There is the type of celebrity where the circus, the fame, and the surrounding stories seem to eclipse the individual, destroying whatever loose fabric there might be between the myth and the person. We have no problem imagining certain celebrities as humans. Anne Hathaway, for instance, is awkward and charming, and feels like one of our pals who just happened to "make it." On the other hand, there is Kim Kardashian — like the Paris Hilton she eclipsed, she isn't just an entity but an entire brand, a phenomenon, and a whirlwind of paparazzi and endorsements. And she seems to believe it all.
In a fairly revealing interview with Britain's The Guardian — where she talks frankly about the O.J. Simpson trial her father was a part of, the vitriol she as a character receives, and her obsession with fame — she let slip an earnest, but nonetheless horrible, mistake. When asked whether Kim Kardashian needs to feed the beast of fame in order to stay relevant, she responded:
"Not really. We had done filming our season at that point, so we decided to film for the wedding. And that was a decision that he and I made together. But I think that, with any decisions in life [brace yourselves], like, I spoke to a girl today who had cancer and we were talking about how this is such a hard thing for her, but it taught her a big lesson on who her friends are and so much about life. She's 18. And I was like, that's how I feel."
One can imagine what Kardashian meant to say was something along the lines of: "Sometimes, you have to learn things the hard way. In my charity work, I spoke to a young girl with cancer, and these difficult things define you. And while a failed TV marriage is nothing like cancer, I understand how life-altering events can be responsible for teaching you lessons." But that isn't what she said. What she said, instead, was comparing the trauma of cancer to the trauma of going through divorce on television. And that (get ready for a no-duh statement) is not okay.
If this is an indicator of Kardashian being grossly out of touch with appropriateness, it's because she is. The story of Kimmy K. seems to be self-perpetuating — the tabloid media insists on holding her up as a semi-role model, a fashionable face who is a tastemaker — and the fact that she creates headlines legitimizes her influence. (The irony that we are continuing this process by writing about her, or "feeding the beast" as The Guardian says, isn't lost on us.) The shows, the endorsements, the front-row invitations, and our (admitted) continued fascination continue to prove to her that there is nothing wrong with this lifestyle.
As she tells the paper, "I have no idea why (people hate me). I work really hard — I have seven appointments tomorrow before 10 a.m. I'm constantly on the go. I have a successful clothing line. A fragrance. I mean, acting and singing aren't the only ways to be talented." And is it our fault that she really believes that there is talent in simply being "write-about-able," or is she correct? How can we really fault her if she actually compares her 72-day marriage to cancer...and her popularity doesn't drop? Is there value in being so absurd that we can't turn away (and people, in fact, flock to her folds)?
Photo: Via The Guardian