She doesn’t bother me in the least, but I can see why some don’t care for Kim Kardashian. She’s merely the most successful symptom of an otherwise greater systematic problem in our culture, yet I understand how Kim could come across as a vapid opportunist with no discernible talent. And yeah, that can be kind of annoying, especially if she’s sort of a media whore to boot.
There are two gripes about the person I like to refer to as “the Beyoncé of nothing” (it’s kind of a compliment) that irk me, though. The first is the disingenuous question (that comes with an obvious insinuation), “What does Kim Kardashian do?” She tells viewers banal stories of about her life in the best clothes on E! Oh, and use her celebrity to hawk various things no one really needs for bountiful amounts of cash. Duh.
The other complaint expressed by Kim’s numerous detractors is more nefarious and always manages to be brought into the conversation anytime something new is being reported about her: That she’s a hoe. A hoe whose purported promiscuity is the source of every single success she enjoys – thereby making her undeserving.
The criticism was particularly nasty when Kim announced her engagement to Kris Humphries. The marriage was a blink-and-you-missed-it-affair, but way too many people suggested she was unworthy of even brief marital bliss based on their assumptions about her sexual history. As soon as her relationship with Kanye West became public, it felt like déjà vu. Even ‘Ye’s rap brethren joined in as Cam’ron took to Twitter to talk about Kim K. by professing “hoes be winning.”
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that her first widespread news headline – a sex tape with Ray J – is the source of that branding, but the complaints are unfair and problematic for varying reasons. Most of which revolve around the sexism attached to the sentiment. Frankly, there’s no real basis to make such a harsh declaration, and even if you don’t care about Kim Kardashian per se, there’s still something wrong with allowing rigid ideas of sexuality to stigmatize someone for their entire lives.
Okay, so she taped herself boning Brandy’s brother, but engaging in sexual voyeurism (of any form) doesn’t necessarily make a whore. If you’re some Puritan who thinks otherwise, chances are you suspect a huge chunk of the people around you are tramps. Present company included.
To some, Kim’s sex tape and Playboy spread put her in the same degree as Karrine “Superhead” Steffans. It’s not as if Kim took her E! show and flipped it into Confessions of a Video Vixen in TV form – offering lots of lazy sex tips to audiences. Even if she did, it would be her prerogative to own her sexuality and use it however she chooses to.
Same goes for the number of men she has dated since becoming a star. Since none of us onlookers are her vagina, I’m assuming the criticism stems from the fact that she dates mainly athletes and rappers. Who knew the right to preference was revocable when you’re a reality star?
As one writer put it, “Men are mad at her ‘cause they can’t [have sex] or own her. Women are mad at her ‘cause she isn’t being a ‘good girl’ and playing by the rules and is still winning.”
True and each side sounds equally ridiculous. How much longer should a boring sex tape that secured a short spell of infamy for Kim haunt her? Would you like it if a photo you sent, scene you played out, text you sent, act you performed, footage you or someone you know filmed was forever hung over your head?
If you want to criticize Kim Kardashian, fine, but try judging her over footage she’s shot within this decade. And while we’re at it, can everyone please stop pretending watching Kim’s few minutes of pleasure ever taught anyone that much about her?
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