Call me a cynic, but that statement never rang true to me. What seems more likely is Trump has realized being associated with her father is a liability, and pivoted. She probably misses the days when she could be shadowed at the Met Gala by People magazine and cosplay as a career woman without anyone calling her an insurrectionist. Her recent Instagram posts, which feature influencer-esque family shots and friends outings, seem to harken back to her old persona.
So now, the Kardashian of it all. We’re all smart enough to realize that Kardashian would not just be posting Trump without a strategy behind it (where was evidence of this friendship for the four years of the Trump presidency)?
The most likely explanation? Trump has asked her friend to help rehab her image, and Kardashian is willing to oblige. The fact that Trump is literally about to testify at her father’s civil fraud trial makes the timing even more interesting.
Kardashian did a soft launch last week, including a photo of Trump in a carousel of photos posted of her own 43rd birthday party in Los Angeles. But the separate birthday post for Trump feels like a line in the sand for Kardashian, a public embrace of her friend and a declaration that the season of cancellation for Trump is over.
You may be saying to yourself, “who cares? This will never work. It’s Kim Kardashian.” And yes, I know, the public narrative is that we all dislike the Kardashians, blah blah blah. The reality, though, is that we don’t actually dislike the Kardashians. Maybe we aren’t all fans, but we’re all obsessed with them.
Just look at how much pop-culture oxygen is devoted to them, from magazines to tabloids to TikToks and Instagrams. We buy their products and we consume their lives. We got work done to look like them, and reversed it when they tried on new bodies and faces for size. If you’re trying to make a jump back into mainstream society, a Kardashian is potentially the best person to have in your corner.
So, this all feels rather strategic. What Kardashian is doing by posting Trump is the best thing she could possibly do for her friend. She is normalizing her. She’s saying to the world that if she, as one of the most powerful people in society (sorry but it’s true!) can hang with Trump again, so can the rest of us.