Kim Kardashian sparks viral meme following ‘tone deaf’ 40th birthday party on private island

Sarah Young
·4-min read
 (Getty Images for ABA)
(Getty Images for ABA)

Kim Kardashian West is facing backlash after organising a luxury holiday with friends and family on a private island to celebrate her 40th birthday.

On Tuesday, the reality TV star shared a series of pictures from the getaway on Twitter and Instagram, where she has 67.1m and 190m followers respectively.

Alongside photos of the celebrations, during which social distancing does not appear to be adhered to and guests were not wearing face masks, Kardashian West wrote a lengthy post detailing the extravagant affair.

“40 and feeling so humbled and blessed. There is not a single day that I take for granted, especially during these times when we are all reminded of the things that truly matter,” she wrote.

“For my birthday this year, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it than with some of the people who have helped shaped me into the woman I am today. Before Covid, I don’t think any of us truly appreciated what a simple luxury it was to be able to travel and be together with family and friends in a safe environment.”

The Skims founder went on to say that before the trip everyone in attendance was asked to undergo “two weeks of multiple health screens” and quarantine.

“I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time,” she added.

“We danced, rode bikes, swam near whales, kayaked, watched a movie on the beach and so much more. I realize that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is. #thisis40.”

Social media users were quick to react to Kardashian West’s post, with many criticising her as “tone deaf” and “insensitive”

“Cool, people have had to say goodbye to loved ones over the phone while they died alone in a hospital,” one person wrote on Twitter. “But neat trip to post all over social media while the world suffers. So humble and so down to earth, truly.

“Like, have a birthday trip but to post it all over social media right now is disgustingly tone deaf AT BEST.”

Another person added: “You could have done all this and stfu about it. Or, y'know, donated the money you were going to spend. Or all of the tests you used. This is not being ‘humbled’.”

A third person wrote: “People are dying, pandemic raging, economic uncertainties, families separated, political strife, but sure – splash your insane life all over the place. Also isn’t your hubby running for potus, why aren’t you campaigning right now?”

Kardashian West’s post also quickly became a meme, with people sharing photographs of their own “private islands”.

There were references to the film Parasite, Wicker Man, Game of Thrones’ bloodbath episode “The Red Wedding”, Tom Hanks’s Castaway and Midsommar, a film about a cult.

To date, coronavirus has killed more than 1.1m people, and has caused economic devastation worldwide.

In Kardashian West’s own home state of California, there have so far been more than 900,000 confirmed cases and 17,000 deaths.

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