The perma-tanned foray of the Kardashian Klan epitomises popular culture. But how have they managed to infiltrate our everyday lives? What is it about this family that has changed society as we know it?
It is clear that the Krew have been around long before their current world domination, since 1994 exactly, when the late Robert Kardashian defended OJ Simpson in his murder trial and again they were on the brink of fame back in the noughties when Kim spent her days partying with the likes of Paris Hilton (who?) So how has Kim’s fame, and her family’s, completely transcended that of other wannabee socialite types? It looks like the must-have accessory for any aspiring socialite is a momager; and not any momager, Kris Jenner. You’ve got to hand it to her; any mother would hide in shame after their daughter’s sex tape was publicly revealed. But Kris knows an opportunity when she sees it and has made an extensive career for her whole family from it (even Rob, arguably the most untalented of them all).
The Kardashian girls are perfectly designed by Kris into dolls intended to appeal to each societal archetype: Khloe the ‘fat’ one, Kourtney the ‘perfect mother’, Kim the ‘beauty’ and the new additions Kendall and Kylie; the ‘model’ and the ‘rebel’ (as if they were specifically bred to fill the holes in the market that the other sisters were unable to fill). Flick over to E! and you’ll catch the show (it is ALWAYS on) and then play ‘Keeping up with the shots’. Have a shot every time you see a flash car (Range Rover, Lamborghini, Ferrari…) or a view of one of their mansions. You are now very, very drunk and unable to even keep up with holding your own sh*t together, never mind keeping up with the Kardashians. The point it, there wouldn’t be a show without their luxuriously lavish lifestyles, and of course, we want what they have.
Kim Kardashian posts a ‘belfie’ (bum selfie: could society get any more conceited) and all of a sudden you are seeing more than you ever wanted to see of too many of your Instagram friends. Social media is contributing hugely to the phenomenon, meaning images such like these, and many more are unavoidable to the vast majority: it is becoming part of our culture, widening the gap between rich and poor.
Just this week a new Facebook page ‘Snapchat Rich Kids’ came into circulation with vomit inducing brats snapping pictures such as ‘not for peasants’ against a brand new BMW and ‘Daddy got the wrong colours’ against a Rolex and an iPhone 5S. Please excuse me whilst I explode. It’s the reason why a simple shopping trip isn’t the same until you hear “my friend has it so why can’t I!” across the aisles in Tesco. The Kardashians are an everyday advertisement for consumerism and a society governed by material goods.
At the heart of this dilemma is the question of worth. Is the value of your life truly dependent upon how much stuff you can fill your house with, or is it something deeper?
Written for Cub Magazine: http://cubmagazine.co.uk/2014/09/are-you-keeping-up-with-the-kardashian-kulture/