Full disclosure: I originally centered this whole article around Sinead O’Connor’s “cunt” remark from a while back, regarding Kim Kardashian West appearing on the cover of the previous issue of Rolling Stone—bursting bustily out of her mock sailor ensemble. However, there’s something much bigger happening that completely eclipses Sinead O’Rebellion’s latest gasp for relevancy: People may actually like Kim Kardashian.
It’s been a rocky road for our favorite sex tape star turned superwoman and her family. As their ringleader Kim, she’s always been that girl in high school who you’d suck your teeth at when she sashays down the hall, yet when she says hi to you you’re all smiles thinking, “I fucking hate how pretty and nice she is.” You all know the story by now. Kim was the mysterious brunette bestie of Paris Hilton and the daughter of OJ’s late defense attorney Robert Kardashian. Her mom, Kris Jenner, married Olympiad Bruce Jenner, and their combined family made the Brady Bunch look like a demolished orphanage. In 2007, a four-year-old sex tape with Ray “Brandy’s Brother” J surfaced, causing Kim to do what most sensible budding entrepreneurs would do: she got herself a reality show on E! called Keeping Up with the Kardashians. It’s been Kardashian-mania ever since.
Over the last eight years, there’s been a layered trifecta of vitriol leveled at Kim in particular, and well, why not? She was the one who dropped this family upon us. In Kim’s instance, the issues can be attributed to the following categories: A) Her sex tape, B) Her numerous, albeit aesthetically successful, plastic surgeries, or C) Her overexposure. I’ve read plenty of reported media and numerous comments made about Kim on social media, and anything negative falls into one of these three buckets. Are you a comment troll who just likes to call her a slut? Then you, my friend, fall into category A. Do you just think, “she’s so fake”? Category B, of course. Are you just plain sick of her and her family (that includes Kanye West)? Category C. These are the non-stop droplets in the shit storm that has surrounded Kim K since she crawled out from under Ray J and became her own unsinkable powerhouse.
But here’s the caveat: the more you speak them all into existence, the more you prove your low-key adoration.
Kim Kardashian West is currently worth over $85 million. She became the central figure of her own TV show and all of its 3000 spinoffs, has DASH stores nationwide, clothing lines, bit roles in movies that nobody cares about, but fuck it she got paid, cosmetics lines, children’s wear, and she released an entire book with pictures—which she took—of her fucking face and people bought it. And she brought all of her sisters with her (including Kris and Caitlyn). She survived the Kris Humphries 72-day marriage debacle—which was her worst bout of bad press since the sex tape—and went on to marry the most controversial figure in music and have one of his spawn, and yes, we all know that she’s currently baking the other. KUWTK’s ratings have ebbed and flowed, dropping significantly earlier this year before regaining steam thanks to Caitlyn Jenner, but turn on E! right now and a re-run episode is probably airing, and Ms. Kardashian West gets paid for every one of them.
And let’s turn the lens onto Khloe, the sister who oozes “I Don’t Give A Fuckness.” Koks was the one who always challenged them all on TV. The contrarian spouting sailor slang, unapologetically fucking rappers, and will point out the plastic surgeries of others like she’s Lisa Rinna’s doctor. Her Complex cover story sealed her fate as the baddest bitch, as she was brutally honest about everything that the media tries to capitalize on. She was like Eminem in 8 Mile in that final battle scene, where he pours out all of his insecurities, so the haters have nothing to expose. By saying whatever the hell she wants (including somewhat defending an underage Kylie’s romance with Tyga), she represents the every girl who wants that truck driver mouth. She’s our new Samantha Jones. Deal with it.
Times are certainly changing for the Kardashians. As Kim’s personal life steadies to an even keel, the other members of the family are inheriting some the heat, Kendall and Kylie Jenner are the new it girls the internet’s obsessed with microscoping, while Khloe still catches shade for her life decisions, and Kourtney’s failed domestic partnership with Scott “Lord” Disick has the social media lemmings in a frenzy. Kim is almost an afterthought now—although her public support for Caitlyn Jenner has garnered her a huge amount of praise.
The de-facto matriarch of the Kardashian empire still gets her fair share of hatred from headline trolls. An example just popped up recently, where Kim has North West taking lessons in stretching and kid aerobics, but headlines projected a different story—"Kim Hires Personal Trainer for North West"—so went the spin. And yes, she’s posed nude for Paper and Love, but part of her brand appears to be posing half-naked in photo shoots, and for a woman who actively struggles with psoriasis, someone out there is inspired by that nudity. It’s a rollercoaster ride of good versus evil, where everyone is buying a token.
If you are one of the apparent many who still detests Kim and the Kardashians, a question to ask yourself is why do they bother you so much? A now 12-year-old sex tape and alleged ass implants are not viable reasons when every other person in America now has either one or both of those. It’s a little late in the game to maintain sour grapes for a woman who has proven her staying power with her family and works pretty damn hard for the bed of money she sleeps on. She started with a camcorder and finished with a private jet. Talk about #goals.
So maybe it’s time to cease fire on this pop culture icon and her squad. Her celebrity has exceeded the original celebutante, Paris Hilton—who by the way also tried it with a sex tape and failed miserably. At this stage in Kim K’s career, you either love her, or you love to hate her. Thing is, either way, it’s still all love.
Kathy Iandoli didn’t mind Kim Kardashian’s hit single “Jam (Turn It Up).” Find her bopping on Twitter @kath3000.