“Get up and Work”: Words from a “Self-Made” Millionaire


Image Source: The Overtimer

Analise Bruno, Editor-in-Chief

In a Variety article posted last week, high-profile celebrity, Kim Kardashian, and her sisters, Khloe, Kourtney, and their mother, Kris, talked about making money and surviving as a woman in business. The sisters also talked a bit about their new and upcoming reality TV show that will premiere just months after KUWTK ended, but what really upset people was what Kim had to say about finding success and growing businesses:

“I have the best advice for women in business,” Kardashian told Variety. “Get your f—— ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.”

In the interview, Kim was asked about the notion that people presume she is “famous for being famous”, and took offense, claiming that it has been her work ethic that has gotten her where she is today. Rightfully so, Kim’s claim has sparked a lot of online backlash with many citing the celeb’s well-off disposition in society before she became a household name. While there is no doubt Kim has built her brand, many cite all the resources and opportunities she had to reach her goals, given that she has always been wealthy. 

Many critics implied that the Kardashians don’t actually work for their wealth at all. Many sources would prove this to be true. Kylie and Kendall Jenner own a dual clothing brand known as “Kendall & Kylie”, and in July of 2020, it was revealed that the two sisters had been failing to pay Global Brand Group, which is the name of the factory sourced from Bangladesh that produces their clothing, essentially exploiting many of its female workers. Furthermore, many fail to acknowledge that the Kardashian-Jenner clan has always been wealthy. By covering one of the most infamous legal cases involving OJ Simpson, Robert Kardashian- the late husband of Kris Jenner and father of Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney- made a name for himself as a lawyer, and was able to use his high status to give the family a comfortable lifestyle. After his passing, Kris Jenner went on to marry Olympian, Caitlyn Jenner, further upping their status, and giving them the chance to launch into stardom. Without having the wealth all these years, it is unlikely that in today’s society that the Kardashians would ever be able to get where they are. Kim Kardashian, in particular, found a bit of fame for herself for one well-known adult tape, however, it was the financial backing that also helped her secure her brand. Therefore, to suggest that she is fully “self-made” seems a bit hypocritical. 

Likewise, what had me upset, like most, is the fact that Kardashian’s words implied that all women who aren’t as successful as she are just being lazy. This is a huge issue for me, especially when we once again revisit the privileges the Kardashians have had since birth. Her words are very reminiscent of the controversial statement “we all have the same 24 hours in a day” and yes, while it is true the day lasts 24 whole hours for everyone in the world, they are not used the same. A woman of a lower economic standing in no way has the same 24 hours that Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kylie, or Kendall do- ESPECIALLY when you consider factors such that the lowest minimum wage in the US is only $7.25, lack of transportation, childcare costs, inflation, sickness, disabilities, rising rents/mortgages, etc. The point is, it seems incredibly tone-deaf for a person who has never experienced or suffered through poverty to advise on how to get out of it.

Though many users on Twitter and Tiktok joke that the Kardashians should consider trying to work their minimum wage job for the day to get the authentic experience, the overarching issue is this idea that if the Kardashians think this way about poor people, what do the rest of the millionaires in the world think? And with a mindset like this, how will we ever make the necessary changes to end global poverty? I feel it is a bit astounding to hear this type of hypocrisy come from this group of individuals when considering it has been rumored the girls received a shared 100 million dollar trust fund, and also apparently have job listings out for UNPAID internships. If their advice is for women to get up and work, it would seem to be only fair that they pay them for their efforts, no? Income, economics, privilege, and opportunity all seem to be swept under the rug when the rich come to talk about their success, and it is infuriating.