celebrity

"I'm finding myself admiring Kim Kardashian and it's a very strange sensation."

I’m a real Grinch when it comes to reality TV. In general, I find it unforgivably boring and contrived.

I tried to watch an episode of The Kardashians about a year ago and discovered it consisted of scene after scene of the sisters, in various combinations and in various beautiful kitchens, eating salads and b*tching about their mother. On and on they went, in those board, whiny voices.

Meshel Laurie has had a major realisation about Kim Kardashian.

So tedious were the issues of contention that they struggled to keep upright at various points, lounging over marble bench tops, rolling their eyes and arching their eyebrows at each other when they couldn't be bothered using words.

I remember Caitlyn saying once that in the midst of all the pretend drama they were filming, pre-transition, she used to think to herself, "Wow, if only they knew about the real drama going on here."

And so it is now, with Kim's husband Kanye being hospitalised with mental health issues.

Kanye West was hospitalised last week after suffering from extreme exhaustion. Image via Instagram.

I don't pretend to know the details, or want to, but I do know that over a week ago he was placed on a 5150 hold, which is involuntary. In the US, a doctor can place someone into psychiatric care against their will if they're believed to pose a threat to themselves or others.

It isn't child's play.

The last time a 5150 was big news was when Britney Spears was in Kanye's shoes. She lost custody of her children and authority over her own life and finances. It took many years for her adult rights to be restored to her.

I can't imagine how terrifying this scenario must be for everyone involved, but in the broader context of Kim's life. It's just the latest in a long line of extraordinary challenges, and I don't mean losing baby weight and annulling 72-day marriages.

Major side eye ????

A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

I'm sure we all know the timeline, but let's look at it again, only this time, let's imagine it's the life story of a non-famous friend or neighbour.

ADVERTISEMENT

As a teenager, Kim's mother's best friend Nicole Simpson was violently murdered, many believe by her father's best friend, Nicole's husband OJ. Her father defended OJ in court, much to her mother's distress. The brutal nature of the killing was laid bare before Kim, virtually over the dinner table.

A few short years later, Kim watched her father die of cancer. He'd remarried by that time, and she had to fight her step-mother to see him in hospital.

Her mother married a wonderful man, who embraced his step children as his own, but fairly early on, Kim discovered his secret when she caught him cross-dressing in the middle of the night. Now in and of itself, I'm not condemning cross-dressing, but I am prepared to say its discovery must've been confusing to say the least for young Kim.

I can't imagine the pressure of safeguarding that secret as her and her family's lives became more public. Let's not disrespect the families of people who've transitioned by pretending it's easy. With all the love in the world, being part of a family in which the patriarch changes gender has to be up there with the greatest challenges life can throw at you.

Happy birthday Kim! Love you ????

A photo posted by Caitlyn Jenner (@caitlynjenner) on

ADVERTISEMENT

On top of all that, Kim has survived revenge porn and a violent home invasion. For most of us, any one of those experiences would probably count as the lowest points of our lives, but Kim now sits in a psychiatric ward, supporting her very sick husband.

No doubt she's worried for months, if not years that this might happen. Again, she tried to keep the secret of a man she loved for fear of what the world would do with it, and again she must soldier on. When Caitlyn transitioned, it was her mum Kris who needed her to be strong, and now it's her children.

Birthdazeeee

A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

I'm not sainting the woman, but I am saying that if this were the life story of a mum I met at school, I'd be pretty impressed that she was still standing, let alone running a successful business.

I've never given Kim much credit, but I have to admit she must be one hell of a strong, centred woman. She has the grace to make it all look effortless.

She makes her challenges somehow less memorable than her achievements and extravagances. Clearly there are depths to Kim that she keeps skilfully hidden from the cameras.

00:00 / ???