Kim Kardashian is judged for a lot of things ("breaking the internet," publishing a book of her selfies, considering using a surrogate to have a third child), but it's about time she starts getting credit where credit is due. The time has come for everyone to stop downgrading Kim Kardashian's success just because she's a reality star or for how she became famous and start recognizing her for who she is — a hardworking businesswoman.
This is something Kardashian believes she deserves, especially after years of hard work. "You can say a lot of things about me, but you cannot say I don’t work hard," she told Janet Mock for Interview magazine. "I don’t sing. I don’t dance. I don’t act. But I am not lazy."
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star admits she's not a triple-threat, and she probably won't be winning an Oscar anytime soon. But, just because she isn't an actor, singer, or dancer (even when she's next to Beyoncé), that doesn't mean the 36-year-old hasn't worked hard to get where she is today. As she told Mock,
"I used to say, 'I love being underestimated.' But now when I hear, 'They’re so not talented,' — ten years into it — I’m kind of like, 'Okay, give a girl a little respect.' If I’m so not talented, if I do nothing, then how is my career my reality? And I poke fun at it, like when I was on the cover of Forbes I posted the hashtag #NotBadForAGirlWithNoTalent. I don’t mind being underestimated because it does fuel me. But after a while, I do feel like, 'C’mon, you can recognize a little bit.'
According to Forbes, the reality star was one of the highest-paid celebrities of 2017 (she ranked 47th out of 100 celebs) after raking in $45.5 million pretax. She also graced the business magazine's cover in 2016 for turning her mobile game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, into a huge moneymaking success. Per Forbes' July 2016 report, since the game first debuted in June 2014, it has banked $160 million in revenue.
She's also been super successful in other endeavors. As Mock pointed out in their chat, "Well, no one makes something like $14 million in mere hours, like you did during the launch of KKW Beauty. That doesn’t just happen. That takes a lot of thought and planning and work." In June, when her beauty line launched, Kardashian made an estimated $14.4 million after all 300,000 of her kits sold out — in under three hours. The Selfish author knows exactly what she's doing.
"If you saw the room I’m in right now — my office — I have mood boards of so many different things in front of me; maybe 15 perfume samples sitting on my table. And then for our kids’ line, I have maybe 200 samples of bathing suit fabrics that I have to go through. I’ll usually have wardrobe fittings for myself. Then I might have — and I’m not joking — 300 makeup products to go through and consider for a future project."
She, of course, incorporates motherhood into her crazy schedule, which is also a job that is a lot of work. She said, "In between, I’m taking my son to a music class and my daughter to a horseback riding class."
It's unfortunate that Kardashian still has to talk about what she does and why she's deserving of credit. Even after this Interview conversation was released, many people took to Twitter expressing their confusion about Kardashian's career. One Twitter user wrote, "Kim Kardashian is very adamant that she's not lazy, but it's still unbeknownst to me what it is she actually DOES..." Someone else tweeted, "Here we see @KimKardashian yet again portraying someone famous to try and salvage her fame due to the fact the she has no actual talent."
For years, Kardashian has continuously had to defend herself and her work. For example, at the October 2015 Re/Code Code Mobile conference, she was asked, "Why do people not take you seriously?" To that, she responded,
"I don’t know. That is a question that sometimes I get frustrated with. I pride myself with my work ethic, and I work really hard. I think when people hear that I might have gotten success off of a 'reality show,' they take that as a negative. We’re in our tenth season. We have more episodes than I Love Lucy. We have so many milestones that people don’t think about."
Even Oprah Winfrey's praised Kardashian and her family's work ethic. "I interviewed the Kardashians two years ago and I can’t believe how hard they work," she told KIIS FM’s Kyle and Jackie O Show in November 2015 (via Vanity Fair). "People don’t understand that. People think, 'Oh, if a television camera’s just following you, then that’s just easy.' To really create a reality series that looks like something’s actually happening, it means you have to be on all the time."
Being continually questioned about what exactly she does is something that irritates Kardashian. In May 2015, she opened up to former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush and said, "I get more fed up with questions like — I was traveling recently and I was doing a press day and people were like, 'How do you feel when people say what do you do?' And I'm like, I'm here working aren't I? Like, I'm here to promote something." She then added, "I said, 'Hey why don't you do this — tell someone else that you think can do it. Tell them to do everything that I've done in my career and see if they end up where I'm at. Try it. Just try it. I dare you."
You don't have to be a fan of Kardashian or care about her success, but the way her work in business is overlooked speaks to a larger issue. Women are constantly fighting to be recognized for their successes, and Kardashian is a huge female influence dominating the business world. The unfortunate reality is that women have to constantly defend their accomplishments, rather than just being given credit without any argument, and the situation with Kardashian highlights just how much that continues to exist.
And if you think she's going to stop working anytime soon, you're wrong. "I am genuinely still so excited about my career," she said. "I feel like now is when someone would turn off and think, 'Okay, I’ve done this for ten years. I’ve done pretty well for myself. I can chill for a bit.' But instead I’m like, 'No, let me turn it up.'" There's no doubt she is going to do just that because it's what she's been doing all along.
Like Kardashian, it's time for everybody to recognize, that, no, she's not successful in the same ways as, say, Jennifer Lopez, but she also isn't lazy or making money just because she's famous. Kardashian is a boss. End of discussion.