Thanks to the Kardashian effect, humility feels far away
By Sarah Stubbs
When I got back from the Dominican a couple weeks ago, I was scrolling on my Instagram and noticed a nude selfie posted by Kim Kardashian that was soon to draw a lot of attention and controversy. Kim captioned the photo “When you have nothing to wear. LOL.” I have always been sort of indifferent about the Kardashians’ fame (although admittedly I am a fan of Khloe and all her fitness success) but reading this caption really had an effect on me.
I had just left a place where a lot of the children were wearing the same clothes every day or weren’t wearing any clothes at all. Most kids were barefoot or were wearing shoes that didn’t necessarily fit them. Almost every baby I saw in the batteys – up to about 3-years-old and sometimes older — in the Dominican Republic was completely naked because I’m assuming that their mothers didn’t have money or access to diapers.
So when I saw Kim’s post, I had this thought but didn’t really share it with anyone. The next morning, all the celebrity buzz was about Kim and her nudity, confidence (or arrogance, depending on your opinion), and her wealth. I clicked on one tweet that said “Kim K. throws shade at all her haters.” Kim so humbly posted on her Twitter account on March 8: “Sorry I’m late to the party guys I was busy cashing my 80 million video game check & transferring 53 million into our joint account.”
Apparently the Internet was freaking out about Kim’s nudity. A lot of the Instagram comments or tweets were about her alleged indecency and how her behavior was inappropriate for someone who is a mother. I on the other hand wasn’t thinking about the nudity at all – all I could think about was how sad a life has to be when all you have to defend yourself is a recitation of your bank account statement.
When I opened up Kim’s tweet on my phone, I read some of the responses her followers were mentioning her in. Most of them were singing her praises: “Yasss Queen!” and “Slay on these hoes.” As I read more of these, I started feeling sicker and sicker. People were idolizing her for bragging about how much money she has and basically proclaiming that when you have a lot of money, you can do whatever you want and say whatever you want – no matter how insensitive or stupid it is.
I just left a country where a lot of people have very little. Yet, the people I was lucky enough to get to know turned out to be some of the happiest people I have ever met in my life. A lot of the new friends I made in the DR while staying at the orphanage, were literally just grateful for your company and your conversation. These little boys would sit in your lap and hug you or play with you before they even knew your name.
I hope that one day American culture will no longer be dependent on greed and wealth. Everything in this life is temporary – especially material items – and I believe that the relationships we build and the ideas and beliefs we have and hold are what truly make life worth living. This isn’t a tirade against Kardashian fans, and I’m not saying anyone should ditch the American dream of financial comfortability. What this is, though, is a challenge to those who find themselves money-hungry and idolizing celebrities. Pick up a book or take a class in the humanities. Find an individual or two that you find admirable because they had or have more to offer the world than an impressive bank account.
Designer clothes and sports cars, to some, are proof of a good life. It’s cool to be able to say you don’t have to worry about money, and you’ll probably get a lot of attention in the form of Instagram likes and fake friends, but humility will always be priceless.