Who’s Worse: Kim Kardashian or Kim Kardashian’s Friends?

What Women Really Think
June 26 2013 8:30 AM

Who’s Worse: Kim Kardashian or Kim Kardashian’s Friends?

Privacy, please.

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

These questions are the best. This one is like “who would win between a saber-toothed tiger and an adolescent pterodactyl.” The occasion for the moral quandary: Kim Kardashian suspected that at least one of her friends would try to sell a picture of North, her new baby with Kanye West, to the tabloids. So she distributed fake baby pictures to six of her besties and waited for one of them to slip up. “Sure enough ... someone came along and tried selling us this pic,” reported TMZ Tuesday, next to a huge spread of the “bogus baby.” There was also another image, of a second random infant, that Kim had apparently circulated to several other friends. Kardashian: 1. Komrades: 0.

But behind all this drama floats a complicated ethical question mark. That the images found their way to TMZ would seem to portend a sad truth—that Kardashian cannot trust anyone, that her friends are soulless money-grubbers—but is this so? Kim Kardashian likes publicity. (Also: Grass is green.) If you were a Komrade, how could you be so sure that Kim didn’t actually want the baby pictures plastered over every flat surface in America? That in entrusting you with the photos she wasn’t telling you, in reality TV star code, to share as widely as you could?


And let’s say she really did wish for privacy. What has she proven by setting up her friends, besides that she is the type of person to surround herself with fake friends, and knows it? In fact, it’s hard not to see the whole genius baby pic plan as just another publicity stunt, cynically/kynically engineered to stir up sympathy for Kardashian’s ceaseless exposure—an exposure she herself perpetuates. 

On the other hand, we do seem to hold a “given an inch, take a mile” philosophy with our celebrities. The new mom might have chosen to make certain chapters of her life public in the past, but that doesn’t entitle us to see or know all now. (Nor is it so implausible that maternal instinct might suddenly kick in where self-involvement used to reign.) An expectation of privacy among one’s close friends is really not so unreasonable, and Kim could have staged her betrayal in futile, but understandable, protest at what she saw coming.

So who’s worse? They all stink. Now how long do I have to wait to see pictures of that baby?

Katy Waldman is a Slate staff writer. 



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.