The celebrity blogosphere is blowing up over Kim Kardashian and her now infamous 20.5-carat diamond engagement ring. Though provisions were made in her prenup giving her to option to purchase the ring in case the marriage fails, there seems to be more at stake than a simple business transaction.
I might be in the minority here, but I think Kim should give the ring back because it has lost all its original meaning, and will only be a painful reminder to her that their short marriage didn’t work.
Wait a second, you might be thinking. Kris gave it to her fair and square, and it was part of the marriage pact. It should be hers to keep regardless of what happened to make the marriage end so soon, right?
More Than a Glittering Stone
But think about what an engagement ring symbolizes, what it really means: it’s a visible symbol of an invisible commitment, a bond, a union. Yes, diamonds are often appreciated for their own intrinsic value, for their beauty and rarity. But when diamonds are used for engagement rings, they take on a different and special meaning. They are no longer about the things themselves – they’re standing in for a larger idea: two people together forever.
This quality of symbolic value is very hard to calculate, especially in hard numbers. Sure, an appraiser can put a dollar value on the diamond itself, and I suppose the added worth of its history – the provenance of being owned by a huge celebrity tends to add some zeros. But how much is it worth to Kim now, really, when all it does is serve as a reminder that what was supposed to be forever has already passed and ended?
What Objects Really Mean to Us
We surround ourselves with things because they add meaning to our lives. Though every day we live more of our lives online, it seems, physical objects still anchor us in some way and provide a link to our past. If Kardashian decides to keep the ring, it’s because it adds some meaning to her life. But as with anyone who has gone through a divorce, how could that significance be anything but hurt and loss? And who needs more reminders of those things around?
One of my favorite aspects of celebrity is when the stars we deify face dilemmas just like the rest of us. Who hasn’t had to decide what to do with that box under the bed or in the closet, full of memories of an ex? One of the most difficult things I ever did during my teenage years was returning that box to my ex. It had picture frames, little gifts and trinkets, movie and concert stubs. It had us, really, that period of our lives together, trapped in a box. As if that would be enough to seal off the feelings breaking up engenders. Of course, as with anything so emotionally charged, the seal we thought was hermetic was really full of leaks.
We love to over-dramatize and aggrandize celebrities and their mundane problems because they give us an external reference point for our own lives. We feel like we can give commentary and advice to celebrities, such as returning diamond engagement rings, because in essence we are giving that advice to ourselves. Not just about that specific situation, but about what the past means to us, and how to deal with loss going forward.
You thought you were just reading another celebrity blog post, didn’t you?
Give it Back, Kim
Needless to say, for Kim’s sake, for Kris’s sake, and for our own sake: Kim should give the ring back. Not for reasons of etiquette or money, but because she needs to let the past lie and move on, like we all do when we face heartbreak and loss.
So, what do you think? Should she give it back or not?