Wednesday, 9 November 2011

An Open Letter to Kim Kardashian...

Hello Friends.

I'm afraid the problem with Kim Kardashian is not Kim Kardashian. It is not her heavily-sponsored wedding, her subsequent divorce, her reality show, her endorsement deals, her parents, or her bangin' bod. The problem with Kim Kardashian is me. It's you. It's us. There's been an internet meme circulating since Kim announced her divorce after 72 days of marriage and a plethora of media coverage with a picture of Kim and her groom on their wedding day captioned something to the effect of “If you think gay marriage cheapens the institution, two words: Kim Kardashian.” This point is well-taken and very true, if not supremely ironic when extrapolated. Gay marriage and Kim Kardashian both have a huge gay following, so is supporting both then working at cross-purposes? Maybe that's too easy, but what if it's not? If every gay American man took Kim Kardashian as a threat to gay marriage and decided to stop watching her show, it's specials and spin-offs, viewership would significantly decrease. Who else but us campy gays watch the E! Network or tolerate such an absurd spelling of “Khloe”?

But let me take my tongue out of my cheek for just a moment to wonder if what Kim Kardashian represents is actually an insidious threat to our culture. It could be said that to value her is to value style over substance, pornography over sexuality, objectification over feminism, vapidity over smart-ishness. So what can I do about that?

Dream: Get a letter to Kim Kardashian.

Goal: Unachievable. With the amount of coverage Kim gets and the lawyers, managers, and handlers that surely filter through everything which is sent her way, I doubt very much that she will ever read these words. But I recently read that, in terms of probability, you're just as likely to find a $50 million winning lottery ticket lying in the street as you are to buy it in a store. I am Kim's lottery ticket and maybe if I can't reach her by conventional means (not that I've tried), she will inexplicably Google her own name and “pizza gut” and find this. I don't know, the method's not important, what's important is the letter.

Plan: Write the letter, mean every word, and hope she gets it.

Dear Kim Kardashian,

How are you? I am fine. You don't know me, but I know you, which is worrisome. I don't watch any of the television shows with your name on them, but I know you have some sisters, you recently separated from your husband to whom you were only just married, a few business ventures that didn't do so well, and millions of fans. Do you ever wonder what your fans are fans of, Kim? What qualities you possess that others emulate? I do. I wonder how you feel high atop the slippery slope of “famous for being famous.”

I'm writing to tell you that, despite what I'm sure is a difficult time for you personally, you have the world on a string. Millions of people are waiting, with baited breath, for your next move, and I'm here to beg you to consider it carefully.

I would love to see you go to school, Kim Kardashian, even if only to learn a trade. It would be amazing if you took those cameras following you around and went to a small liberal arts college and really hit the books. It would be amazing to watch you eating cold pizza with one hand while going over and over the hi-lighted portion of your textbook, repeating the same facts over and over so it'll stick in your head. I find it helps to remember facts using the tune from the song Maybe from the musical Annie. For instance, “Betcha she's Mercury/Betcha he's Venus/Betcha he's made Earth a closet of Mars. Betcha they're Jupiter/as Saturn as Uranus/Don't really Neptune, as long as they're Pluto.” I want to see you value your mind as much as your body!

You have so much, Kim, won't you be charitable? I don't mean start a foundation with your name on it so you can throw a gala every year and wear some bejewelled ass-flattering gown. I mean find out what this Occupy Wall Street business is all about. Go down to the soup kitchen and grab a ladle. Go to the battered women's shelter and help pick out clothes for the ladies to wear for job interviews. Go to the children's ward of a hospital and help them put on a puppet show. Help them, Kim, don't give yourself the starring role. You can take the cameras, if you want, but only if the E! people agree to large donations to each of the charities you visit (as far as I can tell, you don't hold down a full-time job, so you've got lots of time to spare here).

Date a man, Kim, but don't marry him. Not for a long time. Don't marry him until marriage is the only thing you haven't done as a couple. Wait so long that everyone who receives an invitation to your wedding will say, “Well it's about time!” And just have the wedding in your backyard with hot dogs and hamburgers and kids running around. You had the fancy ceremony and it didn't work, so this time, hire a local cover band, get Bruce Jenner to double the recipe of his famous potato salad, and go barefoot! And love this one for his mind, Kim, as well as his body, and make sure he does the same for you. Stay home with him more often than you go out, watch bad tv and make ice cream sundaes for each other. If he falls asleep with his glasses on, take them off gingerly so he doesn't wake up. Make up nicknames for each other you're embarrassed to use in front of your friends. Enjoy doing things together, but enjoy doing nothing together even more.

I'm sorry to bring this up, Kim, but I feel like we're getting closer now. Do you remember when you first realized there was a sex tape of you on the internet? How conflicted you felt when that tape spread like wildfire and consequently you became very, very famous? That fame has given you a platform, influence, even power, which are great rewards, but they came at a very heavy price. You had no say in how you were thrust into the public eye, which I am very sorry for, but with the power you now yield, you have a say in how to take yourself out of it. And the most powerful thing you could do right this second is to turn the cameras off. Leave us wanting more and you leave with your dignity. If you wait until we get tired of you, and we probably will sooner rather than later, you fade from us with little dignity left. I'm not saying you can't be an actress or a singer or something, but let us see you on your terms, not through the heavily-edited “reality” as dictated by Ryan Seacrest. People like me get snarky and bitchy about people like you, not because of anything you've done or anything you are, but for all the things you represent. It's time to change what you represent. I know that if you elect to terminate your contract with the reality show, you'll have a few legal battles, you'll lose some money, and the paparazzi will be relentless, but things will blow over, we'll move onto the next fad, and you'll be young, rich and beautiful with your whole life ahead of you.

You are not a show, you are not your name, you are not your breasts, you are not your brand. You are a woman and, last time I checked, women solved problems, built communities, and made the world better. Take on this role, new Friend, with gusto and abandon, and surprise the whole fucking planet.

Oh, and have a great Thanksgiving!

Your new BFF,



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I had to remove my first comment because I misused an apostrophe. I'm riddled with shame.

    So here's the truncated version: HILARIOUS!