She's the topic of every late-night comedian joke, her face is plastered across every celebrity news site on the web, and half of Twitter seems to be devoted to crafting the perfect 140-character zinger about the end of her 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries. Kim Kardashian's winning streak as Improbable A-Lister seems to have come full circle—replace "divorce" with "sex tape" and all the Top Ten List gags are sounding awfully familiar.
Whatever Kim Kardashian's next move might be, I'm guessing that this experience is teaching her an uncomfortable lesson about fair-weather fans. One minute you're on top of the world with your multimillion dollar wedding...the next everyone says you're a famewhore who did it all for the money and attention.
I'm not exactly what I'd call a big Kardashi-fan, but I can't quite understand all the furor over Kim's divorce announcement. Much has been made of the cash involved in her wedding—sources say the nuptials themselves cost an estimated $10 million, while at least one New York Times reporter claims she sold the rights to her big day for $17.9 million—but how is this only shocking now that the marriage has crumbled to an end? It seemed acceptable just 72 days ago, at least judging by the breathless squealing over what was being referred to as our version of the royal wedding.
The gowns! The guests! Every delicious detail!
You can say that the excess involved is disgusting and she should have fed a country full of starving orphans instead, but Kim Kardashian's entire appeal revolves around the fantasy lifestyle she represents. Her brand is luxury, and like it or not, that's why people are obsessed with her. That's why people watch her ridiculous show, and buy all the ridiculous things she hawks. It was her money to spend, and she couldn't have earned a dime without the millions of people who tuned in to what ended up being E's most-watched television event of all time.
People are angry about the cost of the wedding now, but they loved it at the time. I suspect all the backlash has more to do with the fact that people now feel silly for realizing that reality television does not necessarily reflect reality.
If you ask me, this divorce is the biggest media stumble Kim has taken since she so successfully embraced the fame that was handed to her. I doubt she did it for attention, because this isn't the kind of attention that helps her create fan loyalty (and sell more Quick Trim, etc). I think she bought into her own hype, got caught up in something she didn't know how to stop, and ultimately made a huge mistake. I'm not sure I feel bad for her, but I am certainly uncomfortable by all the savagery surrounding what is, at the heart of things, the end of a relationship.
I also think this may end up being a positive experience for her. It's useful for a wildly privileged person to be faced with the fact that money can't buy happiness, and to be aware of how easily fame can turn around and bite you. Will an embarrassing public divorce change Kim Kardashian as a person? I have no idea, but I guarantee her next wedding won't be quite such a circus—and that's probably a good thing.
Do you have any sympathy for Kim Kardashian right now, or do you think she deserves everything that's being dished her way?
Image via Star Magazine, People