So on the Twitters, people are reacting to news of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries’ divorce rather predictably: e.g. they are following the example of George Takei and snarking about how brief marriages such as these demean the institution of marriage way more than letting gay people marry does. (Memo to George Takei: Whenever Perez Hilton is on your side, you should strongly consider the possibility that you are wrong.)
Now, I’m not going to pretend that I am a Kardashian fan – I am not. I don’t particularly care about her marriage either. In fact I’m feeling distinctly unpleasant at the prospect of writing a bunch of words defending her, as I am about to do. Hell, I have made fun of the Kardashians on numerous occasions. But I think a few points need to be made here.
1.) It is not Kim Kardashian’s fault that you are not rich and famous. Let’s be honest: a lot of the Kardashian animus is fueled by dislike and jealousy of the fact that Kim Kardashian and her family are famous in the Paris Hilton way of not actually doing anything but still being talked about. Granted, it would be a finer world if only people who actually did things of merit became famous, but “merit” is an awfully subjective thing. I mean, there are people out there who think Taylor Lautner can act or that Ben Roethlisburger doesn’t sexually assault women, for example. Is Kim Kardashian’s fame less earned because she got it by knowing the right people and getting to be on reality shows?
After all, it is quite clear that the Kardashians have worked their ass off to establish themselves as brands; fame such as this does not happen by accident, much as some might wish it did. It is valid to believe that society should not be this way and that the Kardashians’ fame is improper (and I am with you there!); however, it is not valid to suggest that the Kardashians’ fame is undeserved. Which leads me to point two:
2.) Snarking at someone’s personal misery is a bit low, regardless of whether or not they may be rich. People who are not rich have a tendency to assume that being rich means that any personal humiliation is somehow lessened, and this is not an unfair instinct, but it’s still wrong. Yes, Kim Kardashian had a public relationship and a wedding that she turned into a TV special, and made a lot of money doing so, and there is much about it – particularly the wedding – which can be considered to be in very bad taste. But conversely: this is someone who went on TV to have their wedding in front of the entire world and is now being more or less publicly humiliated as a result.
Unless you believe the entire wedding was a fiction – and I personally don’t, because there are simply easier and less embarrassing ways to make a buck when you are a Kardashian – then you should accept the proposition that just possibly Kim Kardashian is mortified right now, and publicly so. And I say this, understand, as someone who mocked the TV wedding to hell and back, because the wedding is fair game – they’re happy during the awful thing, so they can take it.
Now, I understand the joys of schadenfreude in this situation, but this time around it might be worth considering holding back. And why do I say that?
3.) Kim Kardashian supports gay marriage. Yep, she does, and she does so unreservedly. Now, if this were another celebutante opining about some horrible social opinion, then I would probably throw my first two points out the window and pile on anyway. But Kim Kardashian has been pro-gay-marriage for a long time, and judging by Keeping Up With The Kardashians‘ demographics numbers, her fame is driven by many people who are not inclined to be pro-gay-marriage, so her public and enthusiastic support of gay marriage did not come without risk to her (admittedly awful) livelihood.
Is it possible, then, that those proponents of gay marriage looking for their hypocrite-of-the-week could look elsewhere? Because, and I am not going to say this terribly often, this time Kim Kardashian deserves better treatment.