SARAH VINE: Why Kim Kardashian’s $1 billion has killed feminism
That’s it then. Kim Kardashian has achieved billionaire status, and feminism — or at least my version of it — is officially dead.
She has sold a fifth of her cosmetics brand, KKW, to beauty giant Coty for $200 million (£162 million) — a deal that has propelled her into the financial stratosphere.
As the mother of a teenage daughter, to see Kardashian — a woman who has done very little apart from debase herself in the name of profit — rewarded in this way just fills me with sadness.
That’s it then. Kim Kardashian has achieved billionaire status, and feminism — or at least my version of it — is officially dead, writes SARAH VINE
She has sold a fifth of her cosmetics brand, KKW, to beauty giant Coty for $200 million (£162 million) — a deal that has propelled her into the financial stratosphere
I grew up in a time when girls were encouraged to think of themselves as something more than mere objects of desire.
For me, as an awkward, bespectacled girl with a less than perfect shape, this represented a kind of hope.
A sense that, whatever my physical drawbacks, such things were not the only measure by which a woman could achieve success.
Being beautiful wasn’t the only passport to fame and fortune — with hard work and application, any girl might achieve through wit and intelligence.
Even those of my girlfriends who were gifted with looks strove to pursue purpose in their lives, becoming lawyers, teachers, journalists, doctors.
That, to my generation, was what feminism represented: not a rejection of femininity per se, but an acknowledgement that we were capable of so much more than being mere arm candy.
Kardashian has changed all that.
Since she came on the scene back in 2007, following the release of a sex tape featuring her and her then boyfriend, the rapper Ray J, she has built her brand — shamelessly and, brazenly — on the diminution of that notion.
She is living, pouting, leather-clad proof that in this modern, image-obsessed world what really brings in the big bucks is not hard work, a university degree and a fulfilling career, but a big butt — and a willingness to sell it to the highest bidder.
As the mother of a teenage daughter, to see Kardashian — a woman who has done very little apart from debase herself in the name of profit — rewarded in this way just fills me with sadness
No doubt some would say that she is canny and smart enough to have worked out how to turn her high profile into a vast sum of money.
But I’m not sure that’s enough to earn our admiration.
In fact, what really gets my goat are those who claim that she is, in her own way, a feminist icon. No. Malala is a feminist icon.
Margaret Thatcher is a feminist icon.
Even Madonna, in her own slightly nutty way, is a feminist icon.
Kardashian is just what happens when you combine vacuousness with extreme vanity, and remove all boundaries of common decency.
No doubt her fans will accuse me of being a ‘hater’.
But I don’t hate her — how could I when I’ve never met her? But I do hate what she stands for: the paucity of aspiration and old-fashioned sexism she represents.
Aspiration is not, of course, the same as ambition — something Kardashian is by no means short of. Aspiration is what drives young girls to become the scientists, historians, writers and politicians of tomorrow.
I grew up in a time when girls were encouraged to think of themselves as something more than mere objects of desire. Kardashian has changed all that
Ambition just says I’ll just take my clothes off, make a sex tape, marry a rich man . . . and then feed society’s seemingly endless appetite for drooling voyeurism.
Because Kim Kardashian is not like other risqué superstars such as Beyonce or Lady Gaga, whose audacity and jaw-dropping appearance are merely a side show for their talent.
Kardashian has no talent other than self-promotion, the ability to put make-up on — and take clothes off.
Of course, there are plenty like her.
But none has achieved such a level of success. And it’s that which makes her such a toxic influence and the very worst of role models.
And she makes our jobs as mothers so much harder.
The lure of quick internet fame is the curse of our modern age, and she — along with the rest of her exhibitionist family — personifies it.
That is the lesson her success teaches the next generation of impressionable young girls.
And now she’s got her billion in the bank, who am I to argue?
It’s Blair the Marlboro man
Forget Tony Blair’s domestic misdemeanours (he gave an interview at the weekend in which he confessed to not having done a single stroke of housework since he became Prime Minister back in 1997).
What I want to know is where on earth he got the idea for that absurd gold necklace he was wearing around his neck.
He was even wearing a Burt Reynolds-style open shirt.
Who does he think he is: The Marlboro Man of international relations?
Tough, ruggedly handsome, bit restless being pinned down, salt of the earth, hard-working in his jeans and man chain and undone shirt.
Oh do spare us.
Where on earth did Tony Blair get the idea for that absurd gold necklace he was wearing around his neck. He was even wearing a Burt Reynolds-style open shirt
There is a bitter irony in the fact that someone as vapid as Kim Kardashian has armies of adoring fans on social media, while a woman as brilliantly talented as Jodie Comer (pictured) is subjected to so much online abuse that she says she feels the need to step back completely.
But perhaps that’s a good thing: if all the clever and interesting people forsake social media for a better life in the real world, the disproportionate influence that the likes of Twitter, Facebook and TikTok have on our lives will wither and die.
Perhaps then the world may once again become a semi-civilised place. Unlikely, of course. But we can dream.
There is a bitter irony in the fact that someone as vapid as Kim Kardashian has armies of adoring fans on social media, while a woman as brilliantly talented as Jodie Comer (pictured) is subjected to so much online abuse that she says she feels the need to step back completely
I yield to no one in my admiration for the Duchess of Cambridge. She has been an absolute star throughout this whole crisis.
But I must admit I had a slight ‘Eek!’ moment when I saw the pictures of her helping to plant a garden at a children’s hospice.
That’s Diana’s world-famous sapphire engagement ring on her left finger, all 12 carats of it (plus diamonds), covered in muck!
I mean, I’m all for the royals getting their hands dirty — but some things just aren’t destined to be down-to-earth.
I must admit I had a slight ‘Eek!’ moment when I saw the pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge helping to plant a garden at a children’s hospice. That’s Diana’s world-famous sapphire engagement ring on her left finger, all 12 carats of it (plus diamonds), covered in muck!
I’m on team Nigella
I’ve been doing quite a lot of reading in lockdown, books old and new, and one of the classics I’ve recently revisited is Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years Of Solitude.
Today marks the 100th day of lockdown — and Marquez’s title might well describe the nature of the experience for many, in particular the elderly or those obliged to shield.
For some it’s been agony; others — such as Nigella Lawson — have embraced it.
So much so, in fact, that the celebrated TV chef has declared she’s embarking on a new 5:2 social diet: two days on, five days alone.
By my standards, that’s a positive social whirl.
Nigella Lawson has embraced lockdown and is embarking on a new 5:2 social diet: two days on, five days alone
Doctors have issued dire warnings about the danger of people getting over-excited when the pubs re-open on ‘Super Saturday’.
Ordinarily, I’d be on their side — but after months of lockdown, I’m desperate for any sense of normality.
And what better sign that Britain is getting back to normal could there be than a load of Saturday-night drunks clogging up A&E.
In response to Boris Johnson’s press-ups at the weekend, Labour leader Keir Starmer has challenged the Prime Minister to race to 50 at the despatch box — and even Tory MP Mark Francois has joined in, claiming he does his every day.
All very laudable, I’m sure — but I can’t help thinking there’s something a bit Putinesque about this desire of male politicians to prove their physical prowess.
What next, Matt Hancock bare-chested on a horse?
Talk of a tax on online shopping is not without merit — after all, the extra pollution and congestion caused by delivery vans is not insignificant.
But consumers shouldn’t be the ones to bear the cost.
Instead, that should fall to the online companies such as Amazon, whose fortunes have increased exponentially in lockdown — and whose bosses, such as Jeff Bezos, remain resolutely shy about paying their dues.
Consumers should not bear the brunt of the cost of online shopping. That should instead fall to companies such as Amazon, whose fortunes have increased exponentially in lockdown — and whose bosses, such as Jeff Bezos, remain resolutely shy about paying their dues
Weddings are meant to be joyous occasions. So why anyone would bother under the grim new guidelines is anyone’s guess.
No food, drink or singing; no father walking the bride down the aisle; and, most baffling of all, the washing of hands before and after exchanging rings.
The whole point of a wedding is to celebrate the union of two people, body and soul. If they’re not allowed to touch without being anointed with hand sanitiser, surely it negates the whole purpose?
And don’t even get me started on the wedding night . . .
Justin Welby is not having a good war. Instead of trying to calm the absurd culture wars threatening our history, he promises a ‘review’ of statues in Anglican churches.
At a time when he, above all others, should be striving to unite the nation, he seems instead to be doing everything in his power to foster division.
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