Last time we checked in with Kim Kardashian, she was trying to trademark the word “Kimono” for her shapewear line and taking online classes to pass the bar.
Now, she has changed that controversial brand name and hired her first model for the ad campaign–and you’ll never believe who it is!
Kim’s new line of Spanx knock-offs are now officially called “SKIMS,” which isn’t the worst possible name. (We still think “Kurves” was the better choice, but apparently the Kardashians don’t read our website.) The products are competitively priced–you can get a bodysuit for $62–and seem to be comparable to other shapewear products on the market.
When she’s not posting endless photos of herself, Kim actually does some important advocacy work. She worked to free 64-year-old grandmother Alice Marie Johnson, who was sentenced to life PLUS 25 years for a non-violent drug offense. Johnson had no chance at parole, either, and had been in prison since 1996.
Kim successfully worked with a team of lawyers to get Johnson freed from prison. And now, she’s offered the woman a job. In a video promoting the line, Johnson wears a sculpting bodysuit from the SKIMS line and tells her story. It’s actually really affecting as she describes what it means to be free and how precious every day has been for her.
“She went to war for me to fight for my freedom. That’s why I call her my ‘war angel,’ because nothing stood between her and my freedom,” Johnson said in the video.
Now, it might a little bit of a stretch for her to claim that “this shapewear makes me feel free” because Johnson can confidently wear a nice dress without bulging in the wrong places. Several critics have spoken out on social media, wondering why Kim chose to use one of the few truly good deeds she’s ever done to help sell her shapewear line. Other posts question whether it’s exploitative or disrespectful.
Johnson is clearly reading from a script in the video (which you can watch below), so it’s a good bet that a team of scriptwriters and marketers were involved in the decisions here.
While there are things to praise about Kim’s latest venture–including her choice to offer sizes XXS-5XL and 9 colors to match a wider variety of skin tones, as well as using diverse models in her campaign–the whole thing is still slathered in the Kardashian’s trademark hustle. This family literally doesn’t do anything without immediately figuring out a way to exploit it for their own gain.