It looks like Kim Kardashian can officially add “lobbyist” to her resume. A resume that — for many people — starts and ends with “sex tape star.”
In case you missed it, the mother-of-three was in Washington yesterday, May 30, to sit down with President Donald Trump to discuss prison reform. It’s a cause that Kim has passionately advocated for since she learned about Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old great-grandma/inmate who has been serving a life sentence since 1996, when she was convicted of a non-violent, drug-related crime. It was her first offense.
After hearing about Ms. Johnson’s case from a video on social media, Kim has spoken out, not only in support of clemency for Ms. Johnson specifically, but also about how the country’s laws regarding sentencing need to be addressed. In addition to speaking out, she lawyered up and took action — which culminated in her meeting with President Trump. A meeting that many people have either written off, mocked, or criticized, because Kim Kardashian is a “sex tape star.”
I dont see why pres trump would be meeting with kim k about prison reforms… what does a woman who got famous off a sex tape know about that shit 🤔
— Jerz_knight (@Boxer595) May 30, 2018
Kim Kardashian is famous for a sex tape but she meeting with trump to talk about prison reform 🤣😫😫😫df😳
— DJ NEw York (@BlackCulture77) May 31, 2018
Writing Kim Kardashian off as only a sex tape star is, at best, unfair; she’s also a mom, a philanthropist, an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, a cultural icon, and — yes — a reality star. At worst, it’s slut-shaming.
While, of course, none of the above titles directly translate to “political experience,” having a sex tape also doesn’t negate that she has opinions, or disqualify the opinions that she does have. By meeting with Trump, she joins a long list of celebrities-turned-lobbyists who have used their platform and influence in an effort to bring awareness and enact change.
Not to mention, boiling Kim down to a “sex tape” star is also sexist. Take, for example, Rob Lowe — who isn’t a politician, but has certainly played one on TV; like Kim, he also had a sex tape (recorded at the Democratic National Convention, nonetheless). Sure, he was already famous when his sex tape came out… But you never see the father-of-two listed as simply a “sex tape star,” and it’s unlikely that anyone wrote off him or his opinions because of it when he testified before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming back in 2007 (which, by the way, if you are declaring as old news… It was the same year Kim’s sex tape was released).
Hot take: Kim Kardashian is one of the most media savvy people alive and she just got the words prison reform in every newspaper on earth in spite of the abuse she knew would be heaped on her while trying to get a black, elderly woman drug offender out of jail.
— THE BLACK MADONNA (@blackmadonnachi) May 31, 2018
I can’t believe I have to say this, but your “Kim Kardashian has a sex tape jokes” are as edgy as a butter knife. She also has hundreds of millions of dollars, a social media empire, & a mansion in Calabasas. And guess what? NONE of these either qualify or disqualify her opinion.
— Tiana Lowe (@TianaTheFirst) May 31, 2018
The person who doesn’t deserve criticism here is Kim Kardashian who has been working on / talking about this prison reform thing for months. Nobody would be batting an eye if it was eg Clooney meeting Obama. https://t.co/IPP6ggnNpg
— rachelrobertsREAL (@scouserachel) May 31, 2018
And while there are plenty of people who don’t want any celebrities involved with politics — whether they’re best known for their acting, singing, or reality TV — it seems a little late for that. Not only do we have a celebrity in the White House, but it also goes against everything that our democracy stands for. Imagine if we told every teacher, accountant, baker, etc. to “stick to” teaching, accounting, or baking like we do with actors, singers, and — sure — even “sex tape stars”?
At the end of the day, Kim gets a lot of flack for, well, everything. And with all the focus on whether or not Kim is qualified to be doing the advocacy work that she’s committed to, people have lost sight of the fact that the work she’s doing and the cause she’s endorsing are important, and taking the meeting with President Trump — whom she’s criticized on several occasions — is still a step in the right direction, and an important milestone for both Ms. Johnson and the greater cause.
But Kim’s actions getting overshadowed by her own fame (or, perhaps more accurately, infamy) isn’t new to her; despite all her accomplishments, she’s still written off as being famous for a sex tape or, at times, being famous “for being famous.” But who knows? Maybe in a year or two we’ll be able to celebrate that — on top of her successful businesses and decade-long reality TV career — Kim will be famous for prison reform.
In her own words: “Not bad for a girl with no talent!”