Kim Kardashian’s advice to women in business is getting some major backlash

Kim Kardashian attends the 2019 E! People's Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on November 10, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Kim Kardashian attends the 2019 E! People’s Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on November 10, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Rodin Eckenroth | WireImage | Getty Images

Kim Kardashian is on the receiving end of some heavy criticism this week after dishing out some eye-popping advice to women, with one career coach telling CNBC her comments potentially send a “dangerous” message to younger followers.

Kardashian had this guidance for women in business in an interview with Variety released on Wednesday: “Get your f—ing ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.”


Unsurprisingly, it sparked a storm on social media, with Twitter users criticizing Kardashian for her “tone deaf” comments.

Actress Jameela Jamil weighed in on the comments, tweeting: “I think if you grew up in Beverly Hills with super successful parents in what was simply a smaller mansion … nobody needs to hear your thoughts on success/work ethic.”

Jamil added: “This same 24 hours in the day sh-t is a nightmare. 99.9% of the world grew up with a VERY different 24 hours.”

And Twitter users were quick to draw comparisons between Kardashian’s advice and comments made by Britain’s “Love Island” star Molly-Mae Hague in a podcast interview.

A clip of Hague’s interview on The Diary of a CEO podcast in December resurfaced a month later and quickly went viral. In the clip, the Brit doubled down on the argument that “Beyonce has the same 24 hours in a day that we do.”

Hague said: “When I’ve spoken about that before in the past I have been slammed a little bit with people saying ‘it’s easy for you to say that … you’ve not grown up in poverty, you’ve not grown up with major money struggles so for you to sit there and say that we have the same 24 hours in a day it’s not correct.’ But technically what I’m saying is correct, we do.”

Hague, who was a runner-up on the popular reality TV show “Love Island,” was named creative director of clothing brand Pretty Little Thing in August and reportedly earns six-figures (in British pounds) a month in her role.

Meanwhile, Kardashian is said to have a net worth of $1.8 billion, according to Forbes. On the back of the success of the reality TV show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” Kim and her family, have amassed their fortunes by creating an empire of retail brands.

Indeed, the very name of the show is a twist on that classic American dream message of “keeping up with the Joneses.”

And so it’s understandable that people look to emulate that success. However, one career coach suggests that both Kardashian and Hague’s comments could add to harmful social media messages on work ethic.

‘Toxic positivity’

Emma Harrison, a freelance careers coach, told CNBC that both Hague and Kardashian have “demonstrated ignorance of lived experience of the 99% and their messages pose real danger to their followers, especially those who are younger and more easily influenced.”

Harrison, a senior lecturer in careers, guidance and counselling at Canterbury Christ Church University in the U.K., noted that there had been a rise in influencers giving advice over social media, which was closely linked to messages of “toxic positivity” already present on these platforms.

“This idea that a person’s mindset can change everything or is the only thing holding them back is toxic and unhelpful in the same way that Kim Kardashian, Molly-Mae [Hague] and countless other influencer messages are,” she said.

CNBC contacted Kim Kardashian’s publicist Tracy Romulus, as well as Molly-Mae Hague’s manager Francesca Britton, and is yet to response a response.

‘Relevant and actionable’ advice

Kat Hutchings, a leadership and career coach who runs her own firm, told CNBC that “looking to people at the pinnacle of their career/success or have [Instagram] fame or celebrity status can create a feeling that we’ll never get there.”

In addition, she said it could also make people feel as if “we need to be someone other than ourselves in order to achieve” success.

Hutchings recommended seeking out role models who are two to five years ahead in their career and who remember what it was like to be in your shoes: “Their advice is helpful, relevant and actionable.”

She said that the people we admire in our career should also remind us that “having a vision and aspiration is important, but what’s more important is taking small steps every day towards what we want.”

Hutchings added that people should be able to be “less distracted by the glamour of someone operating in a wholly different context to us and [be] able to filter for the expertise and advice that helps us move forward.”

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