Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow and the Inconsistent Celebrity Politics

Perry, Kardashian and Paltrow have all been proponents of some type of female empowerment. Kardashian has used her pioneering reality show to run successful business ventures and reinvent herself as a criminal justice reformer. Perry’s songs alluded to her LGBTQ ally, and her 2013 single “Roar” was literally Hillary Clinton’s campaign anthem. She wore a “Resist” armband after Donald Trump was elected.

But these supposedly egalitarian values ​​have always nested uneasily with reality.

After facing multiple backlash over cultural appropriation, Perry rebranded himself as a purveyor of “mindful” pop in songs like “Chained to the Rhythm.” She sang about being trapped in “white picket fences” and putting on rose-colored glasses, criticizing societal norms and pointing out how people get lost in their own island worlds.

But Perry’s position was never radical. She punctuated her Instagram post with the hashtag “#doyoubutjustuseyourvoteok,” the kind of old-school political civics lesson Madonna rolled out in the ’90s “Rock the Vote” campaign, as if voting was possible for everyone at home. a time of massive disenfranchisement of voters.

Additionally, she claimed right-wing talking points about the so-called out-of-control crimes taking place across the Los Angeles landscape. “I’m voting for a myriad of reasons (see news) but in particular because Los Angeles is a hot mess,” she wrote in the Instagram post showing she voted for Caruso.

Like Perry, Kardashian has created an entire empire out of slippery feminism based on selling your image on your terms and starting your own business.

At the same time, social media commentators, fashion designers and even other celebrities have accused Kardashian of appropriating the black and brown style. She’s also faced constant allegations from former employees that she and her family don’t pay interns and underpay social media workers, and even a lawsuit for not giving employees breaks. Of house. (Kardashian did not respond to claims by former employees regarding working conditions at KKW Beauty or the Kardashian family apps. His spokesperson responded to the lawsuit with a statement: “These workers were hired and paid by through a third-party provider…Kim is not a party to the agreement between the seller and its employees, so she is not responsible for how the seller conducts her business.”)

She has never addressed these labor issues thoughtfully on social media. But in a conservative podcast last December, she spoke about facing criticism. “I’ve never really been into cancel culture,” she said. “I really believe…in…freedom of speech.” Kardashian also defended her ex-husband Kanye West, referring to free speech: “I was like, ‘Why [Kanye] take [his MAGA hat] if that’s what he believes in? Kardashian said. “Why can’t he wear that on TV?” Half the country voted for [Trump] so clearly that other people like it too. As if everyone had equal access to corporate media platforms.

At the same time, Kardashian has integrated a new element into her political persona: a purported investment in criminal justice reform and the fight against the criminalization of people of color. It’s personal, she says, because she’s raising “mixed kids.”

Yet, like many elites, she seems to see the mass incarceration crisis and her philanthropic work as somehow distinct from the “scary crime” in her own city. In her Caruso endorsement video, Kardashian rehashed the right-wing crime wave talking points that Perry made, proclaim: “I think he can help with the crime in our city, which is such a big problem and super scary.”

Kardashian and Perry’s endorsements are notable in part because they seem out of step with how millennials are often portrayed in the media — as an increasingly politicized generation, especially on labor issues.

Paltrow is a bit different, as a Hollywood Gen X kid who has long seemed above relatability. She’s always been Oscar-winning Hollywood royalty who best represented a free-be-you-and-me philosophy that sounds liberal, as therapy speaks of her infamous “conscious uncoupling” divorce statement; Her lifestyle brand Goop’s gift guide regularly features five- and six-figure luxury items.

She quit acting – a career that made masses of people buy into her image. Even so, Goop has often sold a second-wave-flavored celebration of women communing with their bodies. For example, Goop featured a fake “luxury disposable diaper” to draw attention to the so-called diaper tax, or how diapers are taxed as a luxury item. (That made her a favorite symbol of right-wing tax hypocrisy after Goop made a list of “delinquent taxpayers.”)

People have accused Goop of relying on selling orientalism to white women. And like Kardashian, Paltrow’s work politics boils down to: privileged people have it harder. Even then, his statement from Caruso — “We desperately need Rick to keep our streets clean and running” — legitimized right-wing narratives of rising and deteriorating crime. (There’s also a Goop store in a complex owned by Caruso.)

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