In a recent interview for Variety, Kim Kardashian gave her best business advice to women: “Get your f—- ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.”
We aren’t sure who “nobody” is, but we do know one thing: Comparing one’s success to Kim Kardashian is unfair. Kim was not only born in a family with abundant wealth, celebrity, and privilege, but she also has access to connections and tools an average everyday person can only dream of. The notion she is implying that women don’t want to work is simply untrue. Women nowadays are working harder than ever before.
No one can deny that Kim is successful. From the growth of her shapewear company, Skims, to KKW Cosmetics, which has fully established itself in the beauty space, Kim is definitely not a power to be undermined in business. However, Kim’s comments fail to address the fact that women have been working harder than ever to keep up with men in a gendered work environment. Her words mock women struggling with the expectations of managing motherhood and career success. The stress of world events such as the COVID-19 pandemic has also hindered society’s ability to thrive in their industries. A lot of Kim’s comment is consistent with the ever-growing pressure that women are under as a result of social media tropes like “Girl Boss” and “She-EO”.
While women are urged to embrace hustle culture, the toxic byproduct is a situation where they can’t keep up. It doesn’t matter how many sleepless nights, to-do boxes you check off, goals reached, or how many relationships you burn in the process, it’s never enough.
It seems that the girl-boss trope has become all the rage in the 2010s and 2020s. By combining perfection and comparison, the aspirational, role model quality was turned into an expected quality of a feminist, hard-working, and successful woman. In recent years, women have felt increasingly pressured to monetize all hobbies. According to Kim, those who didn’t embrace the ethos of being a female boss or failed at being one were clearly sitting on their f—king asses, not trying.
More and more young people are being shamed for taking a day off, thinking that this will inevitably lead to failure. In addition, young people who succeed can suffer from imposter syndrome, which makes them feel they don’t belong – as if they could be exposed at any moment as frauds – and that they have been lucky to succeed. Unrealistic expectations are common among women, but it’s a shame to see them perpetrated by other women. The reality of female entrepreneurs is that they are doing enough, they are working hard, and ‘advice’ such as Kim’s is harmful and destructive.
Kim Kardashian has not faced the same employment barriers that women face now when they look for work and want to move up the ladder. Forbes reported that the reality TV star achieved billionaire status in 2021, with a net worth of $1 billion, thanks to a successful career on reality TV, a popular app, numerous sponsorships, and KKW Beauty and Skims businesses. As well as a thriving business and a successful reality show career, Kardashian announced plans in 2019 of becoming a lawyer. Kardashian did not complete college and has chosen to become a lawyer without law school, as a college degree is not required to become a lawyer in California; one just needs to pass the baby bar exam. Kardashian passed the baby bar in December 2021.
The Kardashian’s accomplishments are not to be minimized, and Kim’s willingness to study law and help the unjustly imprisoned is admirable. However, her success is not solely her own. In addition to regular tutors, Kim Kardashian has an entire team of caregivers for her children, including cooks, housekeepers, bodyguards, and assistants. In addition, since she is so well known, Kim Kardashian is unlikely to struggle with obtaining business deals and moving up in status as a typical woman would in the world of law. Despite Kim being the same breathing, talking human as you or me, she has shared countless times on her Instagram that she isn’t obligated to do it alone if she decides not to.
Regardless of whether you fully embrace the girl boss hustle, or are still feeling stuck in the middle, committing to a very demanding field or career is not for everyone. Women are seeking more work-life balance, and should not be shamed out of it. In her own words, Kim says that she and her sisters act like themselves on screen. If this is true, then Kim does not really seem to have a clear separation between work and life. In fact, her greatest monetary venture is a reality series that films her life. Girl-boss culture focuses on the exterior- wealth, status, money. But women are beginning to demand a more balanced lifestyle. These things have value, but when you become anxious beyond belief, they become unenjoyable or unattainable.
Due to the pandemic, all over the world, women are discovering hobbies and seeking better employment, and some have quit their dead-end jobs. By separating their identities from their careers, women have transformed their lives. Women are coming to terms with the fact that their adjusted ambitions do not reflect a lack of virtue. Many women work. They work hard. The wise also know when to rest and take a break from the uphill battle, and don’t take advice from out-of-touch celebrities.