EXPOSING THE OVER-EXPOSED : KIM KARDASHIAN

Yesterday, in Paris, Kim Kardashian was tied up, gagged, thrown in a bathtub, and robbed of 1o million dollars in jewelry by four men disguised as police officers.

Yup, you read that right. But, how does something like this even happen? Where were her body guards? Her security team? Her glam team? Her reality TV show crew? How did she escape? Who found her? Were her kids with her? Is she okay?

Virtually every news source covered the story, even CNN. As a media frenzy followed the incident, more and more questions were raised. Was this a publicity stunt? Another “Lochtemess”?

The public had their doubts about the validity of the reported stories. But more than that, the public had no empathy. Comments ranged from “who cares” to rape jokes and even death wishes. These types of comments were so common, they prompted responses from other celebrities.

Why is wishing death on another human perceived as okay? Why was aggression, especially of the sexual variant, the popular response? Is Kim Kardashian no longer a human? Moreover, is she now public property?

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She is arguably one of the most powerful celebrities in the entire world. Her products – TV shows, mobile apps, clothing, books, etc. – are consumed by millions of people. Even those who claim to hate her,”keep up” with her. Yet, when something terrible happens to her, she receives very little empathy.

The Kim Kardashian empire is built on over-exposed-ness. She has done a tremendous job of reclaiming her sexuality and her body, through magazine covers, Instagram posts, and even her husband’s music videos. She has shown the public so much of her personal and private life, that the public now seems to believe they own her, that she is, in fact, property. Possibly, more than any other celebrity, Kim K is criticized to the point of harassment.

Regardless of whether she posts nude selfies, speaks up about social justice issues (like BLM or the Armenian Genocide), or even gets robbed at gun point (i.e. Paris incident) – she always seems to be in the wrong in the eyes of the general public.

0630_forbes-cover-072616-celebrity-kardashian_1000x1292The general consensus seems to be that Kim Kardashian is a talentless waste of fame. And yet, she has 84 million Instagram followers, her reality show is on its 12th season, and her mobile app alone has brought in $100 million since its launch in 2014. Clearly, somebody is lying. A lot of people are, actually.

Aside from being the person we love to hate, who is Kim K? For one, she is an undeniably successful business woman. Lots of people have had their sex tape leaked, even more have had their own reality shows, only Kim Kardashian has managed to build a multi-media, multi-million dollar empire from/through it all. Give credit where credit is due, she is a badass businessperson.

Does this mean Kim K is a saint who deserves no criticism, whatsoever? Absolutely not. 

Let’s criticize her, but let’s do it for the right reasons.

Perhaps, we can talk about how she has normalized plastic surgery culture to the point of turning voluptuous body types into a caricature. Let’s talk about how her airbrushed images contribute to the misrepresentation of human bodies in the media. Or, how about the numerous ads on her Instagram for “waist trainers” and diet pills – all of which are bogus, dangerous, AND targeted to young women.

Let’s discuss how all of these things go against messages of body acceptance that Kim K often claims to support. Let’s call her out on it. Let’s expose her hypocrisy.

But, for the love of anything, let’s not wish her death or rape when she has a
gun to her head.

 

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EXPOSING THE OVER-EXPOSED : KIM KARDASHIAN

6 thoughts on “EXPOSING THE OVER-EXPOSED : KIM KARDASHIAN

  1. I personally love Kim K because of the reasons you mentioned. She took a leaked sex tape that was intended to exploit her and flipped the switch to make millions off her empire. Her and her family are incredible at branding and marketing. Aside from her being stunning and sexy, she truly is an amazing business woman… but let’s face it, the world doesn’t want women to be both. You can either be pretty/sexy or smart/successful but you can;t be both. That’s why people hate her so much, because she is powerful and intimidating in every way. Comment trolls who wished death and rape on her are absolutely deplorable. Shame on them. Keep up the good work Kim.

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  2. I agree that wishing Kim harm (especially rape and violence) is not the way to address her apparent harm to society. That’s called perpetuating rape culture, or perpetuating rape as an appropriate punishment for bad behavior. It’s sickening. But trolls on the internet will do what they do best. I think, more importantly, when it comes to Kim Kardashian, we have to look at her fame introspectively. She herself is making money off of her fame, yes. But she is doing it by giving us what we want. We pay her to do what she does with her body. We love it. Why? Beats me. But I think it’s unwise to blame her for the society we live in. She’s just cashing in on our vices — healthy or not.

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  3. I loved this post. When the news first broke out, everyone’s reaction was “did you hear what happened to Kim?” A few days later, it became “how do you think she got away with planning her own fake robbery?” I think in many ways, her exposure to the public has allowed her to be vulnerable to such attacks. But, in every sense, both you and James Corden are right. It does not matter what she has done, or how public she has made her life be. It is inhumane to wish death upon someone. And to those who do, let’s hope Trump’s disturbing mentality hasn’t gotten too much to your head.

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  4. PolitcalBlogger says:

    Although many, including myself, can be frustrated with her materialistic perspective and acceptance of plastic surgery (nothing wrong with it, just don’t make it seem as a normal thing) she should be respected for the empire she has built. Like you said, she flipped the power dynamics from her exposed tape to something far greater – a real career for her and all her family.
    They’re literally coming up with a new reality show every week, and for each and every one of them. Although it’s incredibly annoying, you got to respect how they’ve put themselves in that position to get those offers.
    Nice post!

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  5. Honestly, not a huge Kardashian fan. But I agree with PalatablePolitics in that the family’s success stems directly from our society’s craving for that “over-exposedness.” The sketch of her career trajectory that Allison lays out illustrates the ultimate feminist power grab, and as a woman I can’t help but really, really respect that. My great grievances obviously lie with the larger voyeurism she helps us feed on, but that’s far out of Kim’s control and all the more reason for her to reap its benefits. So when she is victim to such a foul and traumatizing episode like this, its absurd to imply her career or life choices should bear weight on how we sympathize. Treating this incident as any less than an outrage is anti-feminist and unprincipled – there are far more appropriate times and spaces in which to discuss her social influence.

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  6. So glad you wrote about this! I was planning on it, forgot about it, and remembered it all again when news broke out this week regarding Kanye’s hospitalization from extreme exhaustion. Many loyal fans are hoping he gets better soon so that he can continue his tour and they can get their money’s worth. Less forgiving people are saying similar comments to those following Kim’s burglary: “Do you think it’s a publicity stunt? Did he talk about Trump at his last concert just to get a rise out of people? Is he going through a mental breakdown?” These people are only human. When traumatic events happen to them, they not only have to suffer the ramifications of it being publicized, but also are forced to plan how they are to act, report, and publicly reflect on such events. Kim is an extremely strong woman who pushes the boundaries of sexuality and loving yourself so that girls, even those who hate her, can feel comfortable doing the same. I don’t even care that she had plastic surgery. She can do what she wants to her body. She has thoughts and feelings that nobody bothers to listen to over their own projections (and airbrushed representations) of what kind of person they think she is. Nobody deserves those kind of threats, even if they’re from trolls. They are human beings and thus are responsibly for not acting like animals.

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