Like the comments of a nagging mom, most criticisms of Kim Kardashian transcend time and logic—they’re baseless, they follow her wherever she goes, and they show no signs of stopping.
“She’s famous but she doesn’t do anything!”
“Her show has no substance!”
“Her butt can’t be real!”
The animosity aimed towards Kardashian hits those different notes most often and most loudly. As a timid fan of Kim and her family (and her show, occasionally), I’d like to diffuse the negative energy against her that somehow finds its way into every part of American and Canadian culture.
Easiest to dispel are the generally rude comments about her body—particularly the authenticity of her curvature. Women face both blatant and subtle pressures to change their bodies throughout their lives. To face further criticism after we succumb to the messages about not being “this” or “that” enough seems deeply unfair. Furthermore, whether or not someone has gone under the knife doesn’t erase their worth, which is something that we easily forget in our everyday conversations about Kim.
In terms of the most common criticisms of Kim, a close second to butt-talk is the berating of her show Keeping up with the Kardashians. Jonah Hill once said, “The fact that the Kardashians could be more popular than a show like Mad Men is disgusting. It’s a super disgusting part of our culture.”
The hyperbole of his statement confuses me, because Keeping up with the Kardashians is pretty harmless. In fact, it’s pretty cool to see a team of six women hang out, care about each other, support each other through hardships, and succeed in their personal and professional lives. As the self-proclaimed best friend of my own younger sister, I love it. When do you ever see unconditional support among women like that in TV? Surely not in Mad Men.
In fact, their problems aren't so different from our own—parents get in the way of tattoos, school is tough, heartache is common. Sure, the lavish details of their troubles may evoke anxieties about the growing wealth disparity in the U.S., but blaming that issue on the Kardashian-Jenner clan is so obviously misguided. Her show may not be educational, as some critics decry, but if you’re turning on the TV in search of learning, I would recommend some changes on your own end—watch an online course or, like, read an encyclopedia.
“She has no talent—Everything she does is for attention!” I guess that makes all of us.
Defending Kimmy in conversation usually ends up like a game of whack-a-mole. The things people have to say are all over the place, and don’t really matter. Because at the end of the day, she’s got her game and her girls and the defining genius of this generation as her husband. It’s the closest thing to “having it all” that I’ve ever witnessed. Whatever she’s doing, she’s doing it right.