I think we've all had the realization that the more someone posts on social media about their perfect relationship, the more likely it is that the relationship is actually probably pretty rocky. And if we're being honest, we've probably all been on the other side of this equation too. Who among us hasn't upped the frequency of our lovey-dovey Instagram posts in a last-ditch effort to convince the world — and ourselves — that we're doing fine?
Reality shows magnify this phenomenon to an extent that there seems to be a definite correlation between the overexposure such a show can provide and the demise of the relationship it depicts.
Well, there's perhaps no more perfect example of this, and no relationship more thoroughly documented, than that of Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West.
This morning, People magazine quoted a source explaining that West is going to try to increase his involvement on KUWTK, saying, "Kanye is really trying to please Kim. He realizes that his difficult behavior has been extremely draining for her... He is trying to make it up to Kim by going along with things that are important to her. The show is still important to Kim, so Kanye will support her.”
We don't know for certain if these KUWTK rumors are true, but if they are, I have ever so many things to say. SO. MANY. THINGS. Where do I even begin?
If the unnamed source is correct, and West is acknowledging and taking ownership of how his increasingly erratic behavior (including bizarre rants and meeting with and endorsing then-president-elect Donald Trump) has affected his wife. That's fantastic. But the next steps he's taking make no sense whatsoever.
When you're recovering from media overexposure and hospitalization for exhaustion and sleep deprivation, is jumping right back into filming a reality show really such a great idea? I mean, clearly participating in KUWTK isn't demanding in the same way that coal mining is, for example, or teaching, but goddamn, man.
Take a break and take care of yourself!
Supporting your partner? Good. Taking an interest in your partner's work and doing everything you can to help them achieve their goals? Great. "Going along with" an incredibly popular reality show that painstakingly offers up every detail of your lives for voracious consumption in the wake of several incredibly stressful life events like the birth of a child, a violent robbery in a foreign country and ongoing mental health issues? TERRIBLE. IDEA.
You know how during those in-flight safety demonstrations they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping those around you? DO THAT, Kanye.
The best thing you can do for both your wife and your marriage right now is to devote yourself wholeheartedly to your own health. And on that note...
Obviously, we all have moments when we'd like our partners to be more supportive, more involved and even more compliant. I remember telling my husband at one point, "If you would just do everything I tell you to do, our lives would be perfect!"
I was serious. (And I still think I was right). But pressuring or guilting your spouse into doing something they seem reluctant to do regardless of the cost to them emotionally, physically or psychologically? That's wrong. Period.
Let's talk about the elephant in the room, OK? Something that should be readily apparent to all of us, especially Kardashian.
Although we don't know the details, West's "difficult behavior" isn't the problem. West's "difficult behavior" is thought by many to be the result of a mental health issue, the specifics of which are either undiagnosed or at least not publicly shared (and this is fine; no one — not even celebs — should ever feel obligated to share the private details of their health with the public.)
I support destigmatizing mental illness and having open, honest conversations about mental health. But having West do this (especially when it seems like he's only doing so to save his marriage) within the framework of a reality show doesn't seem open or honest — it seems exploitative.
Relationships aren't always easy, and celebs face more hurdles to creating these strong bonds than most of us. But for the love of Oprah, filming a reality show isn't going to fix your marriage! Filming a reality show will likely bring Kardashian and West one step closer to joining the ranks of other relationships that have crumbled on-screen.
After Kim K's robbery, she retreated from social media and took a break from the limelight. Let West have the space to get away from cameras and focus on both his health and his marriage without cameras present.
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