Monday, December 2, 2013

Kim Kardashian: The Christmas gift that will keep on giving, even if you'd prefer she not

A Kardashian Christmas, by David LaChapelle
I love this Christmas card. As usual, David La Chapelle bridges art with pop, creating something beautiful. I’m tired of the “they’re famous for nothing” argument against the Kardashians. As Kanye said, Kim is famous for being beautiful (and whether it's real or not, who cares?). I’m sure she works as hard as Cindy Crawford ever did. Yes, maybe Kim didn’t have to pay her dues, but good for her. Can she teach me how to do the same?

I know what you’re thinking, “Barry, if that's what you want, then make a sex tape.” I have no issue with the fact that Kim did. What bothers me is that she never owned up to it in the way I wish she had. She allegedly filmed and leaked this video with someone who was then-current, after which she and her mother allegedly pitched a reality show with Kim at the center. If this was truly the case, then a smart move they did make, lighting many flames from just a spot of oil, like the Maccabees. As most of us know, this one little sex tape ultimately turned into a pop-cultural and merchandising empire. A Happy Hanukkah, indeed!

THE Modern-Day Marilyn
However, I would have preferred that Kim be what some call a post-feminism feminist, a la Madonna or Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones (although, according to Gloria Steinem, no such phenomenon exists, as feminism is a fight yet to be won). Kim could have said, “Yes, I used sex and my body to become famous and make a lot of money, and there is nothing wrong with that, because I was the one in control. I made that decision, using my sexuality to empower MYSELF.” This would have been rad. Instead, once Kim began to ascend the entertainment industry ladder, she claimed regret. In my opinion, this was a tactic Kris Jenner allegedly decided would solidify Kim’s A-list status, because sex, in the explicit sense, is still considered unbecoming of a true Hollywood siren. A classy star is supposed to insinuate sexuality, without ever truly acknowledging it. How regressive?

Regardless, Kim’s star does shine as bright as those of her famous-because-they’re-talented peers (see: BeyoncĂ©, Katy Perry, etc.). She has entered an elite league that so many famous-for-nothings before her, including Paris Hilton and Zsa Zsa Gabor, longed to join. She is the first A-list reality star, and to not put this woman, who draws more intrigue than boring Reese Witherspoon or Charlize Theron, on Vogue’s cover seems a surprisingly out-of-touch move for an editor who was, at one point, so ahead of the curve as to replace cover models with Hollywood stars right as celebrity culture was gaining steam. That’s Anna Wintour's loss, though. Her time at the top may be dwindling, but whether you like it or not, Kim K. is here to stay.



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