Kim Kardashian isn't the problem

OPINION

March 25, 2014|By Ernest Wilkins, @ernestwilkins | RedEye

Friday afternoon is supposed to be the holiest time of the workweek, the express ramp to another wonderful weekend of not having to wear pants. Unfortunately, last week was spoiled by the Internet's ridiculous response to the new Vogue cover featuring Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.

The cover, a mock wedding photo taken by Annie Leibovitz, sparked outrage from Beverly Hills to Berlin, from bloggers to Buffy herself. (Sarah Michelle Gellar tweeted that she was going to cancel her subscription to the magazine. So now you know what she's been up to!) Shockingly, almost none of the hate is pointed toward West, which usually is the case. This time, all the hate is pointed toward Kardashian, and it's absolutely ridiculous.

You know what angers me about it, other than a bunch of people lying about still subscribing to magazines like they don't just read them at the barbershop and then steal them if they want to finish an article like I do? People don't have an actual reason to hate Kim Kardashian. Seriously. You don't have a reason.

People are outraged because they believe Kardashian, a woman who built an empire upon the sex tape with which she entered our collective consciousness, isn't good enough to be on the cover of a magazine that once featured the Spice Girls. While we're complaining, we completely ignore the fact that the complaining itself is fueling more of the very thing we're complaining about. If I lost you on that sentence, I mean that bitching about Kim Kardashian means you're only going to end up getting more Kim Kardashian.

You'll hear people say, "Oh, she's trashy." OK, compared to whom? She got famous because she was in a circle that already had media attention (remember when Kardashian was "just" a pal of Paris and Nicky Hilton?) and she took advantage of that. Look, I know tons of people (of both sexes) who came from money and found success in life by doing absolutely nothing other than living off the largesse of their lifestyle. By the same token, I know people who do real porn and don't have much cash to show for it.

Why are we angry about Kim in particular? Is it because we haven't found a way to profit from doing seemingly nothing? Why are we spending so much time hating the player when we should be instead hating the game?

Maybe the frustration of being sold a raw deal when it comes to growing up in America makes you want to take that frustration out on an easy target. Maybe people are just older versions of the jerks they used to be in high school. I don't know, but I do know that unless Kim Kardashian came to your house on Thanksgiving and backhanded your Aunt Bev, you have no reason to hate her. Go do something productive.

One more thing: The tragic suicide of designer L'Wren Scott came with the revelation that her personal finances and business were in disarray. This bombshell was compounded by the assumption that she was one of the glamorous ones, the No. 1 girl of Mick Jagger and a top-tier fashionista to boot. It's a sobering reminder that we can't ever know for sure what others are going through, and maybe some empathy would be a good look.

Stars: They're just like us. That's truer than we might like it to be.

Ernest Wilkins is Chicago's wingman.

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