I thought I would discuss confidence with you folks today but more so in conjunction with Elle Magazine’s January issue featuring Kim Kardashian which hit the news stands and landed on subscribers door mats this week.
When I first heard that Kim would be on the cover and the focus for the issue, I won’t lie, part of me was sceptical and dare I say disappointed with Elle’s decision to put Kim in the magazine. But, as you guys know I adore Elle magazine and I have had some great opportunities with them this year as an Elle Insider and I know deep down that they too would have deliberated long and hard over featuring Kim. I also admire that from time to time they do feature a celebrity or cover a topic that will be received with mixed views.
2013-4 hasn’t been the greatest for the Kardashian Klan (see what I did there?!) and I think the brand collapsed a little, mostly owing to the marriage breakdowns amongst other things. But equally, as the year starts to draw to a close, we have seen them explore new routes and begin to take hold again. While the older sisters have stepped back a little, younger half siblings Kendall and Kylie Jenner have really come into their own. Kendall is taking the modelling world by storm and Kylie is an Instagram sensation and recieves thousands, even millions of likes for her posts and her various endorsements are beginning to come through. She has also been responsible for Mac Cosmetics selling out worldwide of their Velvet Teddy lipstick and Whirl lipliner as every woman has fallen over themselves to recreate Kylie’s lips. Mental really. These two sisters would actually be great for Elle to also feature in time.
Before we delve into the pages of Elle, my own personal impressions of Kim Kardashian is that despite not really liking her media image, I can respect her as a business woman. Of course she is no Karren Brady but she knows how to keep herself in the limelight and what products she needs to endorse and places to be seen to keep the interest. It’s also great timing by Elle to have her on the cover a mere month after Kim quite literally broke the internet! When Editor-in-Chief Lorraine (Candy) revealed on Twitter and Instagram the image of the front cover, most of the responses seemed to concentrate on Kim’s phyical appearance rather than how she would feature as a whole and interview. I for one forgive front covers but a disppointing interview does the most damage as I want to read about them and learn something. If they (the celebrity) don’t allow certain things to be discussed or the interviewer doesn’t build a good enough rapour during conversation then it just makes for poor reading.
Lorraine opens the issue by writing “When I first discussed the idea of creating a confidence special, part of me wondered if it was really necessary. After all, you are smart, stylish women with strong intelligent opinions...” she then goes on to say that the survey published in The Feminist issue (December) revealed results that out of 5,000 women that participated, only 21% said they felt confident and only 8% felt successful. While feminism is something that is really beginning to be championed and at the forefront of conversation lately; progress and change can finally be felt albeit just in the wind. However, I think for women to be able to outright speak about being confident and feel successful is still a way off until we’re comfortable enough with what it really means and is something we learn to praise and admire rather than reject as being too confident. If you know what I mean.
The interview with Kim was the first thing I jumped to suppressing my scepticism as I read through it and fundamentally the piece discusses Kim; the subject she knows and loves best. But I liked it. The woman we now see in the media and pushing her way to the front row at Fashion Week is the woman she has strived to be for years. It’s difficult for the likes of you and me to feel confident and successful because we’re still journeying to the place someone like Kim has now reached. We’re still learning and this is what I think we need to learn to recognise and accept; we’re still getting there. It’s also important to recognise and reward the things we have achieved no matter how small or insignificant we think it looks to others. I beat myself up daily that I should be further ahead by now and I feel ashamed but yesterday I was almost embarrassed to say what I did to someone, concentrating more on where I was going rather than what it had so far taken to get to where I am currently at. But what really is the rush? We absolutely should live for today but if today spans the best part of 50 years God willing, we have time.
What I think we need more of is more mid-thirties female role models; successful women who are now in the position to reflect back and share advice, proper advice to young women like me. I shared these very similar opinions in a post earlier this year (here) where I highlighted that as much as young celebrities are fun and fresh, unless they are Emma Watson they have little to say. I do also say how bored I am of celebs like Cameron Diaz who in my mind and despite being 40 ish, no matter how many magazine covers she gets still has nothing of worth to really say and pass on.
Kim Kardashian you either love or hate but regardless, you’re intrigued by her story and who she is. Five years ago things would be different but as she says herself, “I’m an Armenian girl, I have shape, and it turned out people liked that. That makes me feel good about myself and about other women being so supportive. I am a confident woman, but I didn’t just arrive confident -it has built over the years and that is a big part of who I am now” (p134).
Well done Elle!
Until tomorrow xFollow