Megan Palin: Your hate for the Kardashians is misdirected

By Megan Palin

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West attend a Harper's Bazzar event. Photo / Getty Images
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West attend a Harper's Bazzar event. Photo / Getty Images

It says a lot about the human race when so many people seem to think it's perfectly acceptable to feel and publicly express pleasure at reports of Kim Kardashian West being held at gunpoint and tied up by five masked men, as the terrified mother of two pleaded for her life in a Paris apartment.

That the attackers threatened a concierge, forced entry into the star's apartment, tied her up and robbed her - no doubt leaving both victims traumatised, appears to be merely a minor detail in the narrative, if social media is anything to go by.

A French police officer enters the residence of Kim Kardashian West in Paris. Photo / AP
A French police officer enters the residence of Kim Kardashian West in Paris. Photo / AP

It seems a large chunk of society has decided the Kardashians are undeserving of sympathy or compassion even in extraordinary circumstances. Following the incident on Sunday, the Kardashians have been referred to as "the most disgusting family on the planet" as many called for their executions by firing squad. Others have remarked that: "Kim embodies everything that is wrong with the world; this vile moron will do anything for attention; the gunmen should have finished off the job".

But this is nothing new.

The whole Kardashian clan, including sisters Kim, Kourtney and Khloe and their half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner, are called names on social media like "parasitic creatures; super stupid; sluts; whores" - and so much more - every second of every day.

It really begs the question as to why there is so much hate for the Kardashians and why we've decided they represent the worst of humanity. When in reality, they haven't hurt anyone or committed any crimes. But, a quick scroll through Twitter or Facebook, and you'd be forgiven for believing they were responsible for the war in Syria or worse. The family has seemingly become the target of more hate than the world's notorious serial killers, war criminals and child abusers combined.

It has been said Kim Kardashian  embodies everything that is wrong with the world. Photo / AP
It has been said Kim Kardashian embodies everything that is wrong with the world. Photo / AP

Yes, the Kardashians seek and revel in the spotlight. So what? They're business savvy individuals who found a way to turn the public interest in them into a multi-million dollar family empire. Surely that's no easy feat. Something to even be admired, perhaps? Why do we care that they achieved fame without singing or curing cancer? They never promised those things.

We made them famous. We put them there and they capitalised on that. They made lemons into lemonade. Kim, Kourtney and Khloe own a clothing store chain, and all of the Kardashian/Jenner sisters have launched clothing and makeup lines, perfumes, accessories and secured high profile endorsement deals.

The family has also starred in 12 seasons of one of the longest running reality shows on television, Keeping up with the Kardashians, and a multitude of spin-offs. It's a far cry from the chorus of accusations that they "do nothing". At the very least, the family is jam-packed with highly successful businesswomen who are clearly dedicated and hardworking.

Yes, Kim feeds the publicity machine with nude photo shoots and more selfies than you can count but that's her prerogative. We all have the choice to not follow the Kardashians on social media and ignore them.

It's OK not to like them or their choices. But when that dislike escalates to a point where we are championing traumatic experiences and making jokes at the victim's expense while others call for her blood, shouldn't we be looking at our own behaviours and attitudes?

It's an interesting aspect of human nature that when there is a chance to verbally attack or troll someone without personal consequence, and in fact with great support, many will jump on the bandwagon, showing the worst of themselves without an ounce of shame. It has become easier and more popular to hate the Kardashians than it is to treat them as fellow human beings.

In an age where bullying is frowned upon, why do we make exceptions for people who are famous?

Kanye West, left, and Kim Kardashian West. Photo / AP
Kanye West, left, and Kim Kardashian West. Photo / AP

Society has taught us it's not OK to bully people. But it seems the sentiment more accurately reflected is: 'Don't bully ... Unless'.

Is it only shy, demure, poor, non-famous, fully-dressed, underdogs our non-bullying stance applies to? Is a person fair game if they seek the spotlight? If that person becomes famous without releasing an album or starring in a Hollywood blockbuster, do they lose all rights to empathy, reason and human decency? What if they appear to enjoy that success? Is there any limit to the level of hate that can be spewed onto them?

While there's no individual that is to everyone's taste, the vitriol levelled at Kim and the rest of the Kardashians is grossly misdirected and unnecessary.

Like it or not, the Kardashians are an example of a loving, devoted family who have stayed together through thick and thin. As several of Kim's celebrity friends, including James Corden, who have jumped to her defence on social media have said: she is a "mother, daughter, wife, sister and friend". But first and foremost, she's a human being.

And as the saying goes: "what you say about others says more about you than it does them".


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