Sociology in the News (7)

Headline celebrity news this week was that Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in the early hours of the morning at her luxury apartment in Paris. Five armed men disguised as police men tied her up and locked her in the bathroom, leaving with a jewellery box containing items worth 5 million Euros and a ring worth 4 million.

That’s really all the detail you need to know about the robbery (really) but not according to the mainstream news – there’s a lot of material outlining the detail of the robbery if you do a search for ‘Kim Kardashian Robbed‘ – I haven’t actually read anything other than the summaries of the even, on the premise that you can’t trust anything that comes out of a celebrity’s mouth – first-hand accounts are very likely to be spun out of all proportion to what actually happened, which I imagine was in-and-out as quickly as possible (wouldn’t you?).

What’s of interest to me is the motivation behind the robbery – and I don’t get it TBH – surely rational choice theory can’t explain this – Sure, there’s opportunity – everyone knows Kim Kardashian is loaded because she flouts her jewellery over social media, and yes it’s a relatively easy heist (if you know there’s a lapse in security), but surely the risk of getting caught is far too great…. there must be CCTV footage of them, the jewellery pieces must be extremely distinct so can’t be sold on easily, and there is going to be a lot of interest in catching the robbers.

So maybe, just maybe, this is one crime that cultural criminology can explain? Maybe this is an attempt by the robbers to become notorious celebrities themselves – perhaps they know they’re going to get caught, but also know they won’t get that long in jail (there was no violence), and once they get out – they can probably milk their notoriety for a few years at least?

Secondly, and as a statistical counter-trend to ‘Kardashianisation’ – Women more generally seem to be coming to their senses and seem less willing to consciously disable themselves… For the first time, women are buying more trainers than high heels. According to a Mintel survey, 37% of women have bought trainers in the past year compared to only 33% who bought heels.

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Is Kim Kardashian a Feminist Icon?

Just a brief post to get you thinking about different types of Feminism – is Kim Kardashian a Suitable Role Model?

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Kim Kardashian – Feminist Icon?

Feminist and Labour MP Harriet Harman recently revealed that she was a fan of Kim Kardashian on Good Morning Britain – saying that she liked the way the Kardashians’ controlled their own agendas and made their own decisions.

 

She was soundly criticised by some who believe that Kim Kardashian simply encourages young women to aspire to only fur coats and cars,  and suggesting that flashing your crotch and baring your bum is a good way to get all that.

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Labour MP Harriet Harman – Kim Kardashian Fan?

A counter criticism is this – in contrast to many topless models who are controlled by an editor, the Kardashians do their own thing for themselves, they exploit their ‘erotic capital’ – and this is what many men have done in the past – such as Brad Bit and Zayn Malik getting their shirts off – and no one bats an eye-lid. So any criticism of Kim Kardashian is just a reflection of sexism – the policing of women’s bodies and not men’s.

The inaccessibility and vacuousness of the Kardashians is also a problem for many Feminists – this simply isn’t an accessible way for most women to make it in life: Kim Kardashian is a millionaire’s daughter and only gets attention because the media and fashion industry profit from it, not everyone can do this.

What do you think? Based on the above arguments, is Kim Kardashian feminist icon?

Postcript

It is of course possible that Harriet was just trying to give the impression that she’s down with popular culture – something which doesn’t always wash if you remember this painful media-event:

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Tony Blair ‘smashing it’ with Oasis at Downing Street