So, among the gifts Kim Kardashian West bought daughter North, 6, for Christmas was an iconic jacket worn by Michael Jackson for Elizabeth Taylor’s 65th birthday party in 1997.
Kardashian West, 39, and husband Kanye West, 42, secretly paid $94,806 at auction in October for the crystal-bedazzled velvet jacket, and surprised North with it – presumably just a taster of her real haul – on Christmas Eve.
Three days earlier the little girl was out with her family in New York’s upmarket Negril Village with a $14,000 Birkin bag on her arm.
Birkins are for grown women with experience and some sophistication.
Carried by a six-year-old, the bag looked vulgar and creepy, an extension of the baby beauty pageant trope where little girls are caked in make-up with inappropriate giant hair and adult attitude.
But giving a Birkin to ‘Northie’ to stick her candy in was nothing compared to the tone deafness of buying Michael Jackson’s jacket for her.
Kardashian West, endearingly funny in the ‘noice’ Uber Eats ads with Magda Szubanski, was back to her idiotic ‘you guys’ best, oblivious to the larger message of her crafted social media image.
In November, she claimed she’s giving up nude selfies because “I have kind of had this awakening” that it’s “just overkill” and she wants to be a positive role model for her children.
Horse, bolted, but elephant stamp anyway.
Then two weeks before Christmas she claimed she’s raising her kids to be “compassionate” amid stonking wealth: “They know they are blessed.”
So far, so good. Then Kim proves it’s all lip service when a small girl is given clothing of an adult male whose life came under particularly harsh renewed scrutiny in 2019 for his relationships with children.
This is Kim’s take on it: “North is a really big Michael Jackson fan. She’s so grateful and excited. We knew she would love this.”
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If she did, something is wrong with this picture.
At six, North should be playing Uno or Spirograph and driving Barbie and Ken around in her camper and hurtling down a slip’n’slide and watching Disney films.
Of course, there’s an argument that Jackson’s incredible music should be his legacy, and that it’s separate from his personal life.
But after watching HBO’s Leaving Neverland documentary this year, I find it really hard to separate his songs from him.
You can’t have one without the other. With creativity, the lines between personal and public are always blurred.
The public perception of Jackson has never been more divisive after Leaving Neverland aired resurfaced allegations the star sexually abused young boys, including Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
The two men’s claims Jackson abused them as children – allegations he repeatedly denied before his 2009 death – were quietly, devastatingly compelling.
True or not, the claims involve kids who say their childhoods were destroyed through betrayed trust, something that should make any vaguely aware parent think twice about giving their daughter Jackson’s clothes.
Not Kim and Kanye. They even had the sleeves of the jacket “tacked up” so North can wear it now, Kardashian West said in a series of Instagram Stories.
Yes, that means soon this grade one child could be heading off for playdates with her cousins in a velvet Michael Jackson jacket.
Even in a household where the mother boasts regularly about North “styling” herself – read, dressing – that’s bizarre.
There’s more: “When she gets older we can untack the sleeve and it can grow with her and she can have this for her whole life.”
Or she might grow up with a better radar that her parents for what’s not acceptable for vulnerable children, and by the age of 10 auction it again and donate the money to kids who need help, not a jacket with disturbing associations.