I came to Kardashian hatred late. Actually, I don’t hate the girls, I’m just oversaturated and amazed by the fact that their empire seems to be growing exponentially with the disgust many people claim to have for them.
I remember the moment it hit me. I was in Sephora and two pre-teens came next to the Makeup Forever section where I was standing. One of the girls picked up a shade and said, “this is the one Kim Kardashian wears;” her words were like nails on a chalkboard. I literally wanted to take her in the corner and give her a book or something but then I remembered just because I’d never been the type to search out celebrity makeup trends didn’t mean the girl was in trouble, but I did have to ask myself why do we care about these girls so much?
If you’re wondering who “we” is, I am too. I know that there are young girls like the ones I encountered in Sephora who want to be beautiful like Kim and I know that Ryan Seacrest is going to ride the Kardashian train until every last replacement wheel falls off, but who is this we that makes these women marketable and profitable? Pre-teens and teens only have so much money, who’s paying for this?
As if they didn’t already have their hands in some of everything already, this week, two huge expansions to their reality TV takeover were announced. The first is a magazine that will be all about them, because c’mon, who else really matters? And the second is a deal with Matell to develop a line of Barbies. Now there has already been enough problems with Barbie and her effect on young girl’s self esteem that this should scream “bad idea” but everyone wants a shameless piece of the Kardashian pie. I don’t even want to think about how they’re going to design Kim’s body.
What’s scary is that you can almost imagine the girl’s adapting their lives to extend their “relevancy.” Kim gets a divorce, now we have to know what life’s like after. Kourtney is pregnant again, now we have to know how she handles being a mommy of two. My guess would be the same way 70 million other women do. I was feeling pretty good about the fact that the girls are approaching their mid-30s and Hollywood doesn’t care too much about women past that point, so I figured the reign was almost over. But now with the stepsisters getting older and becoming more front and center I feel like their 15 minutes is getting stretched to a good 30-45.
Just once I wish someone in their camp would speak up and say, “hey let’s try the Beyonce way of doing things.” And then they could disappear, actually do something, and then reemerge with a product, idea, anything that actually makes people respect the hustle.
Part of me feels bad because I don’t exactly know what it is that bothers me so much. I don’t look at Kim and automatically think Ray J sex tape, although occasionally my mind does recall that sordid fact and then I think of Montana Fishburne saying she is her role model, and then I think we’re all screwed. But it’s more so the fact that I look at her and I don’t see anything—anything by way of talent, I mean. Kris seems to be carefully orchestrating these girls’ lives and “careers” if you want to call it that. Every deal they make she seems to be there, which just makes them look like puppets. Yes, Kim’s raking in more money than imaginable off solely being nice to look at, but when it comes down to the bottom line I think it’s hard for a lot of people to respect that. You can say she’s genius for this whole wedding scam but some things like credibility and integrity just don’t have a price.
If these girls want to have their lane and be great at something so be it, but all they’re doing is dibbling their fingers in a whole lot of everything and doing a whole lot of nothing—but slapping their names on it and making us watch. I’ve seen that show before and I think I’m pretty much over it. What about you?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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