Monday, 30 May 2016

The Kardashians Are an Inspiration: Discuss

I can say, hand on heart, that I would be proud if my daughters turned out like the Kardashians. Okay, maybe give or take a little, but I have no concerns saying I would feel like I’d done a good job as a parent if they happened to be similar to Kourtney, Kim or Khloe. Let's get one thing straight first, sure they've done things they probably shouldn't have, but above all else they are HUMAN BEINGS, they are mothers, wives, sisters and daughters just like us and they sure as hell don't deserve to be treated half as badly as they are. In researching this I spent time reading the comments posted on their Instagram photos and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been brought to tears at least once. The things people feel they have the right to say to these women are awful, and the comments are often even directed at their children, which is utterly heart breaking.

First things first, that sex tape. Let's clear this up once and for all. How would you feel being judged mercilessly for something you did a year ago? 5 years ago? How about 10 years ago? The tape was released almost 10 years ago. Not only was it years ago but it was between two consenting adults in a loving and committed relationship, and I continue to be on the side that believes it was released without consent. What makes what happened between Kim and Ray J any different to your average couple? We know none of us are flawless so let's stop tearing down other humans for the same things. Kim is the only one of the pair who ever received any backlash for it, and that's whole other sexism issue I won't go into now.

As for Kim’s “provocative” body image, which to be honest is only provocative if you choose to sexualise it, has a much deeper story to it. As a very young teen Kim would pray before bed or during church that her curves would stop developing. She was bullied at school and was very insecure about her body, despite never being fat or overweight at all. She began developing at an early age and hated the way she looked, she wasn't as slimline as the other girls, and never quite felt comfortable. This is why I see the way she dresses and the pictures she posts as a good thing. She's overcome her insecurities enough to feel proud of her curves, even if it does mean stripping down somewhat publicly. It's a level of pride  I wish more women would have in their bodies, maybe not the semi-naked photos part, especially under 18, but to at least have the same self confidence would be so valuable. As for the body image part in general, there is no denying all three promote a healthy body image. I refuse to back down on that. They have curves, boobs and bums. They are also very open about their exercise routines, they don't promote crazy dieting, in fact they're always eating on tv. They instil the idea of gaining the body they want from being healthy, as well as accepting that their curves are a part of who they are.

We should also definitely talk about the fact that they “don't do anything” or “haven't earned their money”. First of all, they were all told that at 18 they would have to make their own way, their family money would no longer be an option, and that's exactly what happened. Kourtney, the oldest of the group, has a degree from Arizona state university. Following university Kourtney set up her own very successful business, as did the rest of them, finally culminating in the establishment of D.A.S.H stores, a highly successful chain of fashion stores which began long before they became officially famous. They all have a strong input on the business, they certainly don't leave it to others to organise their own company. Before starting this business, they all worked any job they could find that would get them where they wanted to go. Kim found her feet as a personal shopper while Kourtney took up work as a production assistant. Khloe, as the youngest of the group, began home schooling when her sisters graduated and gained her GED (American high school diploma) a year early.

As for not doing anything good for the world, here's a well kept secret. Kim donated all the gifts given to her at her baby showers to a maternity ward at a hospital in an impoverished neighbourhood in Chicago, close to where Kanye grew up. She did this without paparazzi attention or noting it on her social media. Also without any media attention, Kim also spends a lot of time at a children's hospital in Los Angeles. She often visits to give gifts or donations, spend time with the children and especially doing “girly” things with the younger girls like nail painting and makeup. The Kardashians have done a lot for drawing attention to the Arminian people’s suffering and the genocide that took place there, which is very rarely talked of. The Arminian Premier welcomed Kim with open arms, grateful for what she has done for their image. Finally, Kim was also the initiator and executive producer on a documentary called #RedFlag, which aimed to draw more attention to the plight of the mentally ill.

The Kardashians are also an excellent family image. They are a strong family unit, even if they do experience more drama than the usual. Through all their drama they’ve supported each other endlessly, in some cases they've even allowed their siblings to live with them. When Lamar, Khloe’s estranged husband, fell ill the entire family rallied around him, despite their separation being on uncivil terms. Khloe withdrew their divorce proceedings until he was well again. Their compassion for a man who was once part of the family is inspiring, and something we all could learn from. Similarly, after the end of Scott Disick’s relationship with Kourtney the entire family still kept him close, supporting him through his troubles and putting the needs of his 3 children first. We’ve all seen Jeremy Kyle, it's clear that this could have worked out so much worse, but the truth is they're just good people. As a unit, the women show a supportive group, a very important image in a world where men are determined to pit females against each other.

I hope that some of it, preferably all of it, has had an impact on the way you see these women. That's what they are first and foremost, they are women, genuine human beings and they deserve to be treated this way even if their life looks different to yours. 

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