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November 15, 2014

Break Your Own Internet

PAPERMAG: NO FILTER: An Afternoon With Kim Kardashian

Yes you’ve seen/heard about the photos. Read the article.

No wait; go back and read the article. I’m so very impressed by it. I think it’s the second most profound thing I’ve read today (here’s the first).

“There’s nothing we can do that’s not documented, so why not look your best, and amazing?”

If you’d told me I’d be pondering the brilliance of Kim Kardashian quotes, I’d likely ask if you’d unwittingly started following Kim Kierkegaardashian. But here we are, looking at a one-two punch delivered in a flippant comment.

  • There’s nothing that we can do that’s not documented. I blog my thoughts, Tweet my reactions, Instagram my meals, share media on Facebook, rate my media on Netflix and my places on Yelp. But even beyond that Comcast tracks my watching habits (and, perhaps my surfing habits as well), Rdio tracks my listening activity, Google—via Android—tracks my location, my searches and my schedule. Increasingly, there is nothing I can do that isn’t recorded, documented, or at least noted. And I’m not even remotely qualifying as a celebrity.

  • So why not look your best, and amazing? Are we practicing mediocrity, or are we establishing excellence? To have an “on” and “off” state for our awesomeness means, POSIWID, that we accept less than our best from ourselves. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying we won’t fail, make mistakes, or fall short. But what I am saying (and realizing personally) is that not striving for the top means I always end up with failures, mistakes and shortcomings, and that whatever I do—whatever I end up with—is documented forever, if not by social media and big data by the impressions I make on others.

The article picks up on this brilliant perspective:

To mere mortals who occasionally visit the grocery store in yoga pants, her willpower and self-discipline are a marvel. Imagine being filmed and photographed constantly, yet never saying anything seriously controversial or appearing unkempt. The effort involved seems torturous, impossible. And yet, though her life requires work of a sort — roughly two hours of hair and makeup each day, regular meetings for her assorted businesses, wardrobe fittings, photo shoots, 5:00 a.m. workouts — you don’t get the sense that she is hiding or suppressing her true, private self.


We’re accustomed to our performers having onstage and backstage registers, but for her there is no division between the two. This is, indeed, the definition of a reality star. She’s not performing, that is — at least not visibly. She is being, and being is her act. Her appeal derives from her uncanny consistency, as does that of her show.

I never thought that I’d be slapped in the face by the work ethic of a reality star, but, as the article notes, she has a clothing line, a makeup line, a line of tanning products and a line of perfumes. She also has a game app that has reportedly earned $43 million since it launched in June. And me, well, I’ve got…

OK, Kim. I may not be able to break the internet, but I’ll make a serious effort to break my own barriers.

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