Kim Kardashian: Internet superstar — or international operative targeting young Iranian women?
"Nude selfies till I'm dead," she said Monday night as she picked up the inaugural Break the Internet honor at the 20th Webby Awards, where acceptance speeches were limited to five words.
"She has shaped our understanding of how someone or something can draw the popular attention of Internet users everywhere," the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences said on its website by way of explaining why — other than buzz — Kardashian was being recognized at an event that honors online's best.
After the event, Kardashian hopped on a private jet and headed toward Cannes, France. According to her award-winning social-media presence, she boarded and hung out for a while still wearing the black Vivienne Westwood gown she'd rocked on the red carpet in New York.
She managed to slither into a white Calvin Klein slip dress, however, for her stroll out of the airport in Nice, France, and Snapchatted herself toying with three loose diamonds worth a combined $36 million ahead of a night out at a jeweler's bash.
Coincidentally, that private flight to France put Kardashian significantly closer to Iran, where according to Iran Wire, a news website run by Iranian journalists, the reality star is hardly welcome. Rather, she's reportedly seen by authorities as a foreign influence targeting "young people and women" and complicit in the spread of "un-Islamic" modeling on Instagram pages originating in that country.
"Ms. Kim Kardashian is a popular fashion model so Instagram’s CEO tells her, 'Make this native,' " a spokesman for a government unit focused on cyberspace crimes said on a Sunday news program in Iran, according to Iran Wire.
"There is no doubt that financial support is involved as well," he was quoted as saying. "We are taking this very seriously."
One serious aspect, of course, is that women in Iran are reportedly being arrested by the Organized Cyberspace Crimes Unit of the Revolutionary Guards for not covering their heads in photos posted online. Facebook was the target last year, the BBC reported; this year, the focus is on Instagram.
But one not-so-serious aspect? Kim Kardashian, international undercover operative.
"What? For who?" she told People in Cannes. "I just landed and came here [from the airport]. I have not heard that one. Thanks for the heads-up."
Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ.