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Why Kim Kardashian Telling Women to “Get off Their Ass & Work” Is Problematic

Here's why Kim Kardashian is accused of being ignorant in her latest interview.

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Hot Take
3 min read
Why Kim Kardashian Telling Women to “Get off Their Ass & Work” Is Problematic
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In a recent interview of the Kardashian sisters with Vanity Fair, they were asked about advice they would give to women in business. Kim Kardashian claimed to have the “best advice” and quipped, “Get your f*cking ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days. Show up and do the work.”

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Ever since the statement has come out, Kim has faced considerable backlash on social media, most of it revolving around one major point: someone as wealthy as Kim Kardashian shouldn't shame other women who aren’t remotely as privileged as her for 'not working hard enough'. This is because the very definition of working hard can be poles apart for Kim and other women.

She further said, “You have to surround yourself with people that want to work. Have a good work environment where everyone loves what they do, because you have one life. No toxic work environments and show up and do the work.”

This statement is ignorant because it applies to a very miniscule percentage of people who have the privilege to wait around till they find the perfect job that checks all the boxes. Most people do not have the same luxury. Their financial and social conditions inevitably force them to take up the next available job, just to make a living. Things such as choosing a job with a non-toxic work environment take a backseat when your main goal is to just sustain yourself and the people who are dependent on you, something that is a reality for most of the general population.

Many women don’t have the privilege to keep looking for a job that is in their specific field and caters to their interests owing to external factors such as competition and the economy, factors that most probably don't even touch people such as Kim.
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This is not to say that the Kardashians have not worked hard. I strongly believe that they have created a brand for themselves in a way no one has and have built businesses that are worth millions from the ground up. But what they fail to acknowledge is that they were able to do this because of their hard work, sure; but also because they already had access to contacts, resources, capital, and a plethora of other things.

This first step that came relatively easy to the Kardashians is something that most people struggle to find through the span of their entire careers. Someone in Kim’s position, with an entire bus full of people, right from stylists, makeup artists, managers, financial advisors, and an endless list of other people assisting should probably stop to think before telling women who are working all by themselves to “get off their asses”.

What the tone-deaf statement fails to acknowledge is that there are women trying to pursue their passions while caring for their children, working multiple jobs, struggling through issues in their personal life, all the while trying to keep up with this definition of “hustling” that glorifies burnout in a very dangerous way. Besides, the reality is that women work all the time, irrespective of whether they have a job or not.

Naturally, when someone with a completely different lifestyle and living conditions from Kim compares herself to Kim, how she works around the clock and scales her business tenfold with every passing year, it can never end well. Thus begins a cycle of discounting your own struggle and feelings of guilt about not doing enough despite burning yourself out every day.

I fail to understand why celebrities often cannot talk about their struggles or achievements without being patronizing or invalidating the issues that the general population faces. Being privileged is not a bad thing, but assuming everyone is and looking down upon them for not achieving their goals despite it is where your “advice” gets dangerous. It is not tough to simply talk about your journey without opining about what others are doing or should do.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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