After she was allegedly tied up and robbed at gunpoint in Paris earlier this week, Kim Kardashian West says she’s going to scale back her social media presence.
She’s reportedly “blaming herself” for the robbery during which a ring estimated to be worth $4 million was stolen, a source close to the Kardashians told People magazine.
“She’s tearing herself up that she Snapchatted the ring so much and wore it all the time,” a source said. “This incident is making her question everything. How she dresses, what she does. . . When something like this happens everything changes.”
The family is planning to cut out unnecessary travel and limit public appearances. The clan also intends to lay low on social media for the time being, according to reports.
Ironically the very action that put Kardashian West in danger — her constant updates on Instagram, Snapchat, and the like — are what made her famous. She literally published a 448-page coffee table book of selfies. You can watch someone flip through the entire book here — it takes about nine minutes to watch.
Kim has been taking selfies before they were even a thing. Remember that time in 2007 when she couldn’t stop taking photos of herself with her pocket digital camera while the family was on their way to take Khloe to jail for a DUI?
“Kim, will you stop taking pictures of yourself?” her mother, Kris Kardashian, pleads. “Your sister is going to jail!”
Kim and her family have become arguably some of the most famous people on the planet by making every minute of every day available for public consumption. Not long ago I had a conversation with Kaitlan Collins, who writes about the Kardashians (among other topics) over at The Daily Caller, and she told me they aren’t a difficult group to track, because they document and publish every second of their lives online.
The constant level of attention is at times overwhelming — particularly for the youngest member of the family, Kylie Jenner, who revealed in an interview last year she wakes up every morning to Google herself in fear something bad has been posted online.
‘I wake up every morning with the worst anxiety. I don’t know why,’ the teen said, adding that she is constantly fearful of negative press.
‘I have, like, a problem. I wake up every morning at, like, seven or eight because I think that there’s a bad story about me, and I have to check.
‘My worst fear is waking up and finding something bad about me on the Internet.’
And, when asked if she ever goes a day without checking up on what the world is saying about her online, she replied: ‘No. I deleted everything off of my phone for the night, and it was nice, but I don’t want to, like, restrain myself.’
Perhaps what’s most revealing about this interview isn’t in the portion excerpted above, but what she says further down in the article: that she doesn’t like wearing makeup, although she’s grown into a celeb due in large part to her cosmetic prowess. It seems Kylie doesn’t really seem to know how to live any other way. She doesn’t like wearing makeup, but does it anyway because it’s what has made her famous, and she’s learned to cope with her life by running from it.
“I had a lot of anxiety when I was younger, so I would just run to this hill path in the back of my mom’s house and listen to Jack Johnson,” the 18-year-old said. “I would listen to Jack Johnson and stare at the sky until my anxiety went away. When I was 16, I was always outside.”
Let’s fast-forward to 2016: Kylie was the first member of the family to break their silence on social media since her sister’s robbery by posting a NSFW photo of herself in a red swimsuit on Tuesday.
So to recap, the attention from photos like the one she posted this week is giving her perpetual anxiety and even risking her safety, but she can’t help herself.
So will the robbery really change anything for the Kardashians? Will Kim’s traumatic ordeal push the clan to step back from their social media platforms, websites, and apps to protect themselves? Only time will tell, but if the past bears any indication, the Kardashians will probably continue to reside in a cage that shrinks with every selfie they post until they can no longer run away.