Why Kim Kardashian stating that “No one wants to work anymore” is extremely offensive
Thanks Kim, what a great reminder that even “woke” billionaires will use classist, oligarchical talking points to devalue jobs and struggles of the classes beneath because they “don’t want to work”. Here, I’m going to discuss why Kardashian businesses are not societally valuable and this “Laziness Lie” is fundamentally wrong.
If you haven’t seen the clip or know the reference for this article: TLDR in celebration of International Women’s Day, Kim Kardashian was asked what advice she has for women. Her response was less calculated, almost agressive: “I have the best advice for women in business. Get your f****** a** up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.”
“Let them eat cake” for 2022 much?
I have to admit, I am not a Kardashian fan. I know way more about them than I want to, and have been following the media’s response to the abusive tactics Kanye West has been using in regards to his divorce with distant sympathy. But today, hearing that video though with the animal white teeth and pursed lips held in a defiant chin telling me to “Get up! Get off my ass!” made me livid. As a business owner, creative, who worked branding for people with lots of cash, I had a few flashbacks and then realized a that being shamed by the world’s most boring mogul about my work ethic was ridiculous. With that amount of money, there’s no way she actually faces the challenges that most women, let alone business owners face. It’s inane for the Kardashians to even consider that they even have the taxes as a regular person with a business.
Let’s review: The Kardashians have been on tv for 12 years, in an intraconnected net of mid-tier products, appearances, and celebrity connections with multi-generational wealth. They have human challenges, as we all have, but their advantages came without the strings that most working people have. Do you think they have ever worried about bills? Or need to apply for assistance for higher education costs? Have they ever not been able to afford a 3 day weekend? Has there ever been a consideration of what next child would cost? No. No, they haven’t. Their mother made them puppets to continue an exploitative empire and they bought into the idea that they were providing value to the world rather than hiring advisory services from armies of young creatives to build extensions of their personalities paid with money from sexual photography, attendance fees, and vapidly recounting their lives into a camera.
I’m not saying that the Kardashians aren’t working- because I’m sure that they are. And good for them. Keep busy. But could Kim look at a farm laborer, an elementary school teacher, a nurse, a regular office worker and say that they are lazy? That they work less? That they are less valuable because they don’t own a branded product business spun off a televised marketing empire masterminded by their mother? Does she have the capability to even approach doing any one of those jobs?
Businesses are for taking risks, for employing people, for innovation. Can the 1% rich really be doing this if not one idea they market comes from their education or experiences? Let me repeat: what is the reward for Kim Kardashian here? Nothing. She was trained like a pony at a young age to perform and build a fortress of cash. She and her sisters will buy more and more lavish shit that adds nothing to the world. They were never in danger of failing. They were never in danger of not eating. They never risked anything except being gossiped about. Even if she wasn’t making products, she would likely still have a business set up to accrue and hide enormous amounts of wealth in the USA; where most 1% siphon off the benefits of public funds and do not replace them per taxation laws.
This myth of “nobody wants to work” reminds me of Satre’s quote: “Evil is the product of the ability of humans to make an abstract of that which is concrete”
This abstraction of percieved effort from “anyone” is not real, and Kardashian’s admonishment of lack thereof is absurd. Management and ruling classes has been using the excuse of “not wanting to work” or laziness for hundreds of years to devalue efforts and cover up massive obstacles to being able to work well, or at all. Laziness and shame are fundamental ideas in the justification for harsh treatment of ethnic minorities and slaves, especially blacks. It’s justification to impose more taxes and less benefits to the poor- they aren’t working hard enough. In it’s harshest light: Kim Kardashian in this phrase believes she deserves everything she has because she worked harder than you, rather than that she was given an enormous advantage. She believes she made a choice. For some reason, this is the most eerie to me; echoing her estranged husband Kanye West’s quote that “slavery for 400 years” was a choice.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years,” he said. “For 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally in prison. I like the word prison because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. Slavery is to blacks as the Holocaust is to Jews. Prison is something that unites as one race, blacks and whites, that we’re the human race.”
Just like we’re all business owners right?
“Get off your ass” should be lauded not as motivational, not #girlboss or #girlpower, but an ignorant and ridiculous oversimplification of labor shortage due to a complex classist, racist, systemic breakdown during a world health crisis. It’s not real. Everyone wants a purpose and to create value, nobody wants to do it on the terms of the old way of work to death for little reward. Kim Kardashian is part of a ruling, oligarchical class that benefits immensely from you believing you need to “work hard like her” instead of demanding that she pay her fair share so your kids can go to school. She’s no different than any one 1%, she never started at the same place that most people will; she never took a risk using a massive platform and hawking goods. And let’s be real- I’m sure she justifies not paying taxes either because she “worked” harder.