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When Kim Kardashian split from Kris Humphries, the media jumped all over her.
They trashed the woman, the courtship with Humphries, and the short-lived marriage that was its result, saying that each was ten kinds of phony. Kim handled the entire she-bang as she has handled most aspects of her public life: with killer eyelashes, class, and the lemons-to-lemonade lady-mogul sensibility that has polished her star in the celebutante firmament (a phrase I totally just used, you guys) and earned her "all of the dollars."
My love for Kim Kardashian is so far from ironic that it is basically a Lifetime TV Movie starring Patty Duke Austin. It's not too much of stretch to point out that the way she -- with an assist from mom Kris -- managed the dropping of her sex tape with Brandy's brother Ray Jay was feminism at its gutsiest. She took something that could have hurt, and used it to plant the seeds of an empire. Maybe I'm being too expansive here, but come on -- Kim Kardashian is Kim Kardashian now. Ray Jay is still, well, Brandy's little brother.
The thing that has always captivated me about Kim (in addition to, uh, HER AMAZING FACE) is that she's not doing this alone. She makes no bones about her family's involvement. They've got careers of their own, careers that quietly enthrall me.
I get guff from folks for the zombie-esque trance I enter when the Kardashians (in any iteration) are featured on my small screen. I blush and mumble, loudly clearing my throat and changing the channel like I'm watching a gangbang porno in my parents' living room when I'm caught. I wish I could be more proud of my deeply rooted desire to see Kim apologize to her sisters for not focusing enough on Dash, their shared family business. (I also wish I could be more proud of my viewing of gangbangs in semi-public, but you know, baby steps.)
I did the same when Kim's monthly shoe subscription company -- ShoeFab -- came out. Was I receiving shoes selected for me by a stylist monthly for the low, low price of 39.85? Yes, yes -- most assuredly. Was I sharing this news with all and sundry? No, and more fool me, frankly.
The truth is, I like and identify with Kim and the whole clan (please note, for love of Jane alone, that I did not write "klan") -- when Bruce Jenner putters about with his toy airplanes, I cannot help but think of any one of the hobbies my own dad picks up -- like learning the entire life of Henry Adams, say.
Kim's earnestly expressed desire to meet someone and have kids, her drive to do the most work she can, her quickness to tears of joy, sorrow, or frustration -- we could be twins were it not for my short hair and the complete lack of Armenian blood coursing through my stocky, English peasant veins.
When Kim and Kanye West hooked up, I honestly couldn't understand the sneering tone adopted by gossip blogs (which I read, admittedly) and by folks I know who trade in this sort of dialogue the way the olds do in weather chit-chattery. There have been so many stranger matches in Hollywood. I mean -- Kate Winslet got secretly married to a man whose last named in Rocknroll and no one is wishing her ill, you know?
The other night, stubbornly refusing to go to bed in order so that I might learn which song of the '00s VH1 deemed to be number 1 ("Crazy in Love," FYI), I received word that Kanye had announced -- in typical 'Ye fashion -- that Kim was carrying their first child. You guys. I got teary!
I was all, "Man, she has wanted a baby for such a long time now! She must really love this dude!" and then I was all, "And look! Kanye! You have been looking for something positive to loudly direct at a crowd in a shocking manner for quite some time -- this is perfect, well done!"
I felt damn near parental -- these magical creatures were with child, and basically, given the parents, said child was basically guaranteed to be THE BEST. Admittedly, this is perhaps a creepy reaction to have, uh, in general, but I'd rather feel this than a strange antipathy and venom for people I do not know.
Also, I am almost 30 and desperately want to meet someone and have kids -- la la la. MOVE ALONG NOTHING CRAZY TO SEE HERE. With Kim and Kanye, I kind of get the vibe that whatever their future may hold, and whatever your personal opinions about the two as individual personalities may be, together they have this almost old-school, alchemical Taylor and Burton magic going on.
It's bigger, and more dramatic, and to a scale equal to both the personas they present and, the romantic in me can't help positing, maybe even to the people they actually are. Also this means that Kanye will probs be in many, many more episodes of "Keeping up with the Kardashians" -- and there is nothing I do not love about that.