One of the most common questions surrounding the mega-fame of Kim Kardashian is, “Why is she famous?” It’s a valid critique — after all, she just so happened to be born into a wildly affluential and influential family, and has thrived on that her whole life. But she’s also built her fortune through entrepreneurial pursuits of her own, including clothing and cosmetic lines, an insanely lucrative mobile game, and forays into acting and show biz.
But lest you think she’s all glitz, glam, and no brains, Kim recently reminded us why she also deserves to be called inspirational. On Wednesday (May 6), the 34-year-old took part in a Google hangout where she chatted with fans about mental health issues. This was just two days after the premiere of “#Redflag,” a documentary she produced about mental health in the social media age.
During her nearly 14-minute video chat, Kim explained why she felt passionately about the issue, saying, “For me, I have experienced so many friends who have suffered from depression and other mental illnesses. And because I've never experienced it, I don't understand it. I wanted to really inform myself because it's not just something that you can snap out of.”
Kim also said she hopes to use her public platform as a way to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. "It's something that I feel is a little bit taboo," she said. "I also think it's hard for people to admit they have a mental illness and I want them to know it's okay. And there is help available.”
This side of Kim — the kind, compassionate, human side — might be jarring for people who only associate her with bikinis and K coins. But it’s there, and it deserves as much attention as anything else she makes headlines for.
Perhaps it’s ironic, then, that just earlier this week, Kim released her 448-page book of selfies, titled Selfish. Some people have joked that the title may be more of a self-descriptor than a play on the word “selfie,” but Kim has proved that wrong with her advocacy about mental illness, and with these six other examples that prove she’s not as selfish as she seems.
She’s fiercely loyal to her family.
Say what you will about the Kardashians, but no one can deny their unwavering love for one another. Sure, some of them have bigger-than-usual egos (being famous will do that to you), but the fact that they’ve managed to stick together amid daily tabloid drama is pretty impressive. Piggybacking off of that, it’s also important to note that Kim is one of her stepdad Bruce Jenner’s biggest supporters. After his historic interview with "20/20" last month — during which he admitted to identifying as a woman — Kim pledged her full support for him.
She turned an embarrassing failure into a generous charity donation.
Remember when Kim tried her hand at a music career by releasing the somewhat cringeworthy “Jam (Turn It Up)” in 2011? Yes, it was bad, and she later admitted it was a mistake to dabble in the pop star world. But did you know she donated half of the song’s profits to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital? Talk about turning lemons into lemonade.
She’s even dipped her toe in international human rights issues.
If you follow Kim on Instagram, you probably know she recently travelled to Armenia. But it wasn’t just for glam photo opps — upon returning to the States, she penned a powerful essay for TIME in which she wrote about her pilgrimage and discussed Armenian genocide, even making a plea for President Obama to start using the word “genocide.”
Last Thanksgiving, she surprised U.S. troops in Abu Dhabi.
Spreading holiday cheer to soldiers overseas — it doesn’t get cuter than that.
She uses her painful past to help others.
In an interview with Variety — which recognized her as a 2015 Woman of Power — Kim explained her frequent visits to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles by saying, "My father passed away from cancer. I remember what it was like when my dad was going through it. You see the kids that are so strong. They feel so helpless. You want to do anything to help them."
Lastly, she’s an amazing wife and mother.
You can’t call a good mother selfish. You just can’t; it contradicts itself. Kim clearly loves her husband, Kanye West, and their daughter, North. In fact, Kim’s even opened up about motherhood and dealing with fertility issues during the current season of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” This is a woman who desperately wants to keep raising children and being a great mom. That ain’t selfish.