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Kylie Jenner in hot water for dystopian themed party

Twitter has lit up in protest after Kylie Jenner shared pictures of her recent brainchild: a Handmaid’s Tale themed birthday party.

Proving yet again that influencers and celebrities are a window to the darkest and most fascinating parts of our souls (too much?) Kylie Jenner has stunned all by throwing a party based on Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale.

A birthday bash for Jenner’s fellow influencer queen Anastasia Karanikolaou, the party embraced the aesthetics of Atwood’s book and the Hulu television adaptation. Jenner and her friend Sofia Richie covered a large tent in red and white decor, and had guests wear the red dresses and white ‘wings’ of the handmaid.

The partygoers then proceeded to eat a Handmaid’s Tale themed dinner, complete with ‘Praise Be Vodka’, and ‘Under His Eye Tequila’. Sounds…delicious?

For anyone familiar with Atwood’s novel or the Hulu show, this choice by Jenner is… questionable, to say the least.

As was pointed out almost immediately by Twitter hoards, The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t the kind of light-hearted romp you’d expect a cinematic party to draw inspo from. The show graphically brings to life Atwood’s concept of a dystopian future in which, due to increasing human infertility, North America is transformed into a Christian autocracy with Handmaids kept as baby incubators.

Female oppression and feminine rage confront the reader/ watcher at every turn in Atwood’s dire vision, with the red of the Handmaids outfits intended to signify both the blood of fertility and the bonds of male ownership by the sinister Commanders.

To see these outfits sexualised and turned into selfie fodder has led many to question whether Jenner understood the message of The Handmaid’s Tale at all, despite chirpily announcing at the beginning of her Insta story streak that it’s her ‘fave show’.

The recent premier of The Handmaid’s Tale’s third season twangs with political resonance in the wake of the Alabama abortion laws. The show stages the fragility of socially imposed ‘equality’, under which an ancient desire to control the female body threatens to break free at the slightest sign of imbalance.

It seems particularly tone deaf to witness members of America’s elite class glamourising this message when many ‘average American women’ feel that the new abortion laws threaten to make this vision their reality, putting their bodily autonomy in the hands of men.

To be fair to Kylie, we’re sure that she meant no harm. The party looked innocent enough, and it seems everyone had a #grandtime. But we hope the Twitter backlash is enough to make her think twice before dipping into popular culture so flippantly in the future – nothing exists in a vacuum.

Most of all, we hope the backlash will be enough to encourage Miss J to have a read up on Atwood and her feminist creed, which might make her understand why so many women were offended by her decision.

How great would it be if those who so deftly held the attention of millions of young women on social media also had an encyclopaedic knowledge of historic feminist movements, and the impetus to start their own?

You never know, it could happen. We’re counting on you Kylie.

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