A Kardashian is still a human
On Oct. 3, Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in her hotel in Paris. The armed robbers duct-taped her hands and mouth while they allegedly stole up to $5.6 million worth of jewelry from the celebrity. The incident drew a lot of attention from the media and the public. But, not all of the attention was supportive of Mrs. Kardashian West.
Last semester, I wrote a piece about why the Kardashians deserve respect, even if you do not like them. I have seen that this piece and issue has become relevant after Kim was robbed. Social media tweets have shown some individuals’ views on the incident. One tweet read, “Kim Kardashian was held at gunpoint in a Paris hotel. Man will be charged with not pulling the trigger and saving humanity from mediocrity.”
An article in the Washington Post described in detail what fashion shows she had attended that day, alluding that she lives a life that is devoid of personhood. The article goes on to say that the author does not believe Kim deserved to be robbed, but that lack of personhood may have contributed to the negative remarks made by the public regarding her robbery.
First, just because Kim Kardashian is a famous person who spends much of her time in the limelight doesn’t mean she deserves to be robbed. No one does. No one should have to fear for their lives and their families at gunpoint. Although Kim tends to lead a very public and documented lifestyle, she should not have to fear for her safety to that degree.
Of course, as do most celebrities, Kim has a bodyguard. But it is extremely sad that because a woman posted a picture of her new diamond ring from her husband (Kanye West) that she deserved to be robbed. Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld even said that Kim shouldn’t be surprised that she was robbed because she was displaying her wealth. No one should feel that they deserve to be robbed, no matter their status. Also, Kim makes a living promoting herself and her products. She was simply doing her job. It is not fair to blame the victim in this situation.
But, back to the issue of dehumanization of Kim. This is a real woman. A real woman with feelings and a family. She could have lost her life in this altercation, leaving her children without a mother and her husband widowed. It would have left a mother without a daughter, and siblings without a sister. Celebrities are real people too. Just because Kim lives a high profile life does not mean that she does not have a real life.
Another aspect of the robbery that also applies to women is Kim’s initial thoughts when she was robbed. Kim said that she was scared that the robbers would rape her. Not only is Kim a human being, she is also a woman. This speaks volumes to the fears that women have about being assaulted and robbed. The reality of this attack is that it happens to regular people. More than half of robberies were carried out by strangers from 2005-2010, with 19 percent of robberies by strangers ending in homicide. Strangers raping people accounts for 24.1 percent of violent victimization. American women have a 25 percent chance of being raped at some point, with rape by strangers accounting for four percent of rapes. The reality of Kim’s situation is that she, like most women, had a right to be afraid. She had a right to fear for her safety, specifically at the hands of individuals that she did not know. Her fear of rape is not an unusual fear for a woman.
If you take anything away from this article, I ask that you look at the human side of Kim Kardashian. She was not asking to be assaulted nor robbed. She was not asking to fear for her life. Just because you do not agree with someone’s life choices or image does not mean that you should view their life as having lesser value than anyone else’s. The robbery of Kim Kardashian is an ordeal that many face everyday. Robberies and assaults are happening all of the time. Instead of Kim, it could be your friend, your sibling or even your coworker. Don’t think about her persona; think about her as a person.
Emilia Beuger is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at email@example.com.