Why Kim Kardashian Is One Of My Feminist Icons

Why Kim Kardashian Is One Of My Feminist Icons

Or, can we all chill a little with the hate?

I’d like to start this article with a disclaimer, because it really, really needs one. Kim Kardashian is in no way a perfect example of feminism. She hardly represents an inclusive, intersectional community of women and rarely speaks on the issues women face.

She has been deeply involved in cultural appropriation and consistently fails to use her platform to stand up for marginalized groups (although this has improved somewhat with the birth of her daughter). But if you subscribe to what Roxanne Gay calls "essentialist feminism" and are waiting for a perfect feminist icon, I hate to break it to you, but you are going to be waiting for a long time. It is easy to find very valid reasons that a human is not perfect. And Kim Kardashian is human.

It would be easy to dismiss the Kardashian Kulture as a toxic concession to the male gaze, but I think that ignores the complexities of success. The Kardashians are women who have built an empire on the power of women. Even if you do not agree with their lifestyle, it is remarkable they have had the success needed to live it.

And yes, they hardly are a diverse representation of women, but in a world where women are only 12 percent of the protagonists in films, it is still noteworthy a TV show exists with 7 female leads and no consistent male lead. The Kardashians are never second stage to the men in their lives. And if you don’t believe me, ask yourself if Scott Disick is even relevant anymore.

I hate that I used to find this photo funny... Slut shaming is super not cool, kids.

In 2007, a four-year-old sex tape of Kim Kardashian was released without her consent. Which, in case there is any confusion, makes Kardashian the victim of a massive invasion of privacy that definitely feels criminal, although the legislation on the matter is vague.

However, as I’m sure you know, the public reacted to the leak by holding Kardashian to blame for… having consensual sex? I’m still unclear about that part. But instead of crawling into a hole and trying to forget it ever happened, Kardashian turned the crime into a multi-million dollar media empire and one of the most recognizable brands of this century.

And yet, somehow the general public feels that does not reflect tenacity and business acumen, but instead reflects a Cersei Lannister-esque premeditated plan for media domination by a talentless female.

But as the thousands of penniless porn stars show, very few people have been able to turn a sex tape into a fortune, leading me to believe there exists a very unique Kim Kardashian factor (aided, of course, by her family money).

She made the best of a bad situation, and no matter what you think, the Kardashians will continue to disobey our societal expectations of how a woman should act.


The very day I sat down to write this article I had already heard two quips about the Kardashians. The first was in response to the untimely death of Prince, that God should stop taking our “legends” and that we “offer him the Kardashians instead.”

The second was that the world would be a lot “better” if O.J. Simpson had killed 13-year-old Kim Kardashian instead. And I go to a women’s college. How has this culture of hate grown so blatantly accepted? The Kardashians are hardly relatable, but the universally agreed sentiment that they are devil spawn is quite a stretch for me.

"Everyone's body is different, every pregnancy is very different! I've learned to love my body at every stage! I'm going to get even bigger & that's beautiful too!" - @kimkardashian

Kim Kardashian is a mother unembarrassed of her sexuality, a successful entrepreneur, and a human strong enough to withstand a decade of victim-blaming. And if that does not impress you, I can not wait to meet your dinner guests because they must be phenomenal.

I, on the other hand, wish I could be a little more Kardashian in my everyday life. I grew up trying to avoid the traits of traditional femininity because I felt it made me weak. In elementary school, I rejected skirts and judged women who wore makeup for, ironically, what I thought was them succumbing to sexism.

This internalized misogyny still perpetuates in my life, but somehow the Kardashians, despite the media pressure they face, have never apologized for being women. The are successful while being unabashedly feminine.

The Kardashian lifestyle might be ridiculously decadent and unattainable, but I for one would love to unapologetically take selfies, be proud the way I look without being embarrassed of acting vain, and not base my actions on the expectations of others. In short, I would like to incorporate a little Kim Kardashian in my daily life.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

Popular Right Now

An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Sorry People, But #BelieveWomen Is #UnAmerican

Presumption of innocence is a core American value


There's a saying: "Lack of faith and blind faith - both are equally dangerous". Believing sexual assault accusers who are women just because they are women besides being the very definition of sexist - prejudice based on sex - is setting a harmful precedent on the way justice is served in this country. See, what this movement has done is changed justice from "prove guilt" to "prove innocence", an important and incredibly dangerous difference. Where is the due process that our Founding Fathers envisioned, fought, and died for?

Due process is an integral part of the reason why we have the United States of America. It was so important to our Founding Fathers that they included it in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eight (the Bill of Rights), and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. It galls me to see how privileged modern day feminists are - so privileged they seemingly forget the freedoms this country affords them, so they may live their life, expect liberty, and be unhindered in their pursuit of happiness.

#BelieveWomen is a vigilante movement - and with vigilante justice the innocent always hang with the guilty, one of the very reasons for due process. I've heard the argument it's better to let innocent men rot in jail than have rapist men walk free, an argument, despite being incredibly moronic and unAmerican, that would not be made if the accused was a man close to the woman's heart. Because with the change to "prove innocence", the assumption will be guilt, and a confirmation bias will be created. Whereas if the assumption is innocence, the jury must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has occurred. I understand that a high percentage of rape accusations are truthful (I believe the number is in the high 90s), but the small percentage that are not means we cannot, in good conscience, assume guilt. To assume would damn some men to a fate they do not deserve, a fate they would have to endure simply because of their sex. Any real feminist should be appalled at how sexism is implicitly encouraged in this movement.

If you choose to #BelieveWomen in spite of everything I outlined, that is your prerogative, but you must #BelieveAllWomen. If your father, husband, boyfriend, or son gets accused, you must #BelieveWomen and stand with their accuser. Any less and your feminist privilege will show. Vocal #MeToo activist Lena Dunham has already shown her privilege - accusing actress Aurora Perrineau of lying about being assaulted by her friend Murray Miller. When the going gets hard, feminists rarely stick to their principles. And sadly, feminism - and the double standards it always brings - rears its ugly head once again.

Related Content

Facebook Comments