Vinay Menon: Kim Kardashian’s $400,000 luxury minivan is an insult to parents and minivans

Kim Kardashian inspects her new customized, $400,000 Maybach minivan on Discovery’s “Million Dollar Wheels.”

Kim Kardashian owns a private jet, fleet of luxury cars, mansions, fridges bigger than bungalows, and more purses and heels than there are cells in the human body.

Fine. Good. Earlier this year, Forbes estimated her net worth at $1.8 billion (U.S.). Her weekly disposable income is bigger than most mortgages. And Ms. Kardashian is not shy about leaning into her conspicuous consumption. Fine. Good.

Her vast fortune is hers to spend as she pleases. More power to her.

But on behalf of parents everywhere, I must draw the line at souped-up minivans.

In the season finale for “Million Dollar Wheels,” a Discovery Plus series that combines “Pimp My Ride” with “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” Kardashian gets her newest whip.

It’s technically a minivan, but not one offered by Nissan or Kia. No, this minivan has flat screen TVs that automatically roll up, hydraulic leather seats with diamond stitching, colour-changing mood panels in the ceiling and a climate-control system so sophisticated it would baffle the scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

This black, customized Maybach costs $400,000 (U.S.). It is one of a kind.

It is also an affront to the very idea of minivans.

Shame on you, Kim. If you want to buy a luxury yacht that has a helicopter pad, penthouse apartment and freshwater pool, have at it. But stay away from minivans. New parents don’t need to be comparing the specs of your Maybach to their Sienna or Grand Caravan.

You know who wants to own a “normal” minivan? Nobody. This family vehicle is a transitional rite of passage. It is a necessary evil. It is a four-wheel bridge between your old, pre-kids life and the new one that is suddenly all about juice boxes, cartoons and soccer games.

When my twins were born, my wife and I had a Jetta. It was a turbocharged sweetie of a car. I loved it. But once we went from a household of two to four overnight, that Jetta became an albatross. To fit the twin stroller in the trunk, I needed to remove the front wheels and FaceTime engineers. A glance in the rearview mirror was the only time my preemie darlings in their child seats looked big, which made me fret about safety vis-a-vis a relatively small vehicle and the laws of physics as they apply to a possible T-bone collision.

I still remember the conversation my wife and I had that preceded our reluctant membership in the minivan club. The girls were asleep in their cribs. We were dazed, staring at the TV that was not on, sipping tea in shirts caked with spit-up and diaper ointment.

You’ve heard of POWs? We were POPs — prisoners of parenthood.

“We need a new car,” my wife blurted out, her eyes unblinking and bloodshot.

Not long after, my lifetime dreams of insane horsepower and performance handling gave way to a new reality: I was driving a Honda Odyssey. The twin stroller fit in the trunk and there was still room for a grand piano. That was good. But driving was now a dagger through my soul and dreams. Every time I started the engine, with a tear in my eye, it was like getting slapped by Will Smith: Have fun at Toys “R” Us, bitch! Smack!

Kim Kardashian really blew this. She had an opportunity to be a source of inspiration for parents everywhere. All she had to do was buy a normal minivan. You know? Instagram about her new Pacifica or Town and Country. Let other parents know they are not alone as they come to grips with the fact their lives are basically over. Let the world know that Kim K, billionaire influencer, knows a minivan is not about cabin partitions that can generate artificial frost during a summer heat wave. No!

A minivan should not have more creature comforts than the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

A minivan is all about space and convenience. That’s it. If you’re going to Centre Island and fear you might need extra bags packed with blankets, Dr. Seuss books, sippy cups and enough Baby Mum-Mums to keep an adult alive on a deserted island for 45 days, no worries. There’s plenty of room.

Pack that patio umbrella, just in case. Take a couple of floor lamps!

But watching this week’s trailer for “Million Dollar Wheels,” it’s clear Kardashian has zero need for travelling with tricycles, play pens, bouncers or high chairs. This customized Maybach is not about space and convenience — it’s about space age extravagance.

It’s an insult to the founding philosophy of minivans.

I pity the future mechanic who must deal with a looming snafu. Who is going to service this one-of-a-kind minivan? NASA? Kim, you can’t take this opulent abomination to Mr. Lube.

And your kids will never know the true joys of bonding in a disgusting minivan.

Celebrities should know better. Turning minivans into luxury rides is an unfair illusion to parents who are now scraping Goldfish crackers out of the cupholders in the third row.

A minivan is supposed to get you from A to B — not take you to Xanadu.

A minivan is owned ephemerally between the life bookends of not owning a minivan.

When Kardashian laid mascaraed eyes on her new car, she exclaimed, “Oh my God!”

I said the same thing when I got the keys to my Odyssey.

But I said it in a very different way.

Vinay Menon is the Star’s pop culture columnist based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @vinaymenon

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Credit belongs to : www.thestar.com

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