Improv, Comedy, Women, Melbourne and everything in between.
“In a world full of Kardashians, be a Princess Diana” – a real meme someone from your high school has most likely shared into your Facebook feed.
Oh boy! But what if I do feel inspired by a bunch of self-made Armenien chicks with hella curves and a networth of over $300 million? Man, I must be CRAZY to take business inspiration from people like that.
I often find myself defending Kim Kardashian. I’m not too keen on Keeping Up With The Kardashians – it’s pretty boring; the Kardashian/Jenners tend to just eat salads out of big plastic containers and say they’ve been “disrespected” by one another all the time. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the word “disrespected” so much as when I’ve watched Keeping Up With The Kardashians. (Just quickly, however, you can’t deny Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s pop cultural impact on the female figure, raising transgender awareness to the mainstream, dealing with abusive spouses and addiction, and even educating their fans about the Armenian genocide).
Whenever people bring up Kim Kardashian’s public origin – her sex tape, I’ll defend her to the end. She monetised her sexuality before anyone else could, and now she’s a media and tech mogul.
As a woman, we’re told so many contradictory things about our bodies and our sexuality. From “don’t dress like a whore” to “show off your figure more”, and “don’t be a slut” to “are you frigid?”, we’re mostly confused about what we’re actually supposed to be doing with all these hormones until we learn to live with our beautiful bodies – which doesn’t happen for most.
Women are sexualised, exploited, and fetishised everyday in modern marketing, film & TV, and in general pop culture. There’s a lack of identity in this kind of female sexuality, because it’s not actually our sexuality – it’s not an authentic experience. There’s nothing to relate to or identify with in this kind of media. This kind of anonymous female sexuality is constructed in a room by some corporate marketing team and is systematically recycled until the self-hatred, fear, and lack of self-esteem is permanently ingrained in us. And yet, when we, women, decide to own our sexuality, dress how we feel comfortable, or date/sleep with whoever we please, there’s a bunch of derogatory terms hurled at us.
Kim Kardashian made a sextape with fellow D-grade-celebrity-at-the-time Ray J (who is still a D-grade celebrity) in 2003, and it was leaked in 2007. She filed and dropped a lawsuit against the distributor, Vivid Entertainment, and settled for $5 million. In the same year, the Kardashians commenced production on Keeping Up With The Kardashians. From there, they conquered reality TV, celebrity fragrances and cosmetics, social media marketing, and now mobile gaming – with Kim at the forefront.
People still attribute Kim Kardashian’s success to “doing nothing” or “that sex tape”, which is adorably misinformed. Heck, if a sextape and doing nothing earns you a consistent career incline, a networth of $51 million, and a Forbes cover, then – if you’ll excuse me – I’m off to go make a sex tape and do nothing.
Obviously, a sex tape is not how Kim Kardashian earned her millions, success, and status in the entertainment industry. No matter how boring, insufferable, or shallow the Kardashians can be, you can’t just say they’re a bunch of whores who do nothing. They’re the most successful marketing team of the 2000s and have built an empire off our simple obsession with female sexuality – on their terms.
Another woman currently making the most of the abuse hurled at her for her choices is Amber Rose. Amber Rose’s SlutWalk empowered thousands of women to speak out against slut-shaming and victim-blaming, and she brought the SlutWalk concept into the mainstream (she didn’t invent SlutWalk, but it helped women further understand and partake in the movement against rape culture). One of my work colleagues described Amber Rose as a “slut” and “famewhore” and I really struggled to hold it together. I was two weeks into the job and had already spoken on a few heated topics, so I thought it best to let this one slide. All I could think about was how much Amber Rose has done to reclaim that word, and there I was listening to someone use it against her.
Why is this important? Because girls in high school are all too familiar with being shamed for maturing early or engaging in sexual activity before others. This shouldn’t – and DOESN’T – define them. These insults, those experiences, or this humiliation doesn’t define you, either. It’s important for people to see women who have overcome sexual humiliation or who have chosen to take their public sexuality into their own hands to build a career around empowerment.
In a world where people are going to sexualise you or even profit off your femininity, you’re allowed to take it into your own hands and get your own damn money.
In a world full of Kardashians and other humans, be whoever the fuck you want to be.