Love her or hate her, you can’t escape Kim Kardashian and her famous cohort of siblings and parents. Recently, in an episode of the family’s reality show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, it was revealed that Kim is expected her second child, a much longed for baby boy who will be the little brother of North West.
On hearing this, I, being a not so secret fan of all things Kardashian, headed over to Kim’s Instagram page and was surprised to see that the reality star hadn’t used the social networking site to confirm her pregnancy. I was even more surprised, however, to see the nature of the comments left on her most recent posts. It seems everyone was talking about Kim’s pregnancy, and not in a good way.
One comment which remains firmly ingrained in my mind, read “another baby for the nanny to look after, while she’s off doing photo shoots”.
While to many people this comment may seem valid ( we all know Kim loves a good photo opportunity), but to me it just seems unfair. How many people, upon hearing that their friend/colleague/relative is pregnant declares: “another baby for the nanny to take care of, while she’s at work in the office”? I doubt many people in the real world ( in which people actually know people, rather than just knowing the public details of someone’s life, posted on instagram) would resent a mother for having a second child, just because she works.
Kim Kardashian’s job involves public appearances and photo shoots, along with global travel and business ventures. Although, to many, this time consuming and brutal industry may seem like an easy job, some may even say hobby, this is, in fact, how Kim makes a living. Why is this public figure being critisized for not spending every second of every day with her two year old daughter?
Imagine seeing a post on Instagram by Kim Kardashian, announcing she is soon to have a second child. Now imagine that instead of a having a nanny, little North West goes to nursery, and instead of being at photo shoots, Kim is in the office all day. Would you still expect to see resentful comments?
There was a time when working mothers were unheard of. Working wives did not exist either. Once married and tied down with children, a woman’s place was in the home. And by making such degrading and cruel comments about working mothers in the media, we too, in 2015, are banishing mothers back to the home, and encouraging them, even if not intentionally, to give up their careers in order to dedicate their lives to their offspring, for fear of being critisized and judged by strangers on the Internet.
If we look at the other side of the story, no one is deriding Kanye West for pursuing his music career and going on a world wide tour so soon after his daughter was born. No one is telling him to get out of the studio and look after his child before even thinking of having another one. Instead, the mother of the child is being told she should not work when she has children to take care of, despite her daughter being two years old.
Maybe it’s because Kim is a controversial public figure. Maybe it is because she can afford a nanny and has a successful career that has opened her up to this torment. Maybe it was just one jealous comment that stayed so firmly in my mind. But regardless, working mothers in the media are necessary in every day life. It may seem as though Kim is just living her life and doing photo shoots, but she is also normalising the idea of women returning to work, and having successful careers following child birth.
There is an air of sisterhood between mothers; a connection that occurs only from the mutual understanding that this set of women have had children. That same sisterhood needs to extend, not only to working mothers, but also to mothers in the media.