In a time of ever unpredictable American politics, the recent meeting between President Trump and reality star Kim Kardashian fails to come as a surprise. However, the response is anything but unpredictable. A headline involving Kim Kardashian has, as always, awoken the keyboard critics of her every move. In their myopic eyes, she really can’t put a foot right.
Kim Kardashian met with the president to discuss prison reform and sentencing. The case of Alice Marie Johnson recently caught the reality star’s eye. A 63-year-old grandmother serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offence. Kardashian is paying for the legal team of Alice Marie Jonson and during her visit to Donald Trump she discussed the case for a presidential pardon.
The response to the meeting has faced wide criticism, questioning what qualifies Kim Kardashian to discuss prison reform. Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, critics have resorted to sexist tirades. The New York Post published a cover story which only goes to show the vitality of sexism in society, mocking the meeting as a ‘big ass summit’. It seems likely that the wealth and influence of the Kardashian clan, being entirely female, makes their family vulnerable to sexist critics who have a problem with rich and powerful women.
Kim Kardashian is not the first celebrity to take up a role as a political activist. Leonardo DiCaprio dedicated his first Oscar speech to climate change and met with President Obama to discuss the issue. George Clooney is another ethically-minded actor that met with President Obama to discuss the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. Neither of these people stirred concern over their credentials to speak on such issues; in fact, political activism amongst celebrities has in fact been somewhat embraced by the public as a positive use of their status and influence.
What then makes Kim Kardashian’s trip to the White House so troubling?
The Kardashian’s are relentlessly criticised for being talentless and famous for no real reason. However, in the absence of any talent they have created an empire, dominating social media on all platforms. They do have a talent it seems for making money. If as a result of this celebrity they create for themselves, the Kardashians are able to have an influence on some positive change, I struggle to see why this is such a bad thing. Kim Kardashian is using her excessive wealth in order to help a stranger whose case has raised concern for her. Where exactly is the fault in this?
I think it has become the ‘in’ thing to express contempt for the Kardashians. As if remarking on their lack of talent and intelligence is a mark of your own superior brain power. However, I am more than happy to express my respect for the Kardashians. They have created a new type of celebrity, and entirely reap its benefits.
This is also not the first case of a Kardashian involvement in politics. In honour of their ancestry, the Kardashians have brought attention to the Armenian genocide which is so often denied, calling on the US Government to recognise the atrocity. Kim also called out a Wall Street Journal publication denying the genocide. A post on her website questioned why this is so permissible in comparison to the controversy surrounding the holocaust or 9/11. Coming from Armenian ancestry myself, I truly commend the Kardashians for using their fame to publicise an otherwise neglected issue.
So maybe people should think again before criticising Kim Kardashian for her every move. If the reality star can help to stir change in prison reforms and sentencing, she deserves approval for her actions. Last time I checked, using fame to help others is the best use for it.