Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
By: Jordan Oliver
With the recent wildfire crisis in Australia, Kylie Jenner used her celebrity status to spread the word via her Instagram story. This past weekend she posted a photo with a volunteer firefighter holding a Koala with the caption, “Over half a BILLION animals have been killed in Australia,” and added, “this breaks my heart…” A seemingly innocent post to spread awareness ended up biting her in the butt when her next story post just hours later had her flaunting her fresh, pink toe nail polish peeking out from her pricy Louis Vuitton slippers made out of real Mink fur. Almost instantly she began receiving negative feedback from her fans for the back to back post showing conflicting beliefs on her empathy for the safety and treatment of animals. The twitter world even erupted with tweets of outrage claiming that Kylie’s post was already, “… the biggest hypocrisy of 2020…” and others making comments that she is “disconnected from reality” with her stardom and wealth having these images back to back. At just 22, it is fair to say the post was an honest mistake by the famous sister of the highly scrutinized Kardashian family and she meant well. So well, in fact, that she responded to all the angry tweets and scrutiny with a donation of $1 million to help fund various relief efforts in Australia during these tragic times. Though Kylie herself and her representatives declined to comment, her donation speaks for itself and the donation is needed and greatly appreciated, I’m sure.
At the end of the day, the bigger picture is the Australian wildfire crisis that continues to burn. Accuweather claims that the Australian wildfire damages have already estimated $485 million in insurance losses and more than 2,500 buildings and 1,800 homes have been destroyed from fire that continues to wreak havoc down under. Besides the financial losses, 25 people have died so far, an estimated 1 billion animals have been lost, and scientists fear the Australian ecosystem might be forever damaged from this insane phenomenon. Satellite images from NASA also show that Kangaroo Island, a protected wildlife reserve off the southern coast of Australia has already lost 383,000 acres due to the fire, an island which is usually booming with kangaroos, sea lions, koalas, and a diverse and endangered bird species. So it is safe to say that Australia needs all the help it can get.
How can you help? If you have the financial ability to donate, the fire departments in heavily hit areas of Australia, Victoria, donate at cfa.vic.gov.au and in New South Wales donate at rfs.nsw.gov.au directly to aid in all relief efforts. Australian celebrities have stepped up to fundraise money for relief efforts, such as comedian and actor Celeste Barber, who has already raised $32 million to support companies trying to combat the fiery chaos in Australia, which actually broke a Facebook fundraising platform record. Adding to the relief efforts are other big names of Elton John, Chris “Thor” Hemsworth, and the American metal band, Metallica, who each donated $1 million to aid with the wildfires.