In a rather shocking turn of events, Kim Kardashian West — wife to Kanye West, and reality television star — was robbed at gunpoint in Paris. Kardashian had been spending the evening at an apartment in the Eighth Arrondissement, following a dinner for Fashion Week, when two men (with three accomplices) managed to get inside. She was tied, gagged, and robbed of around $10 million in jewelry.
It’s an incredibly shocking story, given just how brazen the culprits would have had to be to pull something like this off, and the fact that such a high-profile and world famous celebrity was so easily caught off guard. And the culprits got away. Obviously, everyone wishes the best for Kardashian, and that the experience doesn’t have any lingering effects on her health or peace of mind.
But this story, as interesting and crazy as it may be, can be a teaching moment. Sure, very few people ever find themselves in the same circumstances as a Kardashian — let alone Kim, probably the most famous of the bunch — so it’s hard to put yourself in her shoes. Crimes like this, however, do happen. So, dissecting what happened, where it happened, and why are important to try and pull something from the experience.
What could Kim Kardashian have done differently, if anything? Was this inevitable?
The unique circumstances of Kim Kardashian
It’s a difficult situation to try and break down. There were a lot of pieces that had to be in place, and a lot of things that had to go right (or wrong, in Kardashian’s case) for the robbers to have pulled this off. But there were a few critical things that Kardashian had done to put herself in a position in which something like this could happen — not that she’s at fault in any way for it, but in hindsight, several things had to happen for the right circumstances to occur.
Kardashian and many other celebrities make a lot of money through their social media channels, typically through product placements and endorsements. The Kardashians have actually run into trouble for this before, having endorsed a drug on Instagram that angered the FDA. That’s beside the point, though, which is that her life is very much an open book. People know what she has, who she’s with, and where she is almost on a minute-to-minute or hourly basis.
Now, add in the fact that you’re wearing a $4 million ring, and broadcasting where you are? It’s a recipe for trouble. You wouldn’t keep $4 million in your apartment, and show it off all across the internet, after all. You would probably assume that would attract some unwanted attention. That’s what happened in Kardashian’s case.
You have to cut her some slack, though. She’s accustomed to being surrounded by security, or at least having a sense of safety. But that failed, just for a few minutes, and trouble found her.
What can we take away from this? The most obvious is that flaunting your wealth might be a bad decision. If you’re fortunate enough, it can be hard not to want to ride around town in a Maserati and adorn yourself with millions in jewelry. But again, that’s going to attract some attention you don’t want, particularly from people who want and will take it from you.
Kardashian, though, makes a living from broadcasting her wealth and toys, in a sense — so this advice may not wholly apply to her. But for the rest of us, there is definitely something to be learned.
Many rich people — figures like Warren Buffett, famously — don’t flaunt their wealth at all. Obviously, he’s still a high-profile individual but doesn’t seem to be attracting the attention of armed robbers. People knew that Kardashian walked around with millions of dollars on her, ripe for the taking. The robbers knew where she was, and that there was a security lapse. They saw an opportunity and took it.
And there’s the lesson: Be careful with what you broadcast to the world, and if you can’t help but flaunt, be prepared to attract trouble.
What happened to Kardashian was unfortunate, and something that no one should have to live through. She’s OK, thankfully, but that doesn’t mean we should quickly forget how or why she became a victim. The lesson here is to watch yourself because hyenas are out there, and any chance they get to strike, they’ll take.