Kim Kardashian’s Tone-Deaf Pandemic Birthday Gets the Meme Treatment
What, you don't round up 100 friends and fly to a private island when you want things to feel normal?
Celebrities have had a pretty tough time relating to us common folk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There was that embarrassing “Imagine” video, where actress Gal Gadot got a group of her famous friends together to sing the John Lennon classic, prompting all of us to ask, “Why did they think we wanted this?” Ellen Degeneres, before she was outed for being the meanest person alive, compared social distancing to “being in jail” while sitting in the luxe living room of her California mansion, floor-to-ceiling windows on full display behind her.
But last night, Kim Kardashian West blew away the competition and took home the award for Most Tone-Deaf Social Media Post During a Global Pandemic.
The reality TV show star/business mogul posted photos of her 40th birthday celebration to Twitter, along with a string of captions assuring us that her “inner circle,” which seemed to consist of a hundred people, had quarantined for two weeks and had been tested before embarking on a trip to a private island where they could “pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time.”
West also let us know that she understands many of us aren’t able to host birthday celebrations on private islands at the moment and was reminded of how privileged her life is while she “danced,” “rode bikes” and “swam near whales” during her tropical birthday extravaganza.
Her entire statement reads:
“40 and feeling so humbled and blessed. There is not a single day that I take for granted, especially during these times when we are all reminded of the things that truly matter. For my birthday this year, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it than with some of the people who have helped shaped me into the woman I am today. Before COVID, I don’t think any of us truly appreciated what a simple luxury it was to be able to travel and be together with family and friends in a safe environment. After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time. We danced, rode bikes, swam near whales, kayaked, watched a movie on the beach and so much more. I realize that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is.”
Some asked the obvious question of West: “How do you surprise people after two weeks of health screenings and quarantine?” But most people focused on the outlandish notion that flying to a private island to celebrate your birthday is only out of reach for people “right now.”
Many also noted that the island workers who were serving West and her guests had masks on, while partygoers did not have to offer them that same courtesy. Others replied with the iconic (but sadly photoshopped) photo of Paris Hilton wearing a shirt with the instruction “Stop Being Poor” on it and the popular GIF of Kourtney Kardashian telling her sister Kim, “There’s people that are dying.”
Meanwhile, many others offered up their own vastly different pandemic experiences.
“Good for you. I lost four months of pay, still tied up with unemployment and have seen a significant drop in future earnings. I’m helping my daughters with childcare and virtual school for my granddaughter. Still haven’t gotten my 2019 tax return. Glad you had fun,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Remember when my cousin got COVID and before realizing had passed it onto her parents and they both ended up dying alone, one at home and one at the hospital a week apart and they had a joint funeral four hours away from me that I couldn’t attend anyway happy 40th @KimKardashian,” wrote another.
More pointedly, the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen tweeted a screenshot of West’s post next to an NBC News article that stated 8 million Americans fell into poverty during the coronavirus pandemic. And for many, this gross display of wealth only provided more reason to call for higher taxes on the rich.
Not long after being posted, West got the full meme treatment. The sentence that seemed to irk people the most, “After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time,” became a copypasta. Twitter users began posting “private island” images from popular moments in pop culture alongside the insane sentence.
To no one’s surprise, this isn’t the first time Kim K has pissed everyone off with an ignorant post during the pandemic. Back in June, West tweeted a photo of her 7-year-old daughter’s Friesian horse on the family’s $14 million Wyoming ranch. As if the photo of the expensive, rare purebred wasn’t enough, West let us know this was just one of fourteen “gorgeous Freesians [sic] on the ranch.”
Neither Kim nor anyone else in the Kardashian clan have yet to respond to the mounting backlash and instead have continued to post bikini-clad photos, videos of serene sunsets and more images from their ever-so-humbling private island pandemic trip.
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