Kim Kardashian and Kanye West fulfilled what was reportedly a longtime goal in securing the cover of Vogue for the fashion magazine’s April issue. While the photos appeared online several days ago, the Internet hasn’t been able to stop talking about it ever since. Sure, we live in a celebrity-obsessed culture that encourages endless commentary – usually negative – of the stars we love and love to hate, the some of the feedback about Kimye’s appearance on Vogue’s pages has been downright nasty and has left the more logical of us wondering one thing: why do we care so much?
Much of the derision about Vogue/Anna Wintour’s decision to allow Kimye to grace the cover seems to be directed towards Kim herself, who many have deemed unworthy of such a high fashion (and therefore high status) shoot. Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar even brought the haterade to a public forum when she tweeted about her decision to cancel her subscription to Vogue following the April cover’s publication online – a message that was favorited and retweeted a combined total of nearly 20,000 times. Some have even speculated that the issue could end up being Vogue‘s undoing.
The idea here seems to be that Kim Kardashian – most famous for her career as a reality star and the whole Ray J sex tape debacle – is not dignified or classy enough to be considered adequate. That’s a bit unfair, to say the least. The idea that fashion is exclusive is in and of itself an outdated idea. While the price point of haute couture and other high end labels certainly excludes much of society based on income alone, the line is drawn there. By saying that Kim Kardashian – who is a celebrity regardless of reason and who is following a long list of celebrities who Vogue allows on the cover every single month – is not worthy of the “high end” feel of the magazine equates her with cheapness. Regardless of your personal feeling on her, I think it’s safe to say that’s most definitely not cool. Nor is the suggestion that the pair “bought” or bullied their way onto the cover, as editor-in-chief Anna Wintour herself insisted:
“Part of the pleasure of editing Vogue, one that lies in a long tradition of this magazine, is being able to feature those who define the culture at any given moment, who stir things up, whose presence in the world shapes the way it looks and influences the way we see it. I think we can all agree on the fact that that role is currently being played by Kim and Kanye to a T. (Or perhaps that should be to a K?)”
“As for the cover, my opinion is that it is both charming and touching, and it was, I should add, entirely our idea to do it; you may have read that Kanye begged me to put his fiancee on Vogue‘s cover. He did nothing of the sort. The gossip might make better reading, but the simple fact of the matter is that it isn’t true.”
There aren’t many occasions on which I thought I’d say this, but I’m with Anna. You don’t have to like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, but you do have to admit that they are everywhere. #worldsmosttalkedaboutcouple ? Maybe not, but certainly one of them, and that carries its own significance. In a culture that values fame and celebrity, wealth and appearance, we cannot nitpick worthiness based on personal preference of the person’s perceived worthiness. Why has there never been an outcry over Rihanna’s appearance on Vogue’s cover? Or Kristen Stewart’s? What about Jennifer Lopez? What differentiates those women from Kim Kardashian? And why isn’t Kanye getting any of the stick here?
It’s clear to me this comes down to the much-held public perception that Kim Kardashian doesn’t actually do anything. She is famous, ostensibly, for living her life and having it filmed – for better or worse. However, to simplify things in such a way ignores some major facts. Kim Kardashian is a businesswoman, whose career takes management and the constant ability to be “on” for a number of hours in a day far exceeding anything you or I could do without cracking under the pressure. She is also a fashion designer, a business owner (can’t forget DASH), has several product endorsements under her belt and has even dabbled in acting. Hardly a no talent wannabe, to me.
The most confusing thing in this whole obsession to me is this: why are we still talking about it? I believe most of us – if not all – were taught the golden rule by our parents as children. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. By extension, if you don’t like something, move on and look at/ listen to/ be part of something you DO like. I wouldn’t consider myself much of a fan of either Kim or Kanye, but I certainly don’t think it demeans the magazine or lowers its standards by their inclusion in it. Instead, I simply choose not to purchase that issue and I go on about my day. It’s simple – try it.
Featured image via Vogue