October 14, 2011

Why Are The Kardashians So Popular?

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What is the issue?

I think everyone sort of forgot how Kim Kardashian got famous, which is understandable. In popular culture, we’re famous for having a selective memory. We latch on to certain things and forget others. Some celebrities are given a free pass while others have their every moment scrutinized. Luckily for you though, I never forget anything. I know what Kim Kardashian did last summer AND the summer before that, and I know the reason why I’m sitting here and blogging about her today. It’s because, like many other wannabe starlets, she videotaped herself having sex. Granted, in today’s world, it’s not such a risky move anymore. A lot has changed since the Tommy Lee/Pam Anderson sex tape fiasco and now it just seems par for the course, a natural debut into celebrity culture, than something that’s taboo. But what separates Kim Kardashian from all the other ladies who came to being known via a sex tape is that she’s managed to parlay it into a career that has NOTHING to do with sex. In fact I would wager that Kim Kardashian is a family-friendly celebrity, someone you can gawk at and admire with your mom. How did this happen? How did a chick who became famous initially for being pummeled by Brandy’s brother transform herself into one of the most lucrative brands ever? Furthermore, how the hell did she get her whole family to go along for the ride as well?

The Kardashians, to me, are a fascinating example of society’s willingness to forget. Kim first became known for palling around with fellow sex tape goddess Paris Hilton who, at the time, was reaching the apex of her celebrity. In a cruel twist of fate, Kim is now the one on top. She has 10 million followers on Twitter compared to Paris’ paltry 5 million. Kim is the one on magazine covers every week, not Paris. Why is this? I think it’s because America chose to forget about Kim’s sordid past and not Paris’. Paris is still pegged as a slut while Kim is hanging with babies and watching Disney movies. I’m not sure why we chose Kim and not Paris. But here we are! Now the Kardashians are basically taking over the world.

Their reality show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, has a lot to do with getting America to move past the scandal. Instead of showing Kim’s giant ass and her face moaning in ecstasy on a bed, it captured Kim hanging with her wacky family and dealing with relatable drama. Kris Jenner, the matriarch and Svengali of the Kardashian empire, hustled the hell out of her children. She seized every opportunity that was given to them and helped achieve that next level of fame.

Their family dynamic closely resembles that of a scripted sitcom. There’s something for everyone in the Kardashian family. Rob, the youngest child and the only male in the family, plays the role of the masculine jock who’s overwhelmed by the estrogen that constantly seems to surround him. Kourtney, the eldest, is sort of the stupid one who often says things that are unintentionally hilarious. She’s also just really chic and beautiful. Then there’s Bruce Jenner, the Olympian turned D list reality star, who has assumed the role of the straight man in the family. He watches in complete awe and befuddlement as those Krazy Kardashians act out. His wife, Kris, is an insane Beverly Hills-esque mom whose vanity is both sad and fascinating to watch. There’s also Khloe, the less pretty one who is absolutely hilarious with an astute level of self-awareness. Her comments are refreshing and often needed in such an outlandish and delusional  family. Together, we’ve watched them grow up, struggle with the press, get DUIs, endure break ups, get married, and have kids. There’s not a moment when they’re not on our TV. When Keeping Up With The Kardashians goes on a hiatus, Kris sends her kids to Miami or New York to do a spin-off. This ensures that they’re never far away from our minds. We never are given a moment where we can forget them.

Today. they’re a multi-million dollar empire. The girl who once sold a sex tape now makes money just for breathing. Her bougie wedding was comped by sponsors, it’s like she’s getting paid to be in love. Somewhere, Paris Hilton is sobbing and clutching her dog in her stripper club mansion.

Whether they deserve the fame or not is sort of besides the point. They’re here, they’re super Persian, deal with it. We obviously saw something we liked in them and now we’ll buy their crappy clothing line at Sears just because. And that, my friends, is America. From sex tapes to Sears, The Karsdashians have completed the American dream. TC mark

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