November 1, 2011
Why Kim Kardashian’s fairy tale failed
I admit it: I watched the Kim Kardashian “fairy tale” wedding last week. I was about a month late, I know, but it was still pre-divorce, and as fantasies go, this multi-million dollar extravaganza looked more like a nightmare. The designer Vera Wang, who designed not one, but three, wedding gowns for Kardashian could barely conceal her distaste for the laughable frolic that was The Kardashian Wedding, evinced, plain as day, when the entire clan of Kardashian/Jenner women visited her Los Angeles store for Kim’s fitting.
After two, not exactly painful but fascinating hours observing the Kardashian antics, I can tell you that no licensed professional was necessary to determine that the relationship between Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries had no chance – excuse the vulgarity – in hell. There was barely flint between these two, let alone a kinetic spark, and I half wondered why they got together in the first place. To label their union an actual “relationship” is too generous and aggrandizing. What they were enacting was no fairy tale, but a delusional fantasy in which the obscene preoccupation with a façade celebration won out over the love, knowing and trust required for a lifetime of commitment.
The irony in all this – the reason millions of people watch “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” – is it purports to represent “reality”. But there is nothing about the Kardashians’ lives that is reality-like. How many people in this world, at age 30, wear 20-carat diamond rings, fly a private jet full of their girlfriends to a bachelorette party in Las Vegas, and have three – three! – custom-made Vera Wang gowns created for their wedding? Kim Kardashian’s fairy tale is not a fantasy about romance, it’s a fantasy about consumption.
If the Kardashian wedding has anything to teach, it’s simple: Loving stuff more than people does not a marriage make. Kim is aesthetically pleasing to gaze at, yes, but she is repulsive to spend time with. Her false masquerade of marriage with Humphries stands in stark contrast to her sister Khloe’s marriage, who with NBA star Lamar Odom, actually seems to have a relationship based on real things, like communication, friendship and love. There is hope for the family name yet.
Which is also a bit ironic, since in the big 2-hour wedding special, Kim and Kris have what constitutes their most serious dispute over whether Kim will change her name to Humphries. At first, she says ‘yes,’ as a kind of gift to her fiancé who she deems “very traditional.” But when her mother (and business manager) Kris Jenner chimes in with rebuke and disapproval, followed by her sisters, Kim recants. A disappointed Humphries tells the soon-to-be-married woman it’s time she learn to make decisions on her own. And then he gives her the best advice of all: “Grow up.”