In case you live under a rock, Kim Kardashian and her family have kind of been killing it recently. Clothing lines, apps, television shows and emojis — Kimojis — are several of the ways they continue to build their empire, yet people only seem to attribute their collective success to a sex tape Kim made with an unmemorable man over 10 years ago. Even though this notion is false on so many levels, why would it matter if she became famous for a sex tape? Is she supposed to live in shame because of her sexuality? According to people who dislike her, yes.
Recently Kim posted a nude selfie — in which black bars covered just as much as a bikini would have — and received heavy backlash and slut shaming from celebrities including Piers Morgan and Chloe Grace Moretz. Many people shamed her in the comments by telling her that a mother should not pose nude. Her response was traditional Kim: sassy, well-informed and confident. This sort of confidence is what makes Kim Kardashian an inspiration. She definitely cares about what other people think, but only if it positively reinforces the image she has of herself. Not only is Kim proud of the way she looks, which is probably not hard, but she is able to turn that pride into many successful businesses.
Barbara Walters once called her talentless in an intense and confrontational interview. This accusation is one that has been floating around about the Kardashians for quite some time. The Kardashian sisters might not have classic talent (whatever that means), but their ability to turn their lifestyles into a multimillion-dollar business seems pretty talented to me. She used the famous picture of her crying to make emojis — hate inspires her! Kim has lived in the public eye for so long, and she does not shy away from the limelight, even though it occasionally ends up with her being accused of being a “fraud.”
The Kardashian sisters have also been accused of using their looks to get ahead, and honestly, so what? Who doesn’t wish their hot bod could land them a million bucks, as if it did work that way? (Note: the world does not work like this.) Kim and her sisters are pushing the boundaries of body positivity and redefining what it means to be feminine in a patriarchal society. If Kim poses nude in a selfie and then posts it to her own social media using her own device, it should be celebrated! Everyone has a body, and everyone has the right to cover it or flaunt it.
It’s hard to determine what makes the Kardashian/Jenner family so newsworthy, but it is always making headlines for one reason or another. For people who are apparently strongly disliked, the Kardashians sure have a way of drawing the world’s attention. Spinning negativity into positivity is something I someday hope to be able to do as well as Kim. She has used negative press as stepping stones to be where she is today, and I totally could’ve used that inspiration as an unpopular high schooler.
Kim never lets people stop her from getting what she wants. She never lets people tear her down, and the way she stands up for herself also makes strides for women’s rights in general. She has worked hard to get where she is today, contrary to popular belief. Maybe the most important lesson Kim Kardashian can teach us is that we don’t need to have a standard talent to get to where we want to be; hard work and a positive self-image can be the strongest tools of all.
Caroline Ackerman studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.