I don’t have TikTok, but I still see much of its content on YouTube. A video popped up in my recommended list titled: “Kim K Wants Women To Work Harder But Maybe She Should Be Quiet.” Of course, I had to know what idiotic remark she made.
Kim: “I have the best advice for women in business: get your f**king ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.”
Kourtney: “That’s so true.”
Kim: “You have to surround yourself with people who wanna work. Have a good work environment where everyone loves what they do because you have one life. No toxic work environments, and show up and do the work.”
She later says, “If you’re doing the work, you’ll see results. It’s that simple,” before rolling her eyes.
Where do we start?
The Kardashians are notorious for insensitive comments and publicity stunts. If we rewind to the beginning of COVID-19, they rented a private island to host a birthday party instead of just staying home. Was it really so hard for them to go through what “normal people” had to do?
However, this TikTok is different on so many levels. Her “advice” fails to acknowledge her socioeconomic status and her privilege as both a celebrity and a white woman.
Kim, as well as her siblings, were born into a rich family and luxurious lifestyle. While no one is discrediting the work they all did to get where they are now, it’s extremely insensitive to assume people aren’t succeeding because they aren’t working hard enough.
As a college student myself, I see so many of my peers working full time and attending classes while still failing to get ahead. How can people be expected to save when they constantly have to dish out money? Bills, tuition, food, rent—you name it. The Kardashians have never had their pockets hurt because of these hardships.
On top of that, the Kardashians are at a higher advantage than most to succeed even without famous parents. White women earn more, period. And not just in wages. They are also more likely to go to college, have access to more opportunities, and receive better quality jobs. Black, Asian, Hispanic women, and many other marginalized groups have never had the luxury of “just working harder” to escape racial prejudice and inequality.
At the end of the day…
Systematic oppression is real, and the Kardashians need to stop acting like everyone is a lazy stereotype for not being on their level. Many minorities have to take on jobs that dehumanize them in order to make ends meet. For some, this means working under the table, receiving no benefits, and being cheated out of what they truly earned. For others, they aren’t even allowed access to higher quality jobs. Not everyone can choose a “non-toxic” work environment for themselves.
It’s frustrating that while many oppressed groups have to settle for jobs that rich people consider to be beneath them, elites like the Kardashians can cherry pick which group they want to profit off of and consider it “hard work.” They have continuously fetishized Black culture. How? They emulate stereotypically Black qualities such as big lips, acrylic nails, braids, etc., and use them to their advantage while Black women like Sha’Carri Richardson are ridiculed for looking “too Black” or “ghetto.”
I’ve studied the Kardashians a lot in my Black Literature course, and I’m glad that this clip is circulating. Maybe people will stop worshiping celebrities who do the bare minimum and whose only redeeming qualities pertain to their wealth and appearance. One can only hope others see what many critical race theorists have seen all along.