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
  1. Claudia Pratt Wiencek Reply

    I’d heard that Kim Kardashian’s father had died very early in his children’s lives leaving his wife, Chris, with 4 young children. Therefore, Kim wouldn’t have worked & been guided by her father in his office. I have to admit ~ ~ she’s no dummy & definitely knows how to work the crowd – – worldwide ! It’s unfortunate that she and many reality stars are the people that many young people use as role models. Entitlement is not a goal but certainly is an attitude I’ve seen in the classroom. I do enjoy your newsletters & have to say I learn something that I can use & share with others.

  2. Me Reply

    “Kim Kardashian is smarter than you”
    Ah ha… sure she is – and so is her hubby Kanye, because the money and success proves they have intelligence right? You totally disregard that these celebrities have access to huge volumes of money and that her dad was a lawyer, who apparently taught a few unusual habits beyond spending 50k on a dress. Being “taught” to view everything in the world as revolving around contracts and money from a young age is forming a “habit” – nothing to do with natural “savvy” or “intelligence”. You truly believe that all the revenue streams flowing to Kim were initiated by her? Come on now! Quite aside from the family (funded by daddy) creating a reality TV show, which consists of mouthing off, showing off and spending lots of cash (hint: not everyone has the money and connections to do that) – every face on TV has a perfume brand and other sponsorships. No savvy is required for an agent to field calls on your behalf, consult with you and the lawyer to strike deals which are offered (hint: not everyone is offered deals). Now add in the traditional seedy method of achieving further fame and notoriety – is that “business savvy” or just courting attention?

    Finally, the app – let me quote from Forbes a comment from the “actual” developer Glu – “We identified Kim Kardashian West as arguably the best brand fit in the world and we approached her,” – did you notice that last bit? Just as stated before, no savvy is required, these people are “approached” – no thinking required. Was it her idea? – no. Did she write the software? – no. Is the game idea particularly original – well…. there was this game called Dope Wars which is about “climbing the ladder” in the drug world, or “Pirates” which is about “climbing the ladder” in the Caribbean, or “Rock Star Ate my Hamster” which is about “climbing the ladder” in the music industry… and so on .

    So, we are left with your idea that “jealousy” causes norms to criticise celebs. I beg to differ. It is not jealousy, it is just a sense of injustice.

  3. P Buddery Reply

    I don’t know if she is smarter than me or not, but I do get the strong impression that she is an extremely clever business manager. Someone once described her as the owner of an ass-based business empire, and if we think hard about this, such a thing starts to seem like quite an achievement. And however hard Kim K tries, she can’t entirely prevent the occasional intelligent utterance from leaking out.

    Another similar person is Paris Hilton. A skinny blonde with a face shaped like a shovel, a sex tape, and a fondness for partying has used these rather minor attributes to create a vast business empire. She started off already a bit famous, but has done very well indeed. Methinks she is another very clever business manager. And unlike Kim K, she has managed to conceal what intelligence she has. She is more cringeworthy than Kim though; who can forget reading that she and Nicole Richie were giving fat people enemas on some TV show or other? What an epic act of tastelessness!

  4. AG Reply

    No, we believe she lacks intelligence due to her own actions and by what/how she chooses to speak. If you can’t gather that her intelligence is nill and her opportunities expansive, (aka successful) then she just may be smarter than YOU. Smarter than the majority is a definite reach. Only a fan would have written this article lol

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