Sunday, February 24, 2013

Surprising Lessons On Feminism From Kim Kardashian

Act #55:  Stop judging our sisters.

I hate reality television.  With a passion.  I’m in no way judging those who subscribe to it.  I get how fueling one’s curiosity with raw, intimate moments of people you wouldn't normally have much in common with, could be exhilarating.  Even addictive.   The reason I personally have such a disdain for reality television is simply because awkward silence makes me uncomfortable.   I believe that if I am going to pay for satellite service, make the time to turn on the television, the programming should be seamless and beautiful, and should not make me squirm in my skin.  Naturally, my disdain for reality television also lends itself to a disdain for reality stars.  I used to cringe when I saw Paris Hilton or Jessica Simpson take up valuable media space in news outlets.  I cringed even more when Kim Kardashian became one of the top five most Googled "celebrities".  I mean, at the surface she is basically the anti-me.  Her fur coats.  How her self-worth seems to always be tied in with her man flavor of the day.  The fact that she has a gazillion man flavors of the day.  The way she purposely accentuates the more well-endowed parts of her body to call  attention to herself.  The fact that I've never really heard her speak, although I would imagine a whiny, nasal, high-pitched sound coming from her mouth.  For the longest time I imagined that her brain must be the size of a small, bright, green pea. 

Although I've not publicly declared this in any way, until now of course, this lent I'm making an effort to give up judgement.  Of women.  Particularly women who seemingly have absolutely nothing in common with me.  As a feminist, I've come to recognize that often times we are our own worst enemies.  And that in our haste to demand equal rights, equal pay, equal treatment, we sometimes alienate those who really might need to join the sisterhood the most.  So today, I give you.... Kim Kardashian, the feminist:
She's a fierce female entrepreneur.  She's worth an estimated $38 million dollars, has an empire of reality shows, her own clothing line, her own perfume, and countless endorsements.  She is the top earning reality star, bringing in $6 million dollars a year.  Clearly, her brain is not the size of a pea.
She embraces her heritage.  As an Armenian-American, she is a strong supporter of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and on numerous occasions, she encouraged President Obama to consider its acknowledgement. On April 21, 2011, days before the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Kardashian wrote about the issue on her blog.
She embraces her curves.   While it usually pains me deeply to see how skin-tight her leopard print cat suit is painted on to her body, she defies Hollywood standards with her voluptuous curves and by golly, she wears them proudly. 
She loves freely across racial lines.  From mid-western Caucasian (Nick Lachey), to African-American (Kanye West), to French-Canadian (Gabriel Aubrey), to mixed-race (Kris Humphries), this woman quite literally, sees no color.
She demands respect.   In 2006, she gained notoriety when a home sex video she made with singer Ray J. was leaked.  Vivid Entertainment attempted to release the film and Kim sued Vivid for ownership of the tape.  In 2007 the suit was settled and she walked away with $5 million.  
She cares about more than herself.  Really, she does.  Last year she became the face of the Kiss Away Poverty campaign launched by Fusion Beauty and the Seven Bar Foundation.   For every lip gloss sold, $1 went to fund women entrepreneurs in the U.S.
So this lent, I'm going to try my darnedest to reserve judgement on my fellow sisters, on all the Kim Kardashians of the world. You never know what you might find behind someone's glittery push-up bustier.

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