FOOD FOR THOUGHT … by Shevonne Joyce, founder of Yellow Palomino
Unless you’ve been on holidays at the Sea of Tranquillity (that’s right, on the Moon), you have probably heard about the Kim Kardashian West robbery and the extensive media storm and public debate that has ensued. From what I’ve seen it appears people are divided on this topic. Some asking why anyone cares about this, others suggesting it’s her own fault and then there’s a tribe of supporters who are sending well wishes and hoping she is okay.
What interests me about people in the public eye, and particularly celebrities, is that for some reason, as their profile in public life grows, they seem to lose their humanity. People seem to lose all sense of the fact that they are a human being, like the rest of us, who think, feel, make mistakes and deserve compassion and basic decency. They become commodities and sources of entertainment, idolisation and ridicule. Let’s remember that, notwithstanding the fact French police are still investigating and the details pertaining to this case are still evolving, a woman has been allegedly bound and robbed at gunpoint and some of us are suggesting she is responsible for the crime committed against her? This is victim blaming if ever I have seen it.
Regardless of whether Kim Kardashian is your cup of tea or not, the fact remains she is a very smart business woman and a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter. She has built an empire of her lifestyle and monetized her very existence. The fact that she has in excess of 84 million, yes MILLION, followers on Instagram alone indicates that people are very interested in what she’s eating for breakfast, her outfits, her travels, photographs of her flicking her luscious locks and of course, her jewels. Naturally, part of her branding is documenting her daily frivolities. A question has arisen regarding whether she perhaps “brought it on herself” by posting images of the $4 million bling that Kanye gave her. Firstly, we can’t say that’s true for sure because we don’t actually know, however it opens a few great talking points.
Firstly, how many of us are sharing details of our everyday lives on social media? We share images of inside our houses, our location, our cars, our travels, our families, our businesses, the places we love to eat. In fact, if you are in the business of being in business, extensive documentation and content creation online is touted as necessary for business success. Quite honestly, it could happen to any one of us. Secondly, we are all learning the exact ways in which social media is blurring our personal, professional and public lives, including Kim herself. She hasn’t been social media-ing any longer than the rest of us and quite understandably her Instagram feed has been silent since this incident occurred. Let’s be kind to humanity and give the woman some compassion. From all accounts, she is lucky to be alive. People make mistakes but that does not mean they deserve to be victims of crime. If we were to apply the same logic to women who post photos of themselves on Instagram in their bikinis, do they deserve to be sexually assaulted? Of course they don’t. Would we say a man who shares a photo of his Lamborghini deserves to be car jacked? No! So why is it okay to suggest Kim is responsible for what happened to her?
Am I suggesting that we should all cease using social media immediately? No, of course I am not. Social media has made many positive contributions to connecting the world and will continue to do so. What I am saying is it’s a great opportunity to stop and think about how we utilise social media and what parts of ourselves we are comfortable with sharing. This is an individual decision. It’s also a great opportunity to re-assess the way we view and talk about people in the public domain, particularly women. These are some of the #girlbosses amongst us. Yes, being in the public eye comes with great responsibility, but it also comes with sacrifice. This is why we should all care about what allegedly happened to Kim. At the end of the day, those in the public eye are people like the rest of us and they deserve our respect, compassion and understanding – even if we don’t necessarily dig what they do.
Shevonne Joyce is the Founder of Yellow Palomino and the Co-Founder of The Business Experiment. She works with womenpreneurs to assist them with achieving in business and life. She also co-hosts a weekly podcast about the real of starting a business for the first time and has listeners in 12 countries.
Tell me, what are your thoughts on this situation? Do you agree with what is said above?