Following Kim Kardashian West's meeting with Donald Trump to discuss prison reform, the internet is ablaze with incredulity and scorn. In fact, the encounter had a more personal motive for Kim. After viewing a video on Mic about the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother imprisoned for life in 1997 for a first time, non-violent drugs offence, the reality TV star felt something must be done. Kim had found a social #konscience.
Kim has rarely championed causes in the past - her primary concern, and the way she makes a living, is by focusing on herself. An unabashed narcissist, the star of Keeping Up With The Kardashians released her book Selfish in 2015, featuring over 400 pages of intimate selfies. There were already glimpses though, of Kim's moral compass. In the same year she published Selfish, Kim wrote an op-ed for Time, in which she lobbied the Obama administration to recognise the 1915 Armenian massacre as Genocide (her paternal great-great-grandparents fled Armenia in 1914). Following the Parkland school shooting in February, Kim tweeted her support for gun control, saying "We owe it to our children and our teachers to keep them safe while at school. Prayers won't do this: action will." It has since garnered over 98,000 retweets. But it was the Johnson case that finally provoked Kim into taking direct action, moving from tweets and hashtags to a real-life meeting at the White House.
@KimKardashian has arguably more social media reach than Donald Trump, with 60million followers on Twitter, trumping @realDonaldTrump's mere 52.3million. She also has an incredible 111million followers on Instagram, and in 2017 earned an estimated £360,591,583 from endorsements and advertising on combined social media. Kim's global reach is enormous. In 2014 she managed to #breaktheinternet posing nude for Paper magazine. Now having finally found her #konscience, she has the power to effect great social and political change. If Kim can break the internet with her butt, imagine what she could achieve with her brain.
Perhaps Kim Kardashian West could emulate Meghan Markle who, until she became Duchess of Sussex, was an advocate for the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women. The UN, however, will not be beating a path to Kim's door - the sexualised image she presents would be too problematic, as was demonstrated in 2016 when the fictional character Wonder Woman was sacked from her role as an honorary UN ambassador for female empowerment. The problem, a petition allegedly started by UN staff pointed out, was her 'shimmery, thigh-baring bodysuit' and 'overtly sexualised image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls'. Male UN advocates, meanwhile, are judged by a more relaxed moral code when it comes to their sexuality: Bill Clinton was appointed special envoy to Haiti in 2009.
Undoubtedly, Kanye's recent MAGA-cap-wearing endorsement of Trump has helped Kim to get the President's ear. But this may not be her sole trip to the White House. If Kanye runs in 2024 as he has promised, America faces the prospect of a Kardashian First Lady. But why stop at FLOTUS? In her photo-op with Trump, Kim, clad in über-trendy label Vetements, is owning the Oval Office. Standing next to Donald, the orange, grinning buffoon, it is Kim who looks like the serious politician. Forget Yeezy - why shouldn't Kim run for office instead?
Think it's impossible that Kim could be POTUS in 2024? Think again. Because Trump.
This article was first published on Medium, and can be read here