Kim Kardashian is opportunistic. Audacious. Shameless. The wee bit of Jane Austen in us all might even say she’s wanton. As the poster child for living without consequences — a reputation earned by the surge of popularity that followed her Ray J sextape — Kardashian's long been used as a symbol for the problems with American society. It’s largely because of her that some impressionable young people seem to think the “American Dream” is having your daily life featured on an E! reality show. Her populartity even soared after her sham of a marriage while her allegedly duped, soon-to-be ex-husband Kris Humphries was branded a “sad sap” or “sucker.” But now, it’s not Kardashian who’s the problem. It’s us.
Exboritant levels of criticism are being cast at Kardashian every time she dares to parade her pregnant belly before the paparazzi, and much of it is sneaking by under the guise of "fashion critique." But poor wardrobe or not, Kim's situation is proof that it’s far too normal for the fat pregnant woman discussion to gain traction. It’s gotten so bad for Kardashian that she’s swiftly gone from shameless to sympathetic in the eyes of those whose hearts are still shut to the practice of fat-shaming.
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As soon as she became pregnant with Kanye West’s child, the reality star became a punching bag for the most ruthless voices on the Internet and in the tabloids — even the ones who hide their criticisms behind claims about her poor style choices. And while her lifestyle and her wardobe may be abhorrent to some, the cavalier manner in which Kardashian has been shamed by some segments of the media and legions of fans is worse than anything she could have done in front of a camera (even that sex tape).
Tabloid headlines boast Karshashian’s status as “Pregnant and Alone!” while others estimate her weight at 200 (plus) pounds or claim she “can’t stop eating.” Rumors about West’s recent sexual disinterest in the star claim that she’s too rotund to be attractive. A quick turn on Twitter reveals attacks like “$20 Kim kardashian stays fat after her baby” and “Kim kardashian looks pretty damn fat! I think the worlds prayers have been answered.” Every interview she does for her upcoming role in Tyler Perry’s Temptation eventually dives into discussion of her pregnancy and a call for her to deny the amount of her weight gain. And as some sort of sinister pièce de résistance, TMZ recently posted a video titled “Who’s Fatter: Pregnant Kim Kardashian or Pregnant Jessica Simpson?” in which the narrator says pregnant women aren’t fat "they’re just glowing (with chicken grease)."
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Society loves to bash the Kardashians. They're easy targets, especially Kim. But justifiable disgust with Kardashian’s glamorous, frivolous lifestyle is only the excuse, and a flimsy one at that, for a torrent of bad behavior. The real issue is that the act of fat-shaming a pregnant starlet, whose only actual "crime" is bringing another life into this world, has become a normalized behavior.
We were shown the way with Jessica Simpson, who was already struggling with her weight and the antagonistic comments it inspired when she became pregnant in late 2011. She endured countless Photoshopped images of her body bloated far beyond its pregnant shape and had to verify that her “oversized” baby bump “Isn’t Twins!” Similarly, Hilary Duff was greeted with headlines about her "waddling" to yoga, claims that she was "still fat" after giving birth, and even one article pitting her in a race to the bigger belly with Simpson.
In November of 2012, Adele, who’s often praised for embracing her voluptuous figure in an industry that prizes slim frames, was greeted with despicable comments when she announced the secret birth of her son. Even famed comedian and Fashion Police host Joan Rivers (who, granted, isn't know for her tact) got in on the conversation, saying, "Congratulations to Adele on the birth of her 68 pound 8 ounces bouncing baby boy."
Still, some writers have tried to legitimize this discussion by shifting the focus to Kardashian’s questionable pregnancy wardrobe instead of just her shape. The most recent offender being the New York Post, whose Tuesday cover ran with the headline “What the Frock?” as a way of calling out Kardashian for attempting to hide her baby bump with a voluminous dress and high heels, the subtext being that she should embrace her pregnancy with comfortable clothes. While others have waged milder attacks — calling her looks “unflattering” or "too form fitting" and suggesting that she perhaps tone down the glam while she’s carrying around Baby Kimye in her belly — the criticisim as a whole reeks of disgust with Kardashian's body and not the clothes she decides to wrap it in.
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Simpson rode out her pregnancy in caftans, leggings, and Ugg boots, but that didn’t stop claims that she was so large that she was "unrecognizable." Adele went into hiding while she enjoyed her pregnancy in the privacy of her own home, and even she couldn’t escape the "So Adele was pregnant all along. I thought she was just ... fat" commentary. No ammount of "just embrace it" mentality spared these women, why would it spare Kardashian?
The truth is that the problem is not Kim’s attitude, her way of life, her boyfriend, and it’s definitely not her wardrobe. We — as a society of people ever-ready to give our two cents, no matter how crass or cruel, and to bring larger-than-life celebs down to our level at all costs — are the problem. No amount of sweatpants or ballerina flats (which she wore the other day, by the way) is going to stop the barrage of criticism, and every time we look for an excuse to bash Kardashian, we get further away from the real solution: a complete and total ceasefire on Kim and any other pregnant celeb who follows in her stilettoed footsteps.
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[Photo Credit: Pacific Coast News; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images; NY Post]
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If you spent two perfectly good evenings watching Kim Kardashian marry Kris Humphries only to hear they were getting divorced weeks later, you probably aren't clamoring to see the rumored "sham" any further - even to watch it crumble - and if you were clamoring to see it, you probably already watched it on the latest season of Kourtney & Kim Take New York. But, Humphries is hoping you'll want to see even more. Sources say the soon-to-be former Mr. Kardashian and his lawyer aim to have the divorce proceedings televised. The goal? Humphries wants to expose the truth about reality TV. Honey, it's okay. We already know about the truth. We choose to ignore it because it's more fun that way.
Of course, Kim K isn't having any of this televised trial business. She already faces daily scrutiny about the validity of the nuptials - including Humphries' claims that the union was fraudulent - and Radar reports that her lawyer is requesting a private mediation session instead. A Kardashian, fighting for a room with no cameras? Why, I never! Perhaps she doesn't want Humphries blabbing all over television about how she swindled him. Besides, she already posted numerous crying pictures on her blog; isn't that proof enough that she was really, really sad about this really real situation?
Would you spend any time watching a televised divorce between Kardashian and Humphries?
Click on the image for more photos of Kim Kardashian.
Source: TMZ and Radar via CBS
S3E7: Some of Parks and Recreation's best episodes are when it illustrates the dynamics in Pawnee and what goes on outside of the Parks Department. "Harvest Festival" did just that. In it, we saw the media of Pawnee taking something of Leslie's and spinning it out of control and forcing her to do everything she can to put the non-existent fire out.
"Ladies and gentleman, Lil' Sebastian!" -Leslie
After weeks of build-up, the Harvest Festival has finally arrived. Leslie knows that the future of the Parks Department depends on this one event so, of course, she's not holding anything back. In fact, she's brought in a guaranteed-to-be-successful attraction: Indiana's favorite tiny horse (who has an honorary degree from Notre Dame) named Lil' Sebastian. And Leslie isn't the only who's excited -- the entire team is ecstatic.
"There are two things I know about white people: They love Matchbox 20, and they're terrified of curses." -Ken
But before they get all the festivities going, there's one final piece that needs to be worked out. Ken, the leader of the local Native American tribe, wants Leslie to move the Harvest Festival because it's taking place on the site of a Pawnee atrocity of the past. Leslie points out that it's pretty difficult to avoid atrocities of Pawnee's past, because nearly every place you go in the town was the spot of some terrible event that happened once upon a time -- but that's not enough for Ken. Until his demands are met, he puts an ancient "curse" on the Harvest Festival (which he even admits is a sham).
"Ferris wheel: beautiful, but deadly?" -Joan
After the festival is cursed, Pawnee's media -- who are always hungry for a scoop -- shows up, looking for potential faults in all of the festivals happenings. Leslie takes Joan throughout the event and just as they finish up without any problems, Tom comes running with terrible news. They lost Lil' Sebastian. Just like that, the entire Harvest Festival begins to fall apart. The tiny horse is gone. The media finds out about the curse, and just as Leslie begins to hold a press conference to attempt to convince everyone that it's going to be okay, the power goes out. She can't win.
Now, as I stated earlier, this is what Parks and Rec does best. In the show's three seasons, Pawnee has developed into a character itself, slowly revealing the different sides of its personality -- whether that's the radio show, Ira and the Douche, from a few weeks ago or this week's Lil' Sebastian. It has quickly revealed itself as a place, much like Springfield in The Simpsons, where pretty much anything can happen. To see the way the town's residents react to the different parts of Pawnee is, well, just hilarious. As someone who grew up in a town of 10,000 people in western Iowa, I can safely say that Parks and Rec is quickly becoming an accurate illustration of small-town America and how it's so easy for people to get caught up in mob mentality, often making big deals about nothing. For example, within hours of finding out about "the curse," the entire town's media is out, viciously attacking Leslie.
"It's been really awesome looking at you." -Beefy Guy
Meanwhile, Ann didn't take the break-up with Chris (who was unfortunately, literally, missing from this episode) too well and she's spinning out of control. With Donna's encouragement, she makes out with some dude with nice abs in the first aid tent while the power is out. This is an interesting development for Ann, who hasn't really had much to her character since the beginning of the series. She's just always kind of been there, but we're quickly seeing that this break-up with Chris could really affect her. Perhaps over the next few episodes, we might see the slutty side of Ann? Now that would be funny.
"Took us four hours to solve that maze. Took the horse 15 minutes. Heh. Jerry's still out there." -Ron
Anyway, in the end, everything comes together. They find Lil' Sebastian (to Ron's glee, no doubt). Leslie works things out with Ken. The power comes back. And the Harvest Festival just works out. At first, I had a bit of an issue with how everything just seemed to be fine in the end, but really, I thought it played well into the world of Parks and Rec and the small-town life that it illustrates. Sure, within a few hours, the town's residents can want Leslie's head on a stick, but then within another few hours after a few changes, they can be celebrating her existence. It's strange, but that's just the way things are -- in Pawnee, at least. And you know what? That's okay. It really is.