There’s an argument I keep having with my friends about Kim Kardashian.
This is how the debate usually goes:
Friend: Ugh, Kim Kardashian is naked on Instagram again.
Me: So what? That’s how she makes money. Everyone has a right to make money using the skills they’ve been given, and we can’t shame them for that.
Friend: Sure, but the Kardashians just promote a materially superficial lifestyle.
Me: There’s nothing wrong with wanting nice things. Everyone wants nice things! Everyone wants to feel financially successful.
If you deny that’s true, you’re not being entirely honest. Of course, there’s a scale, and “rich” means different things to different people. But basically:
“Money is so boring and I hate it” – said no one, ever.
We all need it. Wherever you sit on the financial spectrum, we all think about not having enough money to do the things we want to do, and to get the most out of life.
And we shouldn’t have to apologise for wanting what we want.
The MMOL team discuss if it’s okay to say “I want to be rich”. Post continues after…
LA novelist Jessica Knoll recently wrote an article called “I want to be rich and I’m not sorry“, and I certainly don’t think she needs to apologise. Knoll talks about wanting financial freedom in the form of real wealth, and the only difference is, she is proud to say it aloud.
She’s not being vulgar. She’s not admitting a ‘weakness’. She is being honest. Knoll is saying “I want and deserve to be rich, so I’m willing to do what needs to be done.”
You go, girl.
But in one of my more recent Kardashian debates, one friend noted that whilst there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be rich, she judges the way that some people get there. The example she used is the owner of one of Australia’s largest convenience store chains, who has made billions “from selling cigarettes to dying addicts” – as she describes it.
And whilst I defended that at the time (because I love playing devil’s advocate), her point is absolutely valid.
Let’s consider it like this: this man identified a gap in the market, and then made a lot of money from that – is he smart, or is he selfish?
He hasn’t done anything illegal, but according to my friend, he’s crossed a line. Why? Because she’s judging his ethics of “selling cigarettes to dying addicts.” To her, he’s rich because he is selfish and has trampled on lives to get there.
I tend to avoid jumping on the anti-Kardashian bandwagon, but a lot of people (like my aforementioned friends whom I debate her with) easily apply the same logic to that family’s ethics.
Whilst I don’t judge the Kardashians like that, I’m not without my own strong principles. I wouldn’t pay to see a circus animals perform. I care about sustainability. I try to avoid buying anything that was made in a sweatshop or with child labour (to my knowledge).
People running businesses who don’t have those ethics – they’re in it to make money. I get that. No problem. But if it’s making money at the direct and tangible cost of others? Big problem.
Now, it’s time to get deep.
Personal definition of what it means to be ‘rich’ varies significantly. For some, it’s utter financial freedom to do whatever they want. For others, it’s simply not having to worry about budgeting to buy the kids’ school uniforms.
And for me? I always think of myself as the richest woman in the world. I’ve got a son who’s beautiful 90 percent of the time (a little PIA the other ten percent). A family who has stopped laughing at my jokes, but whom I’m in constant contact with and who would ANYTHING for me. I’m well-employed. Overall, I’ve had a good life.
To me, that’s real wealth; those riches are more than enough for me.
But, if you want more than that, and can be a decent person while you’re achieving it? I wish you all the best.