I’ll admit that I’ve never been on the bandwagon. I’m always late to the party, so to speak. Not usually up on trends, what’s cool. When I was in sixth grade, EVERYONE had Adidas Shell Toes. By the time I got my white and navy pair in seventh grade, the fad had already come and gone. I didn’t start wearing any makeup (meaning eyeliner only) until I was in tenth grade. I wore no makeup to prom. I didn’t start wearing mascara regularly until I was 23. I still walk into Sephora to get the same three or four items, and my “beauty routine” takes about five minutes unless I’m going to a wedding. In general, I walk a wobbly tightrope between cool and total, self-proclaimed dork. This probably means that most people would not gauge the cool-ometer by me.
But I’m okay with that. And do you know why? Because that means that I am not enamored with people like the Kardashians. That is something I am proud of.
Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a scary, alternate reality. There once was a time when people valued morals and character and merit. In today’s world, I’m not sure people value anything at all. We live in a celebrity-obsessed culture, where we are more concerned about Khloe’s latest heartbreak than we are about global warming. Following every local newscast is a show like Entertainment Tonight, where the focus is always who is feuding with or cheating on who. Do we all get sucked in occasionally? Sure. But I can’t imagine becoming invested in celebrities to the point where I admire them and make defending them on social media platforms a part-time, unpaid job, as I see so many unfortunately do.
The only thing I find impressive about the Kardashians is the following they have amassed. I know more people than I can count who find one of the sisters “inspiring”. I’m sorry, ladies (and gentlemen), but what exactly are you inspired by? They are famous… for what? The father was O.J Simpson’s defense attorney. Strike one. Kim was Paris Hilton’s friend during her infamous era of party-fame. Strike two. Kim became famous herself because of her involvement in a sex tape that was “accidentally” leaked. Strike three.
The subsequent “empire” was formed on a pyramid of debauchery.
I know some of you are thinking that women shouldn’t try to knock other women down. We need to embrace and celebrate each other. Yada, yada, yada. I don’t have a personal vendetta against the Kardashian women or their fans. I just happen to be of the opinion that women should behave like they know their worth, and I don’t think the Kardashians – in general – do that.
Oh, where to begin with the most infamous sister?
I mean, I guess we have to start with the sex tape because that is really where Kim enters the spotlight. Was she in a Fallout Boy music video prior to this? Sure. But no one really seemed to know who she was at that point. So what do you do when you are desperate for the limelight? While there’s no proof that the sex tape was intentionally leaked, it seems like a conveniently placed PR stunt that propelled her “career”.
I’m all for a girl looking for love and sometimes making a wrong turn. But Kim seems to have missed the mark with all three of her marriages (at least one of which also could be considered a strategic play). The real kicker for me, though, is marriage #3. Kanye West has to be one of the most narcissistic, delusional people who has ever graced our planet. While his antics seemed to have simmered in the last couple of years, his words and actions are unforgettable. How anyone could listen to the insane thoughts that have come out of his mouth is beyond me. And Kim has been right there defending his every move. Personally, I think that the average woman would be appalled by his choice of words and behavior on many an occasion.
All of that would be tolerable if Kim had some talent she had gifted the world or some platform that she felt strongly about. But what is Kim’s claim to fame? Wearing tight-fitting clothes? Exposing herself? I’m all for being body-positive, so good for her for embracing her image. But to be worth tens of millions of dollars because you are equal parts natural beauty and plastic surgery? This is what we think is worthy of our attention? I don’t get it.
Aside from her role in Keeping Up With the Kardashians and a very public, messy relationship with Scott Disick, what is she famous for? Well, if you Google it, she’s famous for her sister Kim being in a sex tape and is a “reality tv star”. This is America in the 2000s. Where you can literally have no known talents and become filthy rich from being taped having silly conversations with your family.
Khloe makes me sad. It has to be awful always being known for being the odd-sister-out. Historically speaking, Khloe has been the “ugly duckling” of the family (which I am NOT saying I promote!) I think that this has led her to make many poor life choices. Khloe is always looking for love in all of the wrong places, and somehow seems to always find men who cannot be faithful to her. Or they have an addiction problem and it sure as heck isn’t with her. Following this, Khloe somehow miraculously and drastically changed her figure to be more that of her sisters, which again lends itself to her probably feeling like she is never good enough. It seems like every choice she makes is because she is trying to fit in or keep up with her sisters.
Kylie, “self-made” billionaire. When you have been fed off of a silver spoon since the day you were born and your older sisters built the golden road to fame on their blood, sweat, and bad decisions, you can hardly be referred to as self-made. Kylie also felt so terrible about her natural looks that she severely altered them to look differently. She’s basically made her fortune on instilling the idea in the minds of young girls and women everywhere that they should do the same. Then she has a baby because her sisters were having babies, and, well, she didn’t want to be left out.
Kendall is the ONE sister who I feel has an actual career. While it may have been paved by family fame and her looks, at least she is actively modeling. This is at least outside of the realm of the reality show and considered an occupation. Kendall also, from what I’ve caught in interviews, sounds intelligent when she speaks.
I know what all of you Kardashian fans are thinking: this just sounds like a jealous rant about the sisters. And on a level, yeah, I am a bit jealous of them. I’m jealous that they have the money to never have to worry about their finances. I’m jealous that they would be able to spend as much time as they choose with their children instead of working. But I’m not jealous of the fact that they instead hire a team of nannies to care for their children. And I’m not jealous of what put them in the spotlight in the first place.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I know I’m old-fashioned in a lot of ways. I value a degree of modesty, a hard-day’s work, a productive struggle, leaving something of yourself to the imagination, having class. And I won’t say that I always achieve these idealistic attributes of a woman. But I think there is a serious problem with the way that our country – and the world, even – puts these women on a pedestal like they are who we should aspire to be. I know that there are varying roads to success, and I get that some women feel perfectly comfortable with using any means to achieve it, but I’m not. I want better than that for our future women. I think that we would do well to rectify some semblance of the former expectations of women with the modern opportunities women have, and be women that our predecessors truly can be proud of. I am not of the mindset that fame should be sought by promiscuity, by being a doormat for men, by being posterchildren for plastic surgery. I think that we should encourage our daughters and our nieces to appreciate their physical being while also nurturing and valuing their intellectual being above all else. Build an empire, but build it based on thought rather than how you are thought of.
We all have our guilty pleasures, and if keeping up with the Kardashians is yours, I don’t fault you for that. We can respect that the Kardashians know how to play the game of the rich and famous. But maybe, the next time you are with an impressionable young woman who you are proud of and want to see happy and successful, maybe you change the channel. Maybe the next time you talk about who you are inspired by, you choose someone who has done more than get by on being pretty and scandalous. Maybe the next time, you just Kardashi-don’t.