After being robbed at gunpoint last October, Kim Kardashian disappeared from all social media and public events, no doubt at immense cost to her. As of January of this year, however, she returned. But there’s something different. In these new tweets and Instagram posts, there’s a strong sense of distance. If you look at her last Instagram just hours before she was robbed, there’s a sense of familiarity, of openness. We see her in a camel trench coat cinched around her waist, collar around her shoulders, cleavage on display and thigh-high black and white boots. It’s an intimate moment that oozes a sex appeal that Kim Kardashian has marketed since her first moment in the limelight.
Then, in the first week of January 2017, Kim rang in the new year by updating her Instagram for the first time in three months. Her picture, which she captioned simply “family,” has the look of an old blurry Polaroid tinted blue. The Kardashian-West family is coordinated in white, in the midst of movement. Kanye and Kim are looking at North and Saint, while North is focusing her attention at something out of frame. Kim is squatting, her figure hidden underneath a white dress and turned away from the camera as she appears to be trying to keep Saint standing. The several other pictures she’s posted since are similar: nobody is looking at the camera, nobody is scantily clad and none of them is a high quality image.
While these new Instagrams are just as intimate as their predecessors, the new images are not in any way about Kim as a sex object or as a celebrity. She is no longer attempting to sell herself — rather she’s emphasizing her turn inwards and away from her fans. Some say she might be using her family as an attempt to rebrand, and that may be true, but at the same time, these photos make a statement about her priorities going forward: her family.
As none of us are part of the Kardashian family, we’ve been rejected from access to Kim, a stark departure from her history of over-sharing her image (here I’m thinking about the selfie book, the sex tape, the reality TV show, the app, the game, the Snapchat account, etc.)
While most people have already failed our New Year’s resolutions, Kim demonstrated her attitude shift with her new approach to social media. Many of us, though severely less glamourous than Kim, are also looking to improve our lives in some way, especially as we begin the new quarter. People add more units to their course loads, take a class outside of their major requirements, participate in new extracurriculars, spend less on food at Olives, leave campus more often — the list goes on.
The problem, however, is that none of these changes are true changes. Each of the aforementioned goals is outwardly focused and rooted in the superficial concept of money or grades. Rarely do we ever decide to change the immutable things that should be changed: our point of views, our priorities, our expectations. In this way, we can look towards Kim Kardashian West, one of the most notoriously superficial figures in today’s society, as a source of inspiration.
In the face of trauma, Kim rejected an image of herself that she had carefully curated and actually turned her focus to something that truly mattered: her children. In the spirit of Kim Kardashian West, I encourage you to truly re-evaluate your goals and resolutions you made earlier this month and try to make some real change in your life.
Contact Arianna Lombard at ariannal ‘at’ stanford.edu.