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Why naming Kim Kardashian "Woman of the Year" probably isn't a good idea

Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian
Getty Images Entertainment
Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

On Wednesday morning, (American) GQ had to issue a statement to its readers, because so many were enraged that its British cousin had, among other things, named Kim Kardashian "Woman of the Year."

People were not really fans of this choice, threatening to cancel their subscriptions:


Kardashian, of course, is a popular female human and reality television star. She also has one of the most profitable apps of the year, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, which brings in $700,000 per day. But these accomplishments, people feel, do not a "Woman of the Year" make. This backlash is like when Vogue put Kardashian on its April cover, and people were angry that a woman who was "famous for being famous," being friends with Paris Hilton, and making a sex tape was on a cover of what they believed to be a classy magazine.

People weren't just annoyed with GQ's choice of Kardashian. They were also irritated with the magazine's selection of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as "Philanthropist of the Year."

The Independent explained the backlash stems from Blair's involvement in the Iraq war and his current position as  Special Envoy for the Quartet Representative, a mandate set up to facilitate Israel-Palestine peace negotiations.

The outrage is a bit perplexing, since Nobel Peace Prizes these are not. They're awards from a magazine, and are largely forgotten. For instance, it would probably take a Google search to tell you that last year's British GQ Woman of the Year was Emma Watson.

But apparently, people are deeply invested in the awards. Or, you know, hating Kim Kardashian.

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