‘KUWTK’: Kim Kardashian’s Fans Helped Her Avoid Making a Terrible Mistake
Fan feedback is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, social media can bring out the worst in people, connecting celebrities with their harshest critics who aren’t afraid to say the worst, most hurtful things. But on the other, fan comments can be a source of good. In some instances, they can even save a career — or a life.
Take for example HGTV host Tarek El Moussa, who was diagnosed with thyroid and testicular cancer after a fan spotted a lump on his throat and reached out. His life was saved thanks to one observant person. And while Kim Kardashian’s story isn’t that dramatic, it is accurate to say that her faithful fans saved her from a PR nightmare.
Kim Kardashian shares just about everything on social media
From nude photos to controversial political opinions, there’s really nothing that Kim Kardashian is afraid to share with her legions of fans on Instagram and other social media sites. It all makes sense for someone who’s been accused of “being famous for being famous” — Kim K.’s fans are the ones driving her celebrity forward. Of course she tells them everything.
So it wasn’t surprising when Kim Kardashian announced that she was creating a new line of shapewear and naming it after herself. The only problem? The branding she chose was seen as horribly offensive to an entire group of people.
Critics insisted that Kim Kardashian change the name of her Kimono shapewear
Though she didn’t choose the name “Kimono” to offend anyone, that’s exactly what Kardashian did, and fans weren’t afraid to speak out about it. Within days, Kim had received hundreds of comments questioning her naming decision, which they said was cultural appropriation.
“After making millions of dollars from the appropriation of Black Culture,@KimKardashian has taken to disrespecting Japanese culture by attempting to trademark the word “kimono”. Please, reframe from taking things that do not belong to you. #KimOhNo #kimono,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“So many words in the world and you had to pick kimono,” another user said.
Instead of defending her decision, Kim Kardashian changed the name
Kim Kardashian could have stuck to her original name idea despite the criticism from fans. But instead, the 38-year-old entrepreneur listened to the haters and took their advice.
“My fans and followers are a huge inspiration to me – I’m always listening to their feedback and opinions, and am so grateful they shared their ideas for a new brand name. After much thought and consideration, I’m excited to announce the launch of SKIMS Solutionwear™,” she tweeted in late August.
Her abrupt pivot proves that feedback means everything — and ultimately, it saved Kim Kardashian from making a huge faux pas.
Listening to fans won’t work every time
No matter what Kim Kardashian says or does, she’s bound to encounter people who disagree with her. It’s not possible for her, or for anyone, to please their fans all the time.
However, the shapewear debacle taught Kim Kardashian a very important lesson about consumer feedback and willingness to admit your mistakes. Her reaction to the incident just proves that Kim K. is a lot smarter than most people give her credit for.