Kim Kardashian West has spent her 40th birthday on a private island with a large group of family and friends.
The reality star is facing criticism for hosting a lavish party abroad, without social distancing or masks, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said she hosted the trip “after two weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine”.
Posting photos of the event on Twitter, Kardashian West said she was “humbly reminded of how privileged my life is”.
The coronavirus has killed more than 1.1m people, and has caused economic devastation worldwide. In the US, a record number of people have claimed unemployment benefits this year as a result of job losses due to the pandemic.
“Before Covid, I don’t think any of us truly appreciated what a simple luxury it was to be able to travel and be together with family and friends in a safe environment,” Kardashian West wrote in a series of tweets.
“After two weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time.
“We danced, rode bikes, swam near whales, kayaked, watched a movie on the beach and so much more. I realise that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is.”
Some people have responded to her tweets with memes – particularly focusing on Kardashian West “surprising” her friends with a private island trip. Others have criticised her for appearing to brag about having a party on social media.
“Cool, people have had to say goodbye to loved ones over the phone while they died alone in a hospital,” writer Jenna Quigley said. “But neat trip to post all over social media while the world suffers. So humble and so down to earth, truly.”
She then added: “Like, have a birthday trip but to post it all over social media right now is disgustingly tone deaf AT BEST.”
And one Twitter user reposted one of the photos, in which a member of catering staff wears a mask, to suggest that the ability to “pretend things were normal” at the party didn’t extend to workers.