This article was a complete mistake, born from a wild afternoon between The Daily Mail and a thousand messages to my flatmate.
“Which one of the Kardashians is which?” My Google search history screams. “Who is this Tristan man? Does he have a stable income?”
The Daily Mail sighs in irritation and drums its lacquered nails on its keyboard. These questions, apparently, are akin to asking if the Pope is Catholic.
If, like me, you have lived a simple existence of anything other than staring at Twitter, allow me please to set the scene:
Khloe Kardashian – a tottering embodiment of the fact you don’t need to spell ‘Chloe’ correctly to be rich as sin – falls in love. Her beau is Tristan Thompson, a gallant basketball player. Yet hark! He is a dreaded “love rat”, and while she squeezes a watermelon-sized human being from between her legs, he goes off with someone else – numerous someone else’s if Twitter is to be believed. Khloe, however, is a paragon of Christian virtue and forgives him. He returns, and all is well.
Enter from stage-left Jordyn Woods: a 21-year-old model and the ‘best friend’ of Khloe’s youngest sister Kylie. In the Kardashian stratosphere of course, best friend is the only way to refer to the girl who shares your million-pound mansion and smoulders during your extortionate photoshoots. Yet, at a party one evening, Jordyn is seen cosying up to Tristan…
Cue a tabloid hurricane. Jordyn takes to national television to weep it was only a kiss. Khloe takes to Twitter to scream, “Why are you lying??” Tristan is silent, but according to Hollyscoop, he already has a new partner, so he must be otherwise engaged.
Had Miss Marple been born in 2000, armed solely with an Instagram account and a lip-gloss, this would be a mystery for the taking. A worthy team of data analysts (read: social media addicts) from Hollywood Reporter and the like are valiantly striving to uncover the TRUTH, but one can almost hear their shrieks as they tear out their hair extensions: WHO DO WE BELIEVE?
Was it only a kiss or something far raunchier? Is Khloe a psycho ex or a queen leading the charge of spurned lovers? Is Jordyn a balloon-breasted homewrecker, or the victim of a diamond-studded dice roll she didn’t expect to throw?
For many invested Twitter users, the answer would be the latter. “Why is Khloe placing so much blame on Jordyn and directing her anger towards her vs the man who had an obligation to be faithful in his relationship with her?” pondered one bemused follower. Another scoffed: “We are the same big age and I cannot even imagine treating my little sister’s friends this way. […] Do better.”
For the more cynical however, the scandal is eye-roll worthy. “Contrived saga” was one Twitter user’s summary, while others speculated about momager Kris Jenner’s innocence in engineering the affair.
Quite honestly, I don’t, and shouldn’t, give a damn. The Kardashian universe with its vapid wealth and unabashed narcissism has always been a source of contempt to my mind. I don’t doubt that they – and those in their orbit – are successful businesswomen, with their million-dollar enterprise of dietary products, cosmetics and glamour shoots. Nor do I doubt Jameela Jamil’s opinion that this money comes from “selling a patriarchal narrative to other women”, feeding off the insecurities of their largely teenage consumers to create an empire of physical anxiety and image orientation.
Indeed, if this recent case is anything to go by, the “patriarchal narrative” comes as much from trivial gossip as it does tangible sales. Regardless of your opinion, interpretations of the situation still hinge on age-old categorisations of its two female protagonists – the vicious “pterodactyl” Khloe, or the “gold-digging” other woman Jordyn. Perhaps the whole affair is contrived, and even if so, all three can sleep easy at night knowing they’ll be making a pretty penny from it regardless. Despite this though, it’s hard to view the situation as anything other than sad. Khloe and her girl gang may condemn Jordyn’s TV interview, but it is incredibly troubling to see an emotional 21-year-old blame herself for a non-consensual kiss because “I allowed myself to be in that position.” Khloe may have been slammed by Twitter, but it is hard not to sympathise when she says she is “a rollercoaster of emotions” and feels absolutely “humiliated”. They may be the plastic figureheads of a media culture endorsing huge pay-checks and little authenticity, but isn’t this the culture they too have grown up in? Is this to say that their sentiments are any less human?
In the grand scheme of things – even in the grand scheme of Kardashian land – the issue is a trivial one. The tabloids will dust off their cameras, and Twitter will wipe down its characters. Partners and friends will be picked up by Khloe et al to be dropped episodes later. The dice continues to roll and – while it’s lucrative – will continue to strike six. As I say, I couldn’t care less, and yet even I find myself asking, is this really the best game we could drag out the drawer? More than that, is this really the game its players want to be trapped in?