An Investigation Into Kylie Jenner's "Copied" Instagram Pose

Some call me the Sherlock Holmes of Instagram

Who came first? Kyle, Anna Ensing or the 19th-century painting?

Accusations against the Kardashian-Jenner clan are nothing new, from cultural appropriation claims to all those skinny tea endorsements. While I’ve made my love for Kim, Khloé, Kourtney, Kylie, Kendall and Kris known to the masses, I also have the ability to call each and every one of them out for behaviour I don’t agree with. But in the latest Kontroversy, let it be said: Kylie Jenner did no wrong. 

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let’s play catch up. 

On Sunday evening, Kylie Jenner posted a photo showing her in ‘vacation mode’. While ‘vacation mode’ for you and I consists of drinking €9 euro pints at an airport bar before walking through the long walkway to a Ryanair flight in Dublin Airport; Jenner’s is fully nude, sitting atop a stone pool deck, legs crossed and breast covered. Semi-nude imagery on this family’s social media is a given but what’s not? A straw hat so wide I struggle to comprehend how she got in and out of doorways. The post has since amassed over 10 million likes on Instagram - again, nothing strange here. 

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vacation mode

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What would become just another popular Instagram photo quickly escalated into a late day mini-scandal when influencer, Amanda Ensing decided to comment on the snap. Now, to be brutally honest, I wasn’t aware Ensing existed until around 2 pm on Monday, but her Instagram feed consists of her laying in hammocks over infinity pools and sipping frozen drinks out of pineapples, so naturally, I was a fan. 

Around a month ago, Ensing went on a “vacation mode” of her own in Mexico, where she also stripped down and crossed her legs, bravely sitting her bare self down on the pavement. Just like Kylie, her fingers sport a mile-long neon manicure, she wears a shell anklet and an equally as dramatic straw hat. 

Ensing commented on Jenner’s post, writing: “This photo looks awfully familiar,” but the world’s youngest billionaire had no patience for her copycat accusations. 

Jenner replied directly to Ensing’s claims of plagiarism with her own burn: “From the words of Kim K ur not on my mood board but I did get my inspo off Pinterest”  Translation: Ensing’s pose was a rather basic one that can be found in droves just by searching #Vacay or #Bali hashtags. 

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But it sparks the question, can anyone really own the act of reclining nude in a straw hat?

Art can be a reflection of our deepest desires, and who doesn’t want to be tan and pants-less on the beach? As far back as 1892, the French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir produced the oil on canvas “Nude in a Straw Hat.” Its title serves as the description: A fair-skinned young woman with red hair covering her chest sits staring over a lake, with no clothes except a flower-adorned boater over her head. 

The Hungarian fashion photographer Martin Munkácsi borrowed Renoir’s title for a 1944 Harper’s Bazaar shoot, which resulted in one of the glossy’s first-ever nude photographs. In the black-and-white shot, a model straddles a log. Her back is to us, making the straw hat is the star of the show.

Just last year, Bella Hadid welcomed summer in Mexico, wearing thong swimsuit bottoms, an over-over sized straw hat, and nothing else. 

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in my leisure suite

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Unfortunately for Ensing, her case against Jenner does not have a crossed leg to stand on. Common sense would imply that no one can claim body language as their own. After all, just about every model who has ever walked a catwalk has been asked to place their hand on their hip as they reached the end of the runway. But Jenner also has the law ruling on her side and no, Kim isn’t involved

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in 2005 that “photographers can’t own the idea of the scene, just [their] specific expression.” 

Every few years, a new “Instagram pose” floods our feeds, with everyone from Rihanna to that girl you sat next to in maths who won’t stop posting about her baby trying it out for themselves. First, it was duck lips to look cuter, then it was Barbie Foot to look taller. Squatting, flipping your hair in a field and smiling with your eyes clothes have all had their days, too.

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ANJA RUBIK / VOGUE PARIS @vogueparis

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Now, it looks like the time has come for us to take off all our clothes and hide under hats. Just please wear SPF, and please be careful of burning your bum.

Main image by @kyliejenner on Instagram

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READ MORE: Kim Kaves To Kultural Appropriation Pressure

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