Apart from being reality television stars, the Kardashian-Jenner family also spearheads multiple beauty, fashion, and lifestyle brands. Kim Kardashian’s shapewear company Skims was valued at $3.2bn (£2.4bn) in January 2022, doubling its value from $1.6bn (£897m) in just nine months.
In an interview with Variety published on 9 March, the 41-year-old billionaire shared her advice for women looking to succeed. “I have the best advice for women in business,” she said. “Get your f***ing ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.”
However, Kardashian’s advice fell short on social media, when Twitter users called her out for the broad statement about working individuals.
“Kim, baby,” tweeted one person, while another said: “I can’t even…”
A significant amount of the criticisms surrounding Kardashian’s comments referenced her wealthy California upbringing and positional privilege as invalidating her business advice.
“Also: be born rich. Really helps,” tweeted journalist Soledad O’Brien.
“If there’s one thing that resonates with normal people, it’s being told to work harder by people who were born rich,” tweeted another user.
“Yikes,” someone else said. “Maybe the best person to solicit advice for everyday people is not the person who grew up rich, connected, and privileged in every conceivable way.”
Others used the backlash from Kardashian’s recent comments to highlight the conditions they experienced while working for the business mogul. Jessica DeFino, a freelance beauty reporter, who claimed she was an editor for all five of the Kardashian-Jenner sister’s apps, said she was underpaid while working long hours.
“I was an editor on the Kardashian apps in 2015 in LA, worked days, nights and weekends, could only afford groceries from the 99 Cents Only Store, called out ‘sick’ more than once because I couldn’t put gas in my car to get to the office, and was reprimanded for freelancing on the side,” DeFino tweeted.
In May 2021, seven former employees of Kardashian’s household staff filed a lawsuit against Kardashian. According to documents filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Kardashian allegedly failed to pay overtime, cover expenses, and provide legally mandated breaks. A representative for Kardashian denied these claims.
Many critics referred to similar “tone-deaf” comments made by Love Island star Molly-Mae Hague earlier this year. The PrettyLittleThing creative director argued that, no matter what different backgrounds people come from or financial situations they are in, “we all have the same 24 hours in a day” to achieve what we want to do.
The Good Place actor and activist Jameela Jamil called for the “24 hours” ideology to be put to an end when she called out Kardashian for her remark on Wednesday.
“I think if you grew up in Beverly Hills with super successful parents in what was simply a smaller mansion… nobody needs to hear your thoughts on success/work ethic,” she tweeted. “This same 24 hours in the day sh*t is a nightmare. 99.9 per cent of the world grew up with a VERY different 24 hours.”
Kardashian’s advice to women comes after she was accused of cultural appropriation for portraits taken in the March issue of US Vogue. The cover shoot bears a strong resemblance to past images of Black women such as Beyoncé, Nina Simone and Naomi Campbell. Throughout her career, Kardashian has faced many accusations of profiting off of Black culture.
“Black women all their lives have worked just to see women like her bite off their culture and profit from it,” tweeted one user.
“It’s easy to disparage people for not wanting to work when your work is to *allegedly* copy the creativity of Black women,” another said.
The Independent has contacted a representative for Kardashian for comment.
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