I wouldn’t shed a tear if the entire Kardashian clan was wiped out by a bad batch of Botox being injected into their faces.
If a giant piano fell on a Kardashian family meeting, I fear my chuckles would outweigh my sympathy.
But I feel compelled to put a little perspective into the outrage that blew up this week around Kylie Jenner being named a “self-made” billionaire.
Yes, it’s stunning that in a world where millions are starving, a young woman can make a tonne of money by promoting dodgy diet teas and spruiking only eating 500 calories a day.
And the idea that she’s “self-made” is risible when it’s brutally obvious she’s ridden the designer coat-tails of her famous clan to promote herself.
She apparently receives $1 million for an Instagram post to her gazillions of followers.
I think pretty much anybody could sell any old crap and become a billionaire like that.
Bill Gates became a billionaire by creating Windows. Kylie Jenner became a billionaire by taking a selfie in one.
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But while many cite this as evidence that society is going to hell in a designer handbasket, we do need to contrast it with another piece of celebrity news.
The Michael Jackson documentary Finding Neverland has revealed what we all feared was true. That Jackson was not some harmless clown trapped in an endless childhood.
Instead, he was a predator who used his celebrity and his status to cloak himself in respectability and silence.
Forget that he was a musical genius. As a human being — and I use that term loosely here — he was sickening.
He was only able to get away with it for so long because he was famous and admired and because everyone knows that celebrities are smarter and better than the rest of us mere mortals.
And even now there will be legions of fans who cannot bear to think their hero was flawed, who will denounce the doco as lies. To me, it puts a little perspective on the self-serving claptrap that is a Kardashian/Jenner social media feed.
They are celebrities who flaunt their notoriety to make money and are quite shameless about it.
But we don’t have to engage with them. We don’t have to buy their stupid diet teas and bags and lipsticks (I can never find one in my shade, anyway).
They are not creating a work of art that will preserve their memory for generations to come.
Not like Jackson, whose music became a soundtrack for decades.
But they are not reaching out and ruining lives, either.
Yes, you could argue they are a poor influence on today’s youth and that their version of female empowerment is all about exploiting your looks.
That pales in comparison with what Jackson did to starstruck children.
He used the cloak of fame to hide his attacks. And he got away with it.
That is the worst possible use of the power of celebrity.
Selling some crappy lipstick or the idea that showing your butt to the world is a serious career choice for a young woman — as stupid as that is — does not compare.
Give me a Kardashian over a Jackson any day.
Originally published as ‘I will take Kylie Jenner’s celebrity over Jacko’s any day’