Caitlyn Jenner, Olympic athlete turned world-class glamour girl, took the planet by storm in June when she sat down for an interview with Diane Sawyer and announced her ongoing transition from male to female.
Now she’s back with an eight-episode miniseries, I Am Cait, that debuted July 26 on E!. The show, which airs in 154 countries and in 24 languages, serves as both classic reality TV lookie-loo entertainment and a spiritual exercise. Even the most Kardashian-resistant viewer can get something out of it.
Philosopher Martin Buber said, “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware,” and it’s clear from the very first moments of I Am Cait, when we see Jenner lying awake strafed by insomnia at 4:32 a.m., that she’s not sure where this whole thing is headed.
“What a responsibility I have,” she says to her camera bare-faced and bleary eyed.
“I just hope I get it right. I hope I get it right.”
This has gotta be a first: Kim Kardashian is not in the picture.
But it’s happened, in Israel, on an ultra-Orthodox Jewish news website, which covered or blurred her face in a picture taken of her during her stopover in Jerusalem this week.
Kim and husband Kanye West had dinner on April 13 with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, but the picture of the three of them was altered.
It showed only Kanye and the mayor, with Kim’s face covered by a picture of a receipt or just blurred to the point of oblivion.
Nissim Ben Haim, an editor at the Kikar HaShabbat website, said April 15 they removed Kim because she is a “pornographic symbol” who contradicts ultra-Orthodox values, according to The Associated Press.
The website wasn’t too happy with Barkat, either, because he dined with the couple at a high-end but non-kosher restaurant, and supposedly the bill was was nearly $700.
In its article, the website referred to Kim as merely “West’s wife,” which must have been amusing to both.
Last week, a member of my youth group texted me this picture of a pregnant Kim Kardashian. It’s a recent cover from Star Magazine. She added these sarcastic words:
What? How dare she gain weight while carrying another person in her stomach!
My heart broke. We have a big problem of objectifying women in our culture. I’d just written about the Steubenville rape case and the need to finally answer the ancient question “Am I my brother and sister’s keeper?” with a definitive yes. Rape is an extreme and obvious example of the objectification and violence against women.
But what about the cover of a magazine whose central thesis is: OMG, a pregnant person gains weight?
It’s tempting for us to scoff at Kris and Kim’s downfall, but the reality is that their marriage failed at least in part because of our society’s views of nuptial bliss. That makes us all implicitly responsible, and it encourages us all to do a better job of loving our neighbors well, not just on their wedding day but on all the days that follow.