Kim Kardashian is the best reality star of the last decade. She’s better than Paris Hilton. She’s better than The Situation and Snooki. Hell, she’s even better than Christian Siriano from Project Runway. She’s enough drama to be entertaining but collected enough not to be a mess. If a scientist were generating a reality star using a computer, he would wind up with a chick close to Kim. If her life was any more of a disaster, no one over thirty would watch, and if it was any more put together, she’d no longer be interesting. There’s no doubt in my mind that much of this is a carefully orchestrated construction, which is why I’ve never respected Kim Kardashian as a person but have also respected her as a money-making machine.

Ask any of Kim Kardashian’s critics why they dislike the thirty-one year old, and they’re likely to tell you it’s because she doesn’t offer society anything of tangible value. They’re bothered that she’s sold millions of magazines and hundreds of television hours while more talented actors, musicians and artists have struggled to achieve success. Her popularity is supposedly a grand commentary on the downfall of our society. It’s a rant that sounds great on paper, but it’s one that’s fundamentally flawed. Newspaper gossip pages have been buzzing for centuries, and every generation has had its favored ladies. Whether it was the Gabor Sisters and their trainwreck marriages in the 1950s or Caroline Astor and Alva Vanderbilt’s famous feud in the 1880s, most people just like to have an outlet to criticize and superficially discuss celebrities. And having one doesn’t necessarily make them frivolous or ill-informed.

Reality stars offer viewers an escape. They let people into their lives at the expense of privacy for the privilege of being paid. It’s a tradeoff that often reaps big rewards but can occasionally be an incredible inconvenience. For Kim Kardashian, right now is one of those inconveniences. Her high profile marriage to Kris Humphries barely lasted seventy days. The public, angry and feeling duped, want answers, but word is Kim has barred E’s cameras from filming the aftermath of her divorce. She’s reportedly planning to remain inside her house until the media scrutiny dies down. Her response is perhaps natural, but it’s also bullshit and hypocritical.

I’ve heard numerous people tell the public Kim deserves space, but the entire life she has built is predicated upon the fact that she’s not allowed space. She’s made a fortune off asking viewers to watch and invest in her life. Fans have flocked to her television shows and interviews. They’ve bought her handbags and gone to her publicity appearances, and they’ve done so because they’ve enjoyed watching her life on screen. Telling people to back off now is a slap in the face to that entire relationship. It’s a fuck-you to everyone who watched the wedding, and perhaps worse, it’s really bad business.

I can no longer call Kim Kardashian the greatest reality star in the world because she has fundamentally dropped the ball and shown a complete misunderstanding of her obligation over the past week. People didn’t tune into her wedding because they wanted to see two idiots get married. They tuned in because they wanted to see Kim get married. They’ve watched her go through relationships and family problems. They’ve laughed with her, smiled with her, savagely made fun of her behind her back. Because of it, Kim banked millions of dollars, but suddenly, now, at this very moment, after a divorce she set into motion, she thinks we owe her privacy? That’s not the relationship either she or her fans signed up for. Her right to privacy was forfeited a long time ago, and there's cashed checks and footage of a gigantic wedding to prove it.

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