Why should Kim Kardashian 'stay in her own lane?'

There's something about Kim Kardashian that rubs people the wrong way.

It doesn't matter that she is a hugely successful businesswoman.

That she has set a new standard of body type and beauty for impressionable women.

That she is a working mum, who advocated the difficult side of pregnancy.

She remains treated with disdain, famous for a sex tape.

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Famous for her family name and notoriety that comes with that.

When she was held at gunpoint in Paris, it was her fault, for flaunting her wealth.

Now that she has decided to deviate from what she has achieved up to this point, it remains a problem.

Yes, she has a name and millions of dollars on her side. Motherhood might - and is - easier with a team as is looking perfectly Insta-ready twenty-four hours a day.

But when the criticism goes the other way, practically shunning a woman (who has built up a particular type of career) yet now wants to step outside expected norms, at what point do we say, enough is enough?

When the reality star announced - albeit very glamorously via Vogue magazine - that she was training to be a lawyer, you could hear the scoffs and see eyes rolling.

"Sure Kim, just pay a team to do that for you," said critics. "Stay in your lane," advised the internet trolls. It was bemusing.

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The woman has been targeted from day one for capitalising on her body and sex appeal. She is an asset that sells - she knows it and is unapologetic about that fact. That alone is worth applauding. Why wouldn't you use what you were blessed with to make it work for you?

But she is smart and savvy enough to know that she won't always have those assets to sell. Thanks to the Internet, she'll always have a 'before and after' photograph to be dissected. Who can forget the articles which painstakingly point out that Kylie and Kendall have more youth on their side? Kim, they say, is old news. Unless she does something drastic, such as breaking the Internet.

Sexism at worst, ignorance at best

She must be tired of it. Exhausted. Still obscenely wealthy (she'll never be allowed forget that) but weary.

Or maybe, she just wanted to fulfil a passion she never informed us of in a tweet.

She is studying hard. She is bettering herself. It's not about privilege.

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Or, it isn't - if you're a man.

If you're a woman doing this, trying what is unexpected, you've surely done something which means you're undeserving. You've bought your way in as Kim must have.

Or you're Madonna "grasping at something new and shiny to cling to," said one Irish article as she prepares to release a new album. (Note that no such thing was ever said about a man of a similar age, such as David Bowie).

Kim rightly hit back.

 

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"Last year I registered with the California State Bar to study law. For the next 4 years, a minimum of 18 hours a week is required, I will take written and multiple choice tests monthly. As my first year is almost coming to an end I am preparing for the baby bar, a mini version of the bar, which is required when studying law this way," she said on Instagram.

"I’ve seen some comments from people who are saying it’s my privilege or my money that got me here, but that’s not the case. One person actually said I should “stay in my lane.” I want people to understand that there is nothing that should limit your pursuit of your dreams, and the accomplishment of new goals. You can create your own lanes, just as I am. The state bar doesn’t care who you are. This option is available to anyone who’s state allows it. It’s true I did not finish college. For anyone assuming this is the easy way out, it’s not. My weekends are spent away from my kids while I read and study. I work all day, put my kids to bed and spend my nights studying. There are times I feel overwhelmed... [but] it's never too late to follow your dreams."

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I remember how amusing I found it when she would say "can I live?!" on social media as critics called her shallow for cropping her son out of a photo. But she'll never win. She's still called shallow now, the insinuation being that she isn't cut to be a lawyer - not if she uses a Vogue cover to announce it.

Let her live. She has more than paid her dues.

And the criticism and comments in recent days say a hell of a lot more about us than it does about Kim Kardashian.

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