Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Kim Kardashian and the Case of the Embarrassing Lemons

By: Andrea McGinty

I'm obsessed with the Kardashians. I've watched every single episode more times than I'd like to admit. I follow all of them on Instagram and Twitter. And not just Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe, but Kris, Kendall, Kylie, Scott, the Jenners, their hairstylists and makeup artist bffs, even Rob! And I don’t just care about the gossipy parts of their lives, either. I care about them as people. I care about their health and well being. I cry during their wedding episodes. I genuinely hope they are all truly happy.

On occasion, when I let my obsession slip, the reaction is usually about the same, "What about feminism? What about morals? What about the future of America, our children?!" It is not unusual as an unapologetic feminist to have to defend my thoughts and feelings to people that are constantly trying to call my bluff by catching me in a contradiction, but it's different with the Kardashians. It's different with Kim.

And I know what you're going to say,"but, Paris Hilton?" You’ve got a point, but I think we can all agree that Paris didn't inspire anywhere near the long-term, deeply committed, brutish vitriol that follows Kim. Paris had a brief career in television/music/whatever else rich, pretty people do with their money and connections. She was mocked, she was photographed, and she flitted off into lower level stardom somewhere (probably Las Vegas for club openings, or one of her Mad Men grandpa’s 50 million hotels.)

But people HATE Kim. They truly loathe Kim. They hate her career, her relationships, her family for being related to her. They hate her thoughts and her feelings. They mocked her second marriage and are fucking disgusted by her third. They would have hated the first one, too, but didn't know they could back then. Don't even get them started on "Bound 2" or Vogue, Jesus. They threatened to cancel their subscriptions in the least important boycott of all time.

Why the Kardashians? I mean, how many other obscenely rich celebrisomethings do we let slide for less than contributory existences? And so quickly we forget Season 6, Episode 7 when Bruce takes the girls to a homeless shelter on Skid Row. Eyes are rolled at a whole slew of housewives, but nothing comes close to the hate lashed at the Kardashian clan. And why Kimmy? If is she so horrendous, why don't we just forget about her? What is it about Kim that accounts for her continued haters? Why won’t she fade away into the land of ribbon cuttings and VH1?

IMHO, it's pretty clear. People hate Kim because she had sex, filmed it, people saw it, and it didn’t ruin her life. People hate Kim because she got some fucking embarrassing lemons taken from her and put on the internet, and she turned her lemonade into a Bentley. And before all you “but, Paris” me, yeah, they hated her for it too, but she also fell off. What is there to hate if you aren’t out there everyday rubbing it in our face about how sexed you are and how little you care about it? When I Googled to see if someone else already wrote the same exact thing, I read that Paris didn’t transcend because she kept it dirty in the streets as well as the sheets, while Kim just did the latter. I’m not sure how much this matters, though. I think people hate Kim because she had sex and didn’t go away like she was told.

We’ve been sold sex since the day we were born. As women we’ve had sexy role models shoved down our throats and been told the horrors of dumpy spinsterdom. Barriers were broken down, the media blah blah blah, less conservative, and here we are. My generation has sex and doesn’t feel bad about it. We don’t run and hide and think WWJD. We fuck and we go about our day, and this makes us horrifying. We’re uncontrollable. If you can’t control our bodies, then what can you control? And in this aspect Kim is no longer just an irritating celebrity, but a threat. She isn’t an after school special on how your life will fall apart if you break your chastity pact with your dad, she’s a success. A light hearted, rich as fuck success with the husband and the baby and the perfume deal. When she had the choice she sold her sex for the exact amount she wanted to sell it, no more no less. And for that I think she’s rad, and deserving of respect, and her face on my iPhone case.