Just because something isn’t fake does not constitute it as reality. Social media has taught us this lesson. Memory is a collection of life’s significant moments, just like social media, but the difference is you can’t choose what you remember. You just sort of remember what you do. The Good comes with the Bad, and you’ll never forget the Ugly.
Kim Kardashian and the whole Kardashian-Jenner clan has taught us how we might pretend otherwise. By being hyper-visible through avenues available to everyone—i.e. social media, “reality” television—we can seemingly “show” others what our life is really like. My life is great because don’t you see all this great stuff I’m doing? Don’t you want your life to be more like mine?
None of this is groundbreaking theory nor is it new that these expectations produce a slew of other problems we all must face instead. Like how does one respond when Reality disrupts your perfectly constructed “reality”? What happens when genuine tragedy befalls your character, like getting robbed at gunpoint, your husband experiencing serious mental illnesses, and everyone on the outside, the very people who once ate off your manicured feet, believing your life is secretly falling apart?
Well you’d probably check out of “reality,” at least awhile, as Kim Kardashian did. Playgrounds aren’t very fun when it’s pouring outside. That Kim would eventually return seemed inevitable, even if that’s a myopic sentiment. She would come back to “reality” because, if nothing else, this was her chosen profession. This was how she made her living—off her living, albeit very publically.
So this idea that Kim’s narrative wasn’t hers anymore? That it was a giant mess behind the scenes? On her first social media post in three months, Kim retorted: The fam was still good.
Here the Wests appear in white garb, pure and together. Kim and Kanye look not to themselves but to their kids, as any “normal” parent would. As unfortunate as the past three months have been for them—enough to strain any family, fabricated or otherwise—they are still a family. Notice how Kim and Kanye look not to themselves, but to their kids, Saint and North. It’s the way any other parents would, their focus on the children, not themselves.
Here, too, is a home video, grainy and gooey just like your family’s VHS tapes might be. It even includes a song sounding nostalgically sentimental with Jeremih’s “Paradise.” Though upon reflection, what an odd choice? Because as warm and sappy as that chorus is, especially repeated as it in Kim’s home movie, it’s still a Jeremih joint. He’s going to croon sweetly about fucking and getting fucked up. (The track’s first two lines: “Woke up at home off that molly / Bad bitch red bone on my body.”) It’s like playing The Weeknd at a wedding—I can’t feel my face when I’m with you and I love that you don’t know what this song’s really about!
Anyways. As per usual with the Kardashian-Jenners, Kim’s return to social media was about image control. This is what Kim wants to show you and believe about her life. That it was positive and focused on family is perhaps a sign of where Kim’s at. The moment is justified. Whether you believe it or not, like with most parts of reality, is entirely up to you.
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