Sometimes the wealthy and famous like Kim Kardashian West forget the rest of the world isn’t like them, and the internet has to step in and remind them.
West, through her celebrity and business sense as well as her marriage to controversial but undeniably successful hip hop superstar (and presidential candidate, sort of) Kanye West, has more money than most of us could spend in a few lifetimes. She decided that her 40th birthday was a milestone worth celebrating with sultry bikini pics as well as something different—especially in this stressful time of global pandemic and economic recession, with the world feeling constantly on the brink of something worse.
Unlike most folks, she was able to—after appropriate COVID-19 testing—take all her besties to a private island and act as if she lived in a world where social distancing isn’t necessary for a while.
The problem for Kardashian West is she has become famous living her life out loud, so it was natural to her that she tell everyone about the good time she and her friends and family had dancing, riding bikes “and so much more.”
“I realize that for most people,” she concluded in a tweet thread about her party, “this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is.”
For a celebrity who has stayed successful by knowing when to get her name out there, it looks like Kardashian West’s birthday thread was a rare moment of very bad timing, at least based on the internet’s reaction—which was almost uniformly negative.
Ripping on Kim K. in this instance was alarmingly simple: People just copied all or a portion of her tweet beginning, “After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine…” and added their own images of “friends” partying. Just see below.
Admittedly, the joke gets old pretty quick, as the point isn’t subtle: It came across as if Kardashian West was putting down the least humble “humblebrag” ever.
Questions were also raised by commenters on social media as well as pundits over how Kardashian West made sure her guests underwent “multiple health screens,” as well as the basic logistical details behind organizing something like this when governments are still discouraging any unnecessary travel.
Others also pointed to another social media-related fiasco, the infamous Fyre Festival which saw sketchy a promoter fooling influencers into promoting and participating in a music festival that didn’t actually take place—though the only thing the events had in common really seemed to just be the “private island” element.
Actor Kelechi Okafor may have put the finest point on all the criticism with his response to Kardashian West’s tweets, writing, “Happy birthday. I hope someone got you an alphabet book as a gift, so you can learn to read the room.”
Right now the “room” is full of people feeling a kind of fear that only comes around a couple of times in a generation. Seems pretty clear that no one is in the mood to vicariously enjoy much, especially not a bunch of millionaires partying on an island somewhere like the pandemic never happened—and may be getting worse again.