I think we can all can agree, Kim K isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. She isn’t really at the top of my inspirational role models or innovative thinkers list, but she’s a human being like the rest of us. And at that, a woman who was put in a terrifying and traumatizing situation last week.
But people don’t see Kim as a human woman. They see her as a wax figure of herself, a celebrity shell of a human being, and a target of daily slut-shaming, which devalues her to a vapid whore in the mind of the world (especially the Twitter fingers).
They don’t see a woman in themselves who could get her privacy violated, worry that she’s on the brink of death and might lose her family. It’s too hard to see her as one of us. As a sister, mother or wife in our own lives, because she is a tit-bearing, social media obsessed reality star. But what people are doing to Kim is plain and simple: victim-blaming.
Because of her sexualized status in society, she’s boiled down to a sex object by the rest of the world – a va-va-voom symbol without humanity that we don’t need to try to sympathize, or empathize with. The attitude of: “she’s a brainless whore anyway, not respectable enough to sympathize with.” But this is the exact same thing as telling a rape victim, “it’s your fault you got raped, because that skirt you were wearing was asking for it” We can’t blame her for the trauma she has experienced, and use it as leverage in gossip, with Twitter users going as far as to make comments like, “Maybe you will cover yourself up no! You are disgraceful the way you show off!”
People on social media have gone past saying she deserved it for how she acts and looks, to saying that she probably faked the incident for attention, due to the attention-mongering antics of her and her family. But a shaky recounting of the event where she describes a fear of being raped, never seeing her kids again, and the most recent appearance of her in an XL sweatshirt and baggy jeans show that she was still very much vulnerable and traumatized, regardless of her fame. She should not have to try to convince people she is the victim of a crime, or explain her trauma at all.
Perhaps the one criticism that can be made is that she needs to be more aware of her safety on social media, and how much she shares. Karl Lagerfeld spoke out saying, “You cannot display your wealth and then be surprised”. But people should be able to flaunt all they want – the Chanel mastermind isn’t exactly the most modest dude on the planet. More victim-blaming. But with that flaunting, she needs to learn to be extra cautious, and not expose her location.
If she wants to show off her glamorous lifestyle, she needs to do it in a street-smart, and bulletproof way, where location is practically invisible, and she doesn’t showcase her vulnerabilities on social media by seeing off all her friends from her hotel room, explaining to the entire world of Snapchat that everyone was leaving her alone in the hotel room because she had to wait for her spray tan to dry, while they went out to party.
Either way, the point to take is that this was a terrifying experience for a woman that shouldn’t be dissected into offensive conspiracy theories, even though ironically, this is a woman whose life is based on scandalous drama. She still deserves humanity, as someone who was held at gunpoint, and that doesn’t mean you have to like her as a person, which people seem to have difficulty understanding. And the crime has given way to some more ugly exposure of sexism, which we can always count on the lovely internet for. Just jealous trolls who are jealous that she’s living a better life than they are, probably. Well, we are #TeamKim and we hope her a healthy healing process.