Say what you will about Kris Jenner and her choices (and oh, we do), but Kim Kardashian‘s recent revelation to Oprah that her mom let her go on birth control at age fourteen might not be the worst thing in the world. In fact, in my opinion, it might have actually been a good parenting decision.
The way Kim explains it, she started dating someone when she was twelve, and when she was almost fifteen, she approached her mom and told her she wanted to lose her virginity to this person. And whatever feelings Kris might have had in that moment, according to Kim, she said:
“I was like, ‘I think I’m going to, or I want to,’ and she was like, ‘OK, so this is what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna put you on birth control,’ and she was like, really open and honest with me.”
Cue everyone everywhere to completely flip out and call Kris a bad mother who had no control over her child. Granted, Kim was extremely young, and from an outsider’s perspective, it’s easy to come to a negative conclusion about Kris’ treatment of the situation. In fact, here are some examples of negative conclusions already cited in the Huffington Post‘s article.
Kate Stanhope tweeted: ‘Kim Kardashian has been on birth control since she was FOURTEEN. #wtf”, and Gossip and Gab writes:
“I’m sure that’s what every mother in America would do for her 15-year-old daughter (as opposed to telling them to wait to grow up or become more mature or realize that this is a bad decision for someone so young or even say ‘go to your room.’”
I’m not surprised to read all this media backlash against Kris and Kim, but I am surprised to find myself siding with the Kardashians. Listen, I’ve been as guilty as everyone else in the past of ridiculing that family for their fame-whoring ways, but I really do think that in this case, Kris chose to do what was best for her family without any thought of media perception or publicity.
Think about it. How old were you when you lost your virginity? I don’t know what the national average is, and I’ll admit that fourteen is very young, but no matter what age you were — did you talk to your mom about it beforehand? Whether or not you did, think about the kind of trusting, open relationship that a fourteen-year-old girl would have to have with her mother to feel comfortable approaching her about such an important decision. Whatever you think of Kim, it’s actually a pretty impressive sign of maturity in a teenager to talk to her mom about her choice instead of just sneaking off and doing it (pun intended) in secret.
And from what she said, it sounded like she made the right choice to trust her mom. Instead of flying into a rage and forbidding her daughter to see her boyfriend anymore or sending her off to boarding school, Kris made sure that if her daughter was going to become sexually active, she would also be knowledgeable, safe, and protected. Look at the way Kim phrased it to her mom — she said ‘I think I’m going to’, not ‘can I?’ or ‘should I?’. She wasn’t asking her mother so much as informing her…so if Kris had freaked out, it’s likely that Kim would have done what she wanted anyway without the benefit of an adult’s advice. By not overreacting, Kris ensured that her daughter would continue to approach her in the future with other crucial decisions, and stayed an important part of her life.
And let’s also point out that it worked — Kris is still an integral part of Kim’s life, and Kim never became a single mom even though she’s been sexually active for more than half her life. That spells success to me. I may not like what they’ve become, and the way they put publicity before family, but I truly think this is a case where Kris acted on love. As a parent, she put her own feelings aside and trusted her daughter. She made a choice that will probably make her pretty unpopular in the media, and she probably knew that at the time but did it anyway. She wanted her daughter to be taken care of, so she took care of her in the best way she knew how. Was Kim too young to lose her virginity? Maybe. Were you? Maybe. Was I? Definitely. But we were all young(ish) kids and at the time, we thought we knew best. I was going to do things the way I wanted regardless (or even in spite of) the best advice of the smartest adults in my life. In my experience, telling a teenager not to do something rarely results in a favorable outcome, so I’m glad that Kris supported her daughter in a way that let her become the adult she wanted to be instead of the adult her mother insisted she be.
…even if that adult happens to be an overly-dramatic, sex-tape producing, reality TV star. Hey, you can’t win ‘em all, right?