May 142015 5 Responses

Kim Kardashian Is Smarter Than You

It’s a common narrative. Kim Kardashian:

  • is a ditsy socialite.
  • has no talent.
  • has been given everything she has.
  • is ungrateful and ignorant.

That’s the working story through which most people view Kim Kardashian.

But it’s wrong. (See: My Opinion On Your Opinions)

While I can’t speak to her gratitude, the other attributes stand in contrast to the facts.

Much of Kardashian’s reputation has been earned. Anytime the word “socialite” appears in the opening line of someone’s bio, it’s easy to assume they are not very talented.

Kardashian became famous, in part, because of a sex tape.

And all one has to do is Google “dumb Kardashian quotes” to see how her reputation was earned.

But there is more to the story.

The daughter of famed OJ Simpson attorney Robert Kardashian, Kim Kardashian developed a savvy business sense. From a young age, her father insisted that Kardashian sign contracts with him regarding her responsibilities. She learned the skills of negotiation and the danger of not living up to her end of an agreement.

Much earlier than most, Robert Kardashian insisted that his daughter have a job. From common teenage jobs to working at her father’s law firm, she quickly learned the importance of a work ethic and how to make money.

By age 16, she used her fashion sense to identify products she could buy and then resell at a much higher price. She began to build her reputation via ebay. (See: Expect More, Get More from Teenagers)

Taking advantage of some famous relationships and good opportunities, Kardashian quickly developed a net worth in the millions.

Clearly she was given opportunities which most never experience.

Yet she took advantage of them and much, if not all, of her success is to her own credit and not that of her famous dad, mom, step-dad, or siblings.

So why do we assume she lacks intelligence? Why do most believe she has been given everything in life?

In part, it is because of the privilege she has. For those of us who are not born into fame and money, we assume anyone with those opportunities should succeed. When success happens, we think it was a foregone conclusion.

Another aspect of our assumption is the industry in which Kardashian has become famous. The public sees a reality show (assuming there are no scripts and people are just living their lives) and we think it doesn’t take talent to do what they do. Of course this denies how difficult it is to be interesting, to be entertaining, and all the work which goes behind getting a TV deal and making it work. (See: Stop Force-Feeding the Fish)

But the main reason for our assumption—jealousy.

We are jealous of the fame, money, and success of Kardashian so we attempt to make ourselves feel better by writing a negative story about her. We think, “She might be successful, but she is stupid.” It makes us feel better about ourselves.

Our judgment says more about us than it does about her.

And it negatively impacts our lives, not when we wrongly judge her, but when the same jealously causes us to wrongly judge our friends, family, co-workers, and those we interact with on a daily basis.

Clearly there are some people who do catch a good break on occasion. One of the biggest mistakes we often make is assuming someone with money, fame, or power is successful. What I find important, and whom I would define as successful, has little to do with the normal markers which society values. Just because someone has success with one business does guarantee that they are skilled business people.

However, we are quick to demean the achievements of others far faster than we should. In an attempt to justify our own struggles and failures, we often look at others as lucky.

It’s a dangerous game. If we aren’t careful, our judgments unfairly label others and prevent us from appreciating what they have accomplished, feeling empathy for their struggles, and having compassion upon them in all aspects of life. (See: Never Try to Prove Yourself)

We judge, and those judgments justify our negative actions toward others.

My guess is that few of us will ever interact with Kim Kardashian, but we all probably have someone in our lives whom we have judged as an air-head, stupid, or lucky. Be careful about those judgments because they can hurt others and hinder our own progress.

Kim Kardashian is not someone I want my child to emulate, but she is not stupid. She has proven to be a savvy businesswoman. While I might question her wisdom; I can’t question her intelligence.

I don’t know Kim Kardashian, but as a celebrity there are many conclusions we can draw about her life. While I would never approve of many of her choices, I am impressed by her business savvy. I can fairly conclude that we disagree on a lot of things, but I cannot doubt her intelligence.


5 Responses to Kim Kardashian Is Smarter Than You

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