What Does Kim Kardashian Have To Do To Prove She’s More Than Just A Sex Tape?

You can hate billionaires, you can hate the culture that has made Kim Kardashian her fortune, but let’s be honest, you can’t call her 'talentless'.

Kim Kardashian

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Yesterday, Forbes announced their annual World’s Billionaires List and for the first time ever, Kim Kardashian West had joined the elite club of people-who-really-don’t-need-that-much-money. Thanks to the success of her shapewear range, SKIMS, cosmetics brand KKW and income from TV deals, endorsements and investments, she now has a net worth of $1bn (£720m).

For those familiar with Kim’s career in the last few years, it’s perhaps not a surprise. Far-removed from her ditsy, fame-obsessed persona in the first few years of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kim’s personality has grown as much as her career in recent seasons. The more mature, business-savvy sister, it’s safe to say Kim garnered a new level of respect from her siblings and peers alike having seen how she turned notoriety into what’s considered ‘more legitimate’ success.

While she’s no doubt still a controversial figure, her reputation has also turned a tide with the pursuit of her legal career. Lobbying for the release of Alice Marie Johnson and the 90 Days to Freedom campaign – an initiative to release nonviolent drug offenders from life sentences – as well as highlighting gun violence issues in America and the humanitarian crisis in Armenia, Kim’s focus on advocacy work has bought her more positive headlines in recent years.

In effect, she’s ‘gone legit’, even announcing that she now fears posting bikini pictures on Instagram as they’re ‘unprofessional’ despite once proclaiming ‘nude selfies till I die’ loud and proud (although, by the looks of her Instagram lately, she seems to have recanted that). Her demure attitude has not gone unnoticed on KUWTK, nor has the lack of drama and resultant decline in TV ratings – ultimately ending in its cancelling this year. That’s not to say the show hasn’t still been worth watching though, even in its 18th season it is still one of the most-watched TV shows. Kendall and Kylie Jenner's physical scraps alone were enough to keep viewers tuned in.

But despite all of this, her two successful businesses, reality TV empire and an abundance of products tied to her name (from her 2014 mobile app to her 2015 photo book Selfish), despite the fact she’s number 24 on America’s Self-Made Women of 2020 with her now billionaire fortune, no one can let her claim her monetary ‘success’ as down to her own talent.

Almost immediately after her billionaire status was announced, the familiar tweets rolled in about her sex tape with musician Ray J in 2007. ‘So if I made a sex tape with an athlete I can be an entrepreneur too?’ one person asked on Twitter. ‘In the end she is just a prostitute,’ another tweeted.

‘Kim Kardashian is officially a Billionaire says #Forbes! It’s depressing that someone who has no talent, made a sex tape & did a stupid reality show made it to this point,’ one person commented to hundreds of likes.

‘Just goes to show how fucked up the world is.. A talentless midget, famous for a sex tape with another C-rated "celebrity" becomes a billionaire thanks to her airheaded followers,’ another commented.

Thousands of tweets later, you can imagine how many are in a similar vein. And really, have we not moved past this? Yes, Kim Kardashian’s fame skyrocketed when the sex tape went viral, but to maintain that level of fame more than 15 years later is proof alone of a talent for entertaining. Hell, the people watching and commentating on her are the exact people fuelling her fame, funding her billions. And it’s actually much more than that, isn’t it – because she’s not just managed to keep hold of her fame, she’s managed to monetise it in a way that’s not only forged her own fortune, but the invention of an entire new wave of business.

People just weren’t monetising fame in the same way before Kim Kardashian. Yes celebrities had perfumes, barbie dolls and clothing lines, as did Kim, but she took Instagram influence and turned it into a lifestyle thousands of people on social media now benefit from. Would we have Instagram influencers if it wasn’t for seeing how Kim did brand deals? To see how her influence could be marketed and turn that into money in her bank is not the mind of a ‘talentless C-list celebrity’. In fact, if you have a problem with that, you’re probably more irked by the people influenced by her than Kim herself.

Now, one could say a lot of this was down to Kris Jenner’s eye for marketing her daughters lives at all costs – and there’s no doubt about that. But to discredit Kim as a businessperson when she has launched two lucrative businesses is just plain ridiculous. She’s clearly has an incredible mind for social media marketing, consumer habits and creating engaging entertainment. And now, an impending legal mind too – as she’s set to pass the bar and become a lawyer within the next few years

No one likes how Jeff Bezos came to be successful either and you don’t see him being called talentless.

You might not like how she came to be successful, but hey, no one particularly likes how Jeff Bezos came to be successful either and you don’t see him being called talentless. Is monetising the fame you garnered from a sex tape (that, we might add, she still maintains was initially leaked without her knowledge) really worse than the unethical working conditions of thousands of employees that have led to hunger strikes and one known suicide? That’s just the tip of the iceberg, by the way.

You can hate billionaires, you can hate the culture off which Kim Kardashian has made her fortune, but let’s be honest, you can’t call her talentless.

Read More:

Kim Kardashian Thinks Posting Bikini Pictures On Instagram Makes You Unprofessional - We Disagree

Kim Kardashian West: We Need A Break, A Minute To Regroup

Kylie Jenner 'Furious' With Mum Kris Jenner After Forbes Strips Her Of Billionaire Status

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