A cyber conniption occurred Sunday night when news spread that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are expecting a baby.
The duo’s impending family conjured questions in the public. The biggest one appears to be fidelity. Kardashian is still married to NBA player Kris Humphries.
Cyber-land turns hectic whenever big names announce big things. West announced the familial addition during a performance in Atlantic City. The media storm that followed made sense.
“Kimye” is profitable. As two of the world’s biggest attention-seekers they are regularly featured for doing everything from provocative political commentary (“George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”) to moment-jacking Taylor Swift at the VMAs (“I’mma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.”) We can’t forget common happenings. Insider Look: Kanye West brushes his teeth. Just like us!
Kardashian’s antics are also well-documented, as are those of her relatives and parents.
When two attention-seekers are among the most-debated figures and then create another life, heaven and hell breaks loose. Supporters are ecstatic. Some live vicariously through Kim K’s womb and Kardashian television shows. The disenchanted often want celebrity fixation to disappear.
But, celebrity watching is a viable market. The New York Times reported last year that advertising estimates from celebrity media exceeds $3 billion annually. Advertisers pursue profit. Curious people pursue content. Neither is necessarily vapid for doing so.
In defense of over-turkied, egg-nogged out and holiday sweatered Americans everywhere, this is largely a resting season. Many are on break from work or school. People want levity. Celebrity news can provide that.
And when famous people broadcast their news to the world, it’s like an implied consent situation. We know and they know it will be discussed. Discussions will be discussed, too. Yes, this can grow exhausting.
Some responses to baby Kimye were distasteful. Some used the occasion to mock Kim’s sister, Khloe, for not being pregnant by her husband Lamar Odom.
Others speculated on baby Kimye’s paternity because Kim Kardashian’s sex tape with an ex boyfriend, Ray J, before she was romantically linked with other men and married afterward.
Some resent that a sex tape and careful Kardashian re-branding catapulted Kim Kardashian to her current station. Others are critical of a culture of mixed messages about women’s relationships, identities and profitability.
The Kimye pregnancy also led to racial conversations. Questions remain about if a white woman with a public sexual history is more readily valued than a black woman with a similar (or nonexistent) history.
Some perceive Kanye’s choice of and impregnation of Kim as a message to others. What if he is a conscious success story turned disavower of black women? Or maybe the message is: She’s my girlfriend. We are happy. We had sex. We made a baby.
All the hullabaloo is complicated. Entertainment and substantive awareness are not mutually exclusive. The Internet is about having it all, literally, at one’s fingertips.
Americans should and do care about the fiscal cliff, gun reform, decreasing American adoptions of Russian kids, gang rapes in India and subway hate crimes. Many stay abreast of domestic and world events with the same gadgets that follow entertainment stories. Admittedly, our culture can focus on the wrong things. But, interest ebbs and flows.
In this instance, and others like it, the public should remember that regardless of parentage, babies don’t create themselves or the world in which they will be born.
The folks who hate Kimye and the society that made the relationship newsworthy, should not ensnare the resultant child.