Okay, I know the title of this blog is bold and controversial and I am not going all out there to defend Kim Kardashian and putting her on some saint worthy pedestal but I am going to draw attention to the public’s strong, negative opinion on her. I understand that there are definite drawbacks to feminism when it comes to celebrity figures such as Kim Kardashian. We have to acknowledge she has a slight responsibility as a role model (and although we can advocate pro-choice behaviour) regarding certain aspects in the celeb industry, there is a noticeable difference between promoting a healthy body image, and promoting sex. It is no shock horror that Kim profits from her sexuality, still were is the fine line between sexual liberation and sexually exploited? I am not calling Kim perfect; I believe there is no such thing as a perfect feminist, or in fact a perfect person. We are all contributing in some way towards the flaws in our society therefore we cannot solely blame one singular person on an issue much bigger than that, although it’s so easily done.
After reading her Confidence issue in Elle Magazine I was somewhat inspired. I think having that confidence within you is amazing, and rare to see, which is why we shouldn’t hate on people’s shine. What has motivated me to write this blog post is the constant troll comments aimed at Kim that I believe are all feminist topics (hating in general is wrong, people). So here are my reasons on why your reasons to hate Kim are sexist:
1) She’s a bad mother argument;
This is such a bold comment to make. I don’t personally know how Kim Kardashian is as a mother, however to claim she is a bad one is to assume we need to call social services to remove North from her unsafe environment. This is obviously ridiculous. If your reasoning for this is because she travels for her business then yes this is sexist. If this was the case of a father who travelled for work, would he be considered a bad father? Wake up to this double standard society. We have got to stop calling mothers lousy when fathers have the luxury of being called amazing for the exact same reason when returning home with presents. This expectation on women to be a stay-at-home-mum was, is and always will be sexist, (I am not stating that being a stay-at-home-mum is wrong, I believe it is a personal choice. Same way it is a personal choice for a male to be a stay-at-home-dad). If it is your own personal belief that hiring help to help look after your child whilst you’re away is also equal to being a bad parent then you as a parent don’t have to. It is your decision as a parent; the same way as others who do hire help is theirs. Shaming women who want their career after giving birth is wrong. We need to stop criticising business mothers and stop congratulating stay at home dads unless you’re equally criticising business fathers and congratulating stay at home mums. Otherwise you’re just being sexist, even positive sexism is still sexism, congratulating a man looking after his child is like congratulating your flatmate when they finally done their dishes (N.B not aimed at you Hannah, you good).
2) She needs to respect herself argument;
What classes as disrespecting yourself? Tight clothes, loose clothes, short skirts, low cut tops, nudity? I got to just shake my head; these not only cause self-esteem issues but fuel the ‘she was asking for it’ statements. Just in case you didn’t know NOBODY asks for sexual harassment, rape or attacks and to insist a public figure like Kim to have no respect due to cleavage or nudity, insinuates this belief that the amount of flesh you show correlates with rape attacks or sexual assaults. No, just no.
This idea of shaming someone who has no self-respect, to me is so damaging. I consider to have no self-respect is to have low self-esteem. A lot of young girls grow up making bad decisions through peer pressure and desire to be accepted, due to low self-esteem and ‘no self-respect’. We speak of this lack of self-respect so negatively, as if people chose to disrespect themselves. Now does that make sense? My own personal definition of this ‘lack of respect’ is to willingly do something you don’t want to do. To be shamed over something that is probably eating you up inside is wrong and to do it to others is worse. If we spoke less of this ridiculous ‘respect standards’ and actually talked to one another, maybe then people will not feel pressured into decisions (especially the younger generation). I believe that Kim Kardashian has the upmost respect for herself and I find it so empowering how she has still managed to stay positive with herself through all this hate. I find it sad and extremely sexist to insist she has no respect. As you can tell, I’m not a big fan of this shame game ya’ll playing.
3) General hate: i.e not that pretty, fat etc.
Like many people my age, Mean Girls is a fave among films to watch. I stand by my favourite quote: “Calling somebody else fat won't make you any skinnier". If that is all you learn from that film then please cherish it. I feel like this bullet point is self-explanatory however, here I shall go; trying to bring someone down by insults is just plain mean. And as the majority of the time these judgements are aimed at appearance, yes it is sexist. Beauty standards are ridiculous within our society and to call someone ‘ugly’ or even ‘not that pretty’ is not going to make you feel any better about yourself so why do it? Beauty standards are a topic I’m currently delving in within my art projects and it’s so complex I don’t even know where to begin. But one thing I know for sure; everybody is victim to it. Girls you have got to be beautiful and boys you have got to be strong enough to fight away the bad monsters in this world.
I am sick and tired of comparisons, if you’re not getting compared to the girls in the ads, you’re getting compared to people you know, the people you are friends with, even yourself. Comparison is like an A class drug we inject every morning before we leave the house and I wonder why I have anxiety leaving mine. Beauty standards are so high that even Kim Kardashian receives hate. Now that shit cray. Stop trying to bring each other down. Just think ‘am I prepared to hear the insult I’m about to give’, even something as “innocent” as ‘I don’t think she’s even thaaaattt pretty.’ That isn’t going to bring any validation to how you feel about yourself. I am not going to act all acquitted here, I know in the past, and recent past at that, I have more than likely made negative comments towards people however noticing it in ourselves is the best place to start changing. Sometimes (I’m going to go all out and say all the time) acknowledging the beauty in others enhances the beauty in ourselves. Don’t complain about beauty standards and then place the same expectations on others.
4) She’s fake argument;
Now this fits in perfectly with my previous point. So, let us get this straight; we have high expectations of beauty and then if we go above and beyond to fit this structure you’re then branded fake. Yes, there is no winning. So not only are these beauty standards so ridiculously high, you basically got to naturally fit them. Society ain’t got no time for ‘fake’ or what I like to call another way to shame women. If you’re not born a polished diamond honey the world has no time for you. You’re either lazy or narcissistic. And men wonder why women can’t take compliments.
5) The way she dresses Baby North argument;
This completely baffles me how this is such a current view people have. No way do people seriously still believe girls wear pink and boys wear blue. Well, if that doesn’t scream ‘WE NEED FEMINISM’ then I don’t know what will. Stop this stereotypical association of colours to genders, it is not cool. Why, on any level do we need our little girls to be girly, pink and our little princesses? I think the way North is dressed is so adorable and if we are already starting to judge this little baby at this young age then we need to re-evaluate ourselves. This idea of raising our girls to be pretty, petite and pink is associated with tales of damsels needing to be rescued by our Prince Charming’s (it really is not healthy). I don’t understand why we still carry this stereotype within children and don’t comprehend the correlation between children gender roles within colours and toys with adult based stereotypes of job roles and pay schemes. When we look at toys aimed at girls including dolls and make-up sets we wonder why the woman dominated work places are mainly teaching, nurses, or cleaners. While our boys have constructive toys, including building, cars and logical games leading to more constructive, logical thinking jobs. Not only is this sexist to insist our girls wear pink, but criticising a child’s appearance already is extremely damaging. Tut, tut society. Tut, tut.
6) Ulterior motives: fame whore argument;
This little lady can do no good, no matter what she does it all leads down to her motives of fame. Even if that is the case, she is still doing good. How can we judge someone who is essentially helping with different causes (at least 24 causes and 17 charities)? And how can we assume this is all for an ulterior motive, and why so specifically with Kim Kardashian? When other famous figures stand up for causes it is deemed ‘great’. Is it because she got famous without a ‘real’ talent or because she works hard to stay famous? Are these sins? As all of us are a part of this celebrity culture, again we cannot solely blame Kim for wanting to stay at top. Please someone answer these questions as I am shocked at peoples own hypocrisy ‘Why doesn’t she just donate?’ Hello people, do you donate? If every person who question why people should just donate, donated, we would raise quite a bit. And by donating, I don’t just mean financially, you can donate blood this Christmas or your time, a nice hot drink to a homeless person. Charity doesn’t hit you finically, and not just rich and famous people are obliged to give to charity. If you are so concerned about celebs with ulterior motives here are a few charities you may want to get involved in which Kim Kardashian is already helping towards:
American Foundation for AID Research
Diamond Empowerment Fund
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Elton John AIDS Foundation
I Heart My Girlfriends
Make It Right
Mattel Children’s Hospital
Operation Once in a Lifetime
Race to Erase MS
Skin Cancer Foundation
The Salvation Army
True Colors Fund
Or you can register with your nearest doctors to donate blood, it doesn't take too much time out your day and it can make a difference to someone's life!
7) Whore argument;
‘We have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores’. -Another Mean Girls quote to set this point off. Now let me understand completely this double standard we have -girls are whores and men are… yeah exactly. We have no insult for men here and even if we called a man a ‘whore’ it really is the least insulting thing for him. Do you know why? Because (again) we hold ridiculous standards of purity for women, there is no tale of Virgin Joseph ‘cause that’s just silliness. We expect women to be innocent and pure. But what we don’t realise (again) this is directing shame towards women. I myself don’t like to talk about sex and related topics; however we (including me) need to break this taboo. Guess what world women enjoy sex; we similar to men are sexual beings and have the same impulses and hormones. The only difference is women are made to feel ashamed over their sexual encounters and men are rewarded with ‘lad’ remarks. Now, I don’t believe Kim is a whore, I don’t believe anyone is a whore. Shaming Kim over past relationships is wrong and I don’t think it is anyone’s business at all to discuss it.
Relating back to ‘respect’, a lot of people insist she needs to respect her husband and apparently her body is only for him. Nice way to insist possession within gender roles. I’m pretty sure that both Kim and Kanye respect each other mutually.
8) She got famous off a sex tape argument;
I wasn’t going to miss this one out, the joke every unfunny person thinks is funny. All conspiracy aside, isn’t it sad how we exploit someone’s personal life (even celebrities, and reality TV stars who put a lot of their life on TV doesn’t justify this invasion of privacy). I find it crazy how when a figure loved by many such as Jennifer Lawrence and her nudes were leaked, uproar (and quite rightly so) was raised around social media such as Twitter insisting the audacity to invade someone’s privacy like that was beyond wrong. However, when it happens to someone like Kim who got recognised because of it, it suddenly deemed okay to hate on her and not the fact she also had her privacy invaded. The video tape was leaked February 2007 four years after it was filmed in 2003; Ryan Seacrest then approached the Kardashian Family in October 2007 for a reality TV show. Kim filed a lawsuit against Vivid Entertainment who titled the Video ‘Kim K Superstar’ however Kim later settled for $5 million. Now this is where the ‘how dare she’ and conspiracy of ‘she leaked the tape’ comments are made however you are all looking at this in a completely damaging perspective. People make mistakes, people trust the wrong people and sometimes you got to make the best out of a shitty situation. I believe that is what happened (maybe I’m naïve), I’m pretty sure those few months between February and October Kim Kardashian hated life, just because it became a positive (bad publicity is good publicity shiz) doesn’t redeem the situation for her. Numerous times Kim has said she regrets the tape however she acknowledges it got her noticed –the Butterfly Effect film comes to mind. What everybody needs to stop and think is, yes she got recognised through this invasion of privacy, but she overcome it and now 16 years later she is one of the most talked about celebrity, reality figures. That is one impressive sex tape or maybe JUST MAYBE it has nothing to do with that and more to do with her (and credit to Kris Jenner’s) business skills.
"It's taken me a long time to be happy with my body and for my confidence to grow what it is today. I grew up when the body to have was the tall, slim, supermodel one, like Cindy Crawford's. No one looked like me. It's good to break the mould and recreate one. I'm an Armenian Girl, I have shape, and it turned out people liked that. That makes me feel good about myself and about other women for being so supportive. I am a confident woman, but I didnt just arrive confident - it has built over the years and that is a big part of who I am now."- KIM ON CONFIDENCE
So the cliff notes version is stop criticising, shaming and judging Kim Kardashian because our attitude towards her reflects our attitude towards women in general. And a little note to all my ladies who truly feel me, please don’t let society crumple your confidence, and please don’t be the reason to crush others.