker, Travis’ 17-year-old daughter who, ever since her brief appearance on the holy grail of reality TV, The Kardashians, led countless netizens to be utterly fascinated by her.
Before getting into any of this, I think it’s important to stress the fact that Barker is a young girl who is still navigating the world and the ways in which she wants to present herself online. That being said, let’s dive into why Barker is quickly becoming an internet staple.
One of the most recent things gen Zers have been fixated on when it comes to Barker, is what the dynamic might be between the Blink 182 member’s daughter and the rest of the Kardashian family. It’s fair to say that the group isn’t always the most welcoming bunch, and so people online have naturally made it their mission to prove that Barker was never going to be accepted.
As is the case with practically everything online, we have to take these so called “confirmed” theories with a pinch of salt. It’s never been proved that Kendall nor Kylie have an issue with Barker—and I’d put money on the fact that there’s no beef whatsoever.
That being said, a lot of the narrative online surrounding this potential drama revolves around a concern that I can understand. Barker, despite being only 17, does act and look much older than her age online. Of course, when you grow up in the spotlight, you’re often required to grow up a lot quicker than other kids—just look at Millie Bobby Brown. Nevertheless, it is insane how ‘adult-like’ Barker comes across.
Another reason why Barker seems to be consistently at the top of everyone’s news feeds, is because she has been repeatedly accused of cultural appropriation and blackfishing. Blackfishing is a term used for when someone who is not Black seeks to mimic Pan-African characteristics by using methods such as makeup, tanning, filters or Photoshop.
Over the past few months, a number of people have taken to TikTok to discuss the topic:
One particular video that received a lot of criticism and attention at the beginning of the year showed Barker dancing and lip-syncing to a particularly saucy song while surrounded by a group of friends, all of whom were Black. The backlash to the video seemed to be two-pronged. Netizens were apparently unhappy with the fact that Barker’s parents allowed her to post a video of her singing along to a very suggestive song while still being a minor, as well as also accusing her of using her Black friends as “props.”
In a now-deleted Instagram comment, Barker responded to the criticism stating: “Many would say to be quiet and let it be but it’s mentally exhausting. They and myself were at a video shoot even though I do not need to explain all of the negative assumptions about us, it’s absurd to see a group of friends just having a good time giving so many grown adults a topic to talk about.”
Barker is clearly a divisive individual, and it’s overtly evident that some of her behaviour online is uncomfortable and at times offensive. However, she is still only 17, and while age shouldn’t always be a justification, it’s a factor we have to consider.