The recent paparazzi shots of North West draped in a blanket are so indistinguishable that they could be photos of any other baby. They could be photos of a small cat or rhesus monkey. And yet, the media is predictably freaking out. "Kim Takes Baby On First Trip," "Kim Steps Out," "Kim Holds Baby In Public," the headlines read. It's finally happened, they all seem to gasp, Kim Kardashian has returned to the spotlight for our unhindered scrutiny!
Except she hasn't.
Obviously, there is no need to bring a three-month-old to a funeral, and we know Kim and Kanye have access to at least a few sitters, but little North was completely covered, and pretty much any event conducted in Oklahoma City is impossible to label as a "photo op." As questionable as this whole sighting was, it seems like perhaps Kim wasn't in it for the attention. (Note: "Who wears fringe to a funeral?" is a question to be answered by another blog post.)
So, what the hell is Kim waiting for? Where is our post-baby body bikini shoot (sponsored by those weird shoes that tone your butt)? Where are the carefully curated photos of North West, paid for in full by People magazine? I've been waiting patiently for the E! sponsored television broadcasts of each and every "Fairytale" play date.
The tabloids have responded to the lack of publicity with a hefty dose of fabrication provided by sources, all too frequently labeled "Kardashian confidants." According to Radar, Kanye was campaigning to debut North West in Vogue. Life & Style reports that Kim is so very unhappy with her new figure that she is getting fat from her leg injected into her ass.
It's all very clever, you have to give them that.
This is a new mother, spending time with her child, and adjusting to the next phase of her life, and yet her absence seems to warrant some public explanation. In part, of course, that is Kim's own fault. It feels like she (and, now, the Kardashian clan in its entirety) exists for our entertainment. As Kim posts misleading baby photos on Facebook (actually of Kourtney's Mason) and Kris debuts an imposter baby on her laughable new talk show, it seems like mother and daughter have relinquished any semblance of privacy.
Although, perhaps that too is part of some master plan.
It seems there are two distinguishable approaches to fame -- those who willingly overshare every minute detail of their life and those who carefully curate what is released for their eager fans to see. The most glaring example of the latter is Miss Beyonce Knowles. Famously obsessed with perfection, even Queen Bey's honest and open "tell all" documentary didn't tell all that much. Of course, Kim and co. (ko.?) are the former -- the Kardashian ladies upload so many selfies a day they've created their own social media network (seriously, it's called Keek).
But what if Kim gave Bey's deceptively reticent fame a try? It would definitely be difficult to maneuver, considering her overtly exposed siblings. Such a change would be a paradigm shift for sure, and it's hard to imagine what that version of the spotlight would look like for Kim. A woman about whom we know almost everything (or at least, feel we do) loses her appeal once we know only what she wants us to. Yet, as a mother, Kim now has a child's privacy to protect. Breeding an infant into a culture of exhibitionism seems immoral and doing so would be hard for the public to stomach -- there's already one Kris Jenner.
It is also possible Kim is simply fading out of her youthful celebrity. All of the things that Kim capitalized on in her prime -- aesthetic perfection and selling that aesthetic perfection to her unwitting Twitter followers -- are fading with age and, well, motherhood. But couldn't Kim shift from the ideal sex symbol to one of maternity? If that seems farfetched (and there's a joke about stretch marks to be made here), consider the fact that while they are exposed, nothing the Kardashians do is less than calculated.
When you click on the photo of North West (or possibly a small cat or a rhesus monkey) concealed in a blanket at an Oklahoma funeral, think about what's driving your interest (and our interest, as a fame-obsessed society). Is there room for a respectably guarded Kim Kardashian who is primarily a mother? Does she really have any other options? Those leather maternity leggings seem to suggest the contrary.