~ 7 Minute 5 Second Read
This sentence really irritates me.
“They’re famous for being famous.”
I love the Kardashians and Jenners. I know how controversial that is for me to say because there are very opinionated people who live to tear them apart. I have followed the Kardashian’s from the very first season of Keeping Up before no one saw them in the media and it was brand new, airing on TV. The name, “Kim Kardashian” was making it’s rounds since the sex tape but nobody knew who Kim was or ultimately cared. I refuse to believe this is where the fame started. If that were true, the show would be pitched to appeal to the masses of men who watched the sex tape and perved out over her. Yet, the show is clearly directed towards females.
Sex tapes that have been released in which we didn’t even bat an eyelash for:
– Fred Durst
– Hulk Hogan
– Jenna Lewis from “Survivor”
(if this is a foolproof plan, shouldn’t she be raking in $80+ million too?)
– Dustin Diamond
(who purposely leaked a sex tape for the same exposure – breaking news, it didn’t catch on)
I’d say the fame didn’t really hit until Season 3. But that’s a statement I’m willing to agree to disagree over.
The point I would like to get across is the opposed side of people who get pissed about this family “hogging” the media. I hear people argue and protest of how often they are headlining news or how “they are so fake” or talk about how they are condoning lip injections, waist trainers, etc.
Yes, you go online and you see article after article on Khloe’s weight loss, Kylie’s lips, and Kim’s baby name. Some of these “news” statements are from legitimate sources like the New York Times, CNN, and if you go to Google News you will find a million other publishers writing about them. News sources that write about world disasters, technology advancements and politics are now resorting to this family to gain more of an audience. I get that this crawls under people’s skin because knowing this celebrity gossip is not high on their priority list. Nor am I asking it to be but the truth is that this family has created a lot of hype and a loyal audience. That audience is interested as much as you might not be. Am I saying that their news should overpower all other news stories? No, of course not. Though, I do say that it has a place.
Why is it any different obsessing over Kendall Jenner than it is to obsess over any Hollywood stars? For example, Johnny Depp. I can tell you right now that Johnny was born on June 9th, he has two kids; one named Lily-Rose, one named Jack, he has a tattoo for Winona Ryder that said “Winona Forever” that has since been changed to “Wino Forever”, the mother of his kids is Vanessa Paradis, and he is now married to Amber Heard. And this is just off of the top of my head because I took time out of my life to search for this information. I wanted it. The same way, yes, I am interested to know that Lamar went into a coma and Khloe was by his bedside. The same way that we as an audience watch talk shows hosted by Ellen Degeneres, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, etc. These generate the largest amount of viewers, it doesn’t matter who you are watching for, you are still under the influence of following someone you admire.
If there is anyone to blame for the media attention, it is us. The viewers. If we didn’t crave it, they wouldn’t supply it. We are making them famous every time their name is mentioned. This is not a bad thing but you can’t compare it to other news. It takes 2 minutes to click through a link and find out Kanye and Kim named their baby Saint. I can then click onto International News and learn about poachers in South Africa if that’s what I want. It’s all in what you choose to see. There is a lot of push content of the Kardashians – and by that I mean you see it even when you aren’t looking for it. But if it bothers you so much, why don’t you pull out the news you are hoping to find? You don’t sit mindlessly online to get your news. You sit mindlessly online to catch up on your friends or to be entertained. You find your news based on your interests and receive it at the time you want to find it.
If we had push content of all of the disasters in the world, that would be great for capturing attention but do you also know how overwhelming that would be? I know that sounds a bit harsh and I am very privileged and lucky to not have to live in those everyday conditions but we can’t hold the entire weight of the world on our shoulders. That’s why it is best for us to search out campaigns that we care for and conquer the world individually with our passions for improving specific areas. For instance, I want to emphasize equality, clean water, education, and being environmentally friendly. I choose these because they are something I feel I can actually contribute to. I can unplug electronics, not leave my car on idle, use less plastic, etc. I know those are not overly significant but it’s somewhere I know I can start. As I learn more about these things, I can delve deeper into the movement. That doesn’t stop me from knowing all about the lives of my favourite celebrities.
I support Caitlyn’s transition. (I wrote a previous blog post about it if you want to get deeper into my thoughts on that.) People get angry that she won the ESPY’s award when there were other nominees with profound life stories. Of course, awards are a popularity contest. People vote on the story they are familiar with, on someone who has impacted their life, and on someone deserving. That’s not to say the other nominees didn’t deserve it any less. It’s like when an Oscar’s category has all your favourite actors in it, there is no real loser because you know the winner was only selected by popularity and not over talent.
Why Keeping up with the Kardashians Means So Much To Me
I will always defend them. I don’t believe they are immoral for getting plastic surgery and being vain in their appearance. Do you know how many people in my life act the same way? You can have an opinion that Kylie is too young to date an older man, have lip injections, and Snapchat too many self-absorbed videos of herself. But can you truthfully say that you don’t roll your eyes at your friends or acquaintances posting photos with the boyfriend that you think is wrong for them, filling in their eyebrows extravagantly, or showing a bunch of cleavage in their Instagram pics? People don’t always make the best decisions. They do what they want and that doesn’t mean they’re going to force you to follow. You don’t have to get surgery because you’ve laughed a little too much and gained wrinkles. So, don’t follow in their footsteps. You can still fucking love the advice they give and the support they show when you are down. Which is what the Kardashians have given me.
What I’ve Learned From Keeping up with the Kardashians, KKTM, KKTNY…
and any other spin-offs and interviews because you know I’ve watched them all
DISCLAIMER: I know that Keeping up with the Kardashians isn’t 100% real, truthful every day life of their family. I know there are hired actors. Don’t think I didn’t recognize Jackie the second that Orange is the New Black came out as the girl that Kourtney hooked up with. Or IMDB that the babysitter in the early seasons has now been featured in numerous gigs. Or that they hired Bruce a stylist when we are now all aware he has had style the entire time hidden behind the façade-now-real Caitlyn. I know that. But there are still honest moments intertwined and relativity to watch for.
1. How to raise my kids
HA! How many people clicked away after reading that? But seriously. This doesn’t mean I am going to raise my kids to be self obsessed, to grow up too fast, or to be a millionaire by 17 (but hey, wouldn’t that be great?) But I am talking about the meaningful moments on the show. How they do the peak and the pit of their days, how Kim took one of her late dad (Rob Kardashian Sr.)’s white shirts and cut out a heart to wear it on her wedding dress, how Bruce took Kendall and Kylie to New Orleans to see the damage of Hurricane Katrina when they were young, and Kris Jenner simply being Kris Jenner as a Momager. I would feel so supported and important at the scale of a large family if my mom was Kris Jenner. Imagine having that many kids who have such successful lives with gigs all around the world and keeping track of it all and being there for as much as she can. Kudos to her.
2. How to communicate
I am the type of person who is scared of confrontation but I know that it solves a lot. I hate going to bed angry – in all honesty it’s kind of impossible. I would most likely not fall asleep. The Kardashians have so many arguments and I know a lot can be staged and they fight to have a “happy ending” at the end of the episode. Though, when they actually talk through a fight without screaming and they express their emotions like adults; those times have inspired me to encompass that in my relationships with others. I see the way they calm down, express their issue, and the person in the wrong admits to it without being stubborn or too proud. Now this isn’t always the case – (of course, we’ve all seen the memes) – but it’s been present and has influenced me.
3. How to be a family
I have a tiny family. I have one cousin and he has only turned 8 a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t grow up surrounded by people. My family is so estranged I don’t know how to relate to them. I think the main appeal to me and the Kardashian family is family. It breaks my heart that I don’t have much of it. I’m lucky I have an older sister who I get along with great. So far, I’ve been building my own family… a.k.a stealing my boyfriend’s. I feel more at home hugging his relatives than I do even entering the homes of mine. Watching Keeping Up has made me realize how important it is to me and how much I long for it. I want a big family. I want that unconditional love and support that they bring.
4. How to make something of yourself
Here we go. “Famous for being famous”. More like famous for working their butts off at doing something they actually aim to do. So what are they famous for?
– They are interested in fashion, make-up, and all sorts of glam
Now they’ve made clothing lines, walked runways, been on the cover of the most popular magazines, made self-tanners, lip products, nail polishes, etc. (which all started from working retail at their DASH stores).
– They are interested in
(“Guaranteed they have ghost writers”, “They don’t know how to write”)
Even if you don’t have the talent to be an award winning, author you can still write. As long as you have a topic you are passionate about you can write like mad. I mean, look at me. Also, if you think you can go from working in a retail store to a HUGE empire where you are known internationally and not have stories to tell or life lessons to share then you are really stretching your ignorance. Imagine being in the 15-minutes of fame and making it your dream to accomplish your goals within that time frame. Do you think you could do it? Do you think you could star in a reality TV show, run a business, manage your social media, keep close ends with your family, and have a social life? I have fallen asleep 3 times writing this blog post and I don’t even have a consistent schedule to follow.
Now, those are to name a few. Simply put, I love the Kardashian/Jenners and I don’t think I would have the committed relationship I have today without them; and I don’t think I would be as motivated to work hard for what I want without them. And before you continue rolling your eyes and saying how all of that stuff is fake, like none of those sincere moments are even real. Even if they weren’t… WHO CARES?! It’s still sending a message to you. Why else would we watch any TV Show? Friends? The O.C.? Modern Family? I mean, when you watched the ending of The Notebook surrounded by a theater crying, did you shout, “FAKE! How can you guys cry at this, it’s not real?!” You may not have cried but you also may not have been the target audience of that movie. It’s meaningful to a lot of people. The same way your favourite song can get you out of a funk. These mediums give us a sense of familiarity and comfort to the events we can’t sort out on our own.
I think Eminem describes “famous for being famous” best with his song “We Made You”. He name drops none other than Ms. Kim Kardashian herself along with Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, and more, singing:
When you walked through the door, it was clear to me (Clear to me!)
You’re the one who they adore, who they came to see (Who they came to see!)
You’re a rockstar (Baby!)
Everybody wants you (Everybody wants you)
Who could really blame you? (Who could really blame you?)
We’re the ones who made you!
We made them famous. You can resent people for that or embrace it. I surely embrace it. I played a part in making the Kardashians famous and there is no regret. Seriously, I have them to thank for many things.
PS. You are allowed to have strong feelings about people and still disagree with them at times. Just because I support the Kardashians/Jenners doesn’t mean I share every view with them or agree with every single thing they do. I only want to share my outlook on them and hopefully open up some minds on their family and WHY they are famous. Because it’s sure as shit more than a sex tape.