I upgraded my cable package a few years ago and have been keeping up with the Kardashians for a few seasons now. I’m not sure what happened the first few years, but thanks to E! marathons I am certain that I’m up to speed. I have no problems admitting that I’m a fan of the show. It only comes second to my beloved Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane. I thoroughly enjoy watching both shows for very similar reasons:
1) I enjoy celebrating women’s stories.
2) They represent different models of quirky and loving families.
3) The women are ambitious, business savvy, and, most importantly, they run the show.
Before people start discrediting the shows and highlighting all of their flaws, let me be clear: I understand that the shows are not perfect, they perpetuate consumerist culture, and often times promote very questionable priorities. At the end of the day, however, they provide me with a much-needed escape from my reality.
I keep missing the first part of Kim’s Fairytale Wedding but I was able to see Part II a few days after it aired. Yes, it is ridiculous to spend an estimated 10 million dollars on a wedding reception when billions of people around the world are hungry. Yes, it is outrageous to sport an allegedly two million dollar engagement ring when governments around the world are crumbling. Indeed, thousands of people are sleeping in tents protesting the greed that has always dominated our governments and corporate America. It is painfully clear that Kim’s reality is just not reality. Period. However, Kim is not the first to continue living life in lala land. She will also not be the last.
I watched Part II of Kim’s Fairytale Wedding and being the hopeless romantic that I am, cried when they (I mean, the bishop) exchanged their vows. I thought they would last at least a year. Just like anyone else who follows the show, I saw all of the red flags. As cute as they were together, it was painfully clear that they were not compatible. Most troubling is how often he would try to crush her spirit pointing out her flaws, reminding her, for example, that no one would care about her in a few years. I often found myself wondering, “has he met this woman?” She is clearly in the business of being in the spotlight. It’s her shit. Ours too, since we keep tuning in for more: watching marathon episodes, reading the tabloids, and clicking on all internet articles regarding the latest Kardashian controversy.
We all knew the marriage would end. I had countless conversations with my girlfriends about it. I was, however, surprised that it ended so abruptly. More shocking, though, are the strong reactions to the news. People are just being mean, as if they’re the ones that got dumped. They’re lashing out at her from every angle and I honestly think it’s just unnecessary. The woman got caught up. She bought into the ideas that we have been spoon fed for years: there is nothing worse than being a single woman in your thirties, marriage equals “happily ever after,” and when you finally get to plan a wedding – lose your damn mind because it is YOUR day and you DESERVE to be a princess.
As sad as all of this is, Kim has reminded us of a few things we keep forgetting:
1) Sometimes love is not enough
2) Marriage does not equal happily ever after
3) Expensive weddings do not equal happily ever after
4) It is never healthy to have too many people in your business
I hope that this motivates folks to reevaluate all of the unhealthy messages forced on us about relationships, love and happiness. Quite frankly, I’m tired of how mean people are being and all of the things they are accusing her of. She is, at the end of the day, only human.
Kim, if you are reading this, I offer some unsolicited advice:
1) Stop working/making appearances. I understand that you are about your money, girl. But you are now legitimately over-exposed. Take a cue from the Sex and the City movie and escape with your closest girls to a paparazzi free location and grieve. Grieve, process, and repeat.
2) Stop talking to the cameras. I understand that you are a reality star but you aren’t filming now. The more you talk, the more people will feel like you owe them an explanation. You don’t. Tell your mama to stop talking to. She isn’t helping the situation.
3) We just need a break. It will take some time for us to heal, but we’ll be okay. Time apart will be good for us. In time we will be able to work on building a healthy relationship. Once we’re at a better place, we can be friends and we’ll continue to keep up with you.
Okay, I have procrastinated enough and should get back to my job because my reality is that I have rent and student loans to pay.
P.S. I genuinely felt compelled to write a piece that reminded us of Kim’s humanity. If you are interested in reading more takes on Kim and her divorce, I recommend fellow feminist Jennifer L. Pozner’s piece, “Why Kim Kardashian’s Divorce is Good for America – and Women.”