“Today’s final Jeopardy category is Boobs, Butts, and Botox. You have 60 seconds. Good luck. This person’s ‘stardom’ was orchestrated by a grainy sex tape.” (Cue music.)
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for someone achieving success and notoriety through hard work and true talent. What chaps my ass like a baby’s pee-soaked Huggies is a so-called “reality star” who builds an almost cult-like following and is given celebrity status generally reserved for deserving artists from the stage, screen, and music. Then some begin in sleazy tabloid news for some despicable act and are rewarded.
Who is Kim Kardashian?!
Here is someone who gained notoriety from a sex tape and is admired, adored, and gets press every time she farts. With the help of her exploitive mother/manager who pimps out her daughter for a buck. OK, millions of bucks. She creates a smoke-and-mirrors atmosphere that eventually draws attention like flies on a steamy cow patty.
Granted, she has her doubters and disbelievers, and as a dear friend once said to me, “For everyone who loves you, there’s one who hates you.” As someone who was in the local eye for years, I can vouch for that. It’s all perspective and perception.
I am not naïve. Having spent three decades in Houston’s gay bars as an emcee and entertainer, I achieved a shaky degree of minor notoriety. Extremely minor. But, enough to experience the half love/half hate status. As a biting, foul-mouthed, shady queen on a microphone who “took no prisoners,” whether emceeing for unbearable karaoke or the much more tolerable male strip revue (there is no wrong that an overstuffed pouch on a fake-tanned Adonis can’t right), I was treated to mostly friendly crowds and an occasional free cocktail. I bathed in the limelight.
So, what is my true beef with Kim K.? Where do I start?
I tend to believe that “stars” build their fame on hard work and hard talent, not soft boobs and butt. An empire created (literally) on the back of an unknown in a grainy sex tape by a mother shouldn’t count, even if that mother is, granted, a marketing genius. But in a world of listless reality television viewers with too much time on their greasy Hot Pockets and pizza-stained hands, it’s the non-thinkers goldmine. They wait expectantly for the news of Kim K. traveling the world to reduce her stress (!), entering high-end boutiques, and grabbing a quick coffee at Starbucks. They listen to her whiny banter about how hard her life is from her Calabasas mansion while sunning by the pool or eating takeout (from plastic containers. Does she own a piece of china?!) or her next simple million-dollar family member’s birthday. Entertainment from The Spice Girls or Kenny G.? Too hard a decision. What to wear, what to wear?!
Surely, there is some title other than “star” that can be offered. One that doesn’t lump Kim K. with Meryl S. and Mother T. Hmmm, what about “BOHG” (Ball of Hot Gas). That’s kind of a star.
But that’s just my opinion.