I’m dusting off this here blog tonight for a reason that shokks me. Kim Kardashian West. Now, I haven’t written here for a while, but since the topik is BlogHer 2016, and this is my blog, it seems appropriate.
Konfession: I have never heard KKW utter a syllable. I’ve never watched Keeping Up With the Kardashians, I’ve never seen or heard her interviewed, never heard her sing karaoke or anything. The klosest I’ve kome to konsuming anything Kardashian was tonight in Target when I stood next to one of her new kosmetic produkts in the shampoo aisle.
That may no longer be the case after BlogHer2016. Kim Kardashian West was announced today as a Keynote Speaker at what has come to be one of my favorite writing conferences, and the reaction has ranged from shrugs to side-eyes to
BOYCOTT BLOGHER SHE IS EVERYTHING WE HATE HOW CAN BLOGHER DO THIS TO US???
A few brave souls have admitted they’re fans of KKW, and a few others have at least said they understand the choice and why she might have something to offer as a speaker to several thousand women in the business of creative media. Some who aren’t fans of hers have said they’re going to skip the keynote, which is a totally understandable and legit thing to do. Many more, though, have turned up their noses, expressed their “disapproval” and gone so far as to say they they will not attend the entire CONFERENCE because of this. Not only are people selling their tickets, they’re calling for a boycott of SheKnows and BlogHer. A BOYCOTT, people.
Let’s look at the other keynote speakers announced so far. Sheryl Crow. Aisha Tyler. Mayim Bialik. Sarah Michelle Gellar. What I see are incredibly talented, smart, creative and show-biz-savvy women with impressive longevity and adaptability in one of the most unforgiving career paths available. Kimmie fits right in. She may not be an artist, but she is a survivor and a deflector of hate, a hell of a business woman while being a catalyst for important conversations about body image and autonomy.
But, no. People are troubled by the sex tape that launched her career. She’s not respectable. She’s only famous for being famous. She’s not role-model-y enough, the trollop. She’s done nothing to make the world a better place. I’ve seen several comments saying she cheapens the entire conference and what it stands for. There is no small amount of shaming going on. (I sure hope the people who are so upset about KKW weren’t themselves in line just a few years ago at the Trojan Booth in the Expo Hall to get their free dildos, because THAT would be awkward…)
The eye-rolls I understand. The shrugs I understand. The outrage? The crying out about the indecency of it all? The anger? I don’t get it.
There are plenty of excellent reasons to not like Kim Kardashian. There are beefs to be had with the superficiality she appears to promote. Personally, I’m certainly not down with cultural appropriation – something the Kardashian sisters and friends have committed with disturbing regularity. If there was a reason I would skip the her keynote in protest, it would be that – in support of the Friends of Color I’ve heard bringing it up as upsetting. (Another part of me would want to attend so I might have a chance to challenge her about that particular shortcoming.) Something tells me, though, that is not the main reason most (white) people are upset about her appearing as a keynote speaker. If it were, they’d be singing it from the rooftops in a moving show of allyship. Everyone wants to be an ally, right???
No one, though, wants to appear a prude. That’s why I’m seeing coded words like “cheapen” and “vapid” and “respectable” in their protesting her keynote instead of the what might be the darker truth behind the uproar. That no matter how far we think we’ve come, women are still slamming the door in the faces other women they deem beneath them – especially the ones who love their bodies and use them however they please.
Image via Wikipedia.