the contradictions of our culture are what have made
how Keeping Up With the Kardashians made America great again
Ten years ago, the Kardashians were little more than a footnote in the infamous OJ Simpson murder case. You might have heard of Simpsons's defence lawyer Robert Kardashian, and if you kept a particularly close eye on tabloid journalism, you might even have heard of his daughter Kim (a friend of Paris Hilton).
But 10years since their reality television show Keeping Up With The Kardashians first aired on E!, the Kardashians have become the aaa replica designer handbags most famous family in America.
They're the subjects of a strikingly high percentage of tabloid stories, a touchstone in discussions of race, class and gender, the force behind dozens of business ventures, and have an estimated collective worth of over $122 million. How did the family once dismissed as "famous for being famous" become the ultimate symbol of contemporary Western culture?
There'sa much memed momentfrom the very first episode ofKeeping Up With The Kardashiansthat I still regularly see reappearing on social media. In it, Kris Jenner, mother of all things and humans Kardashian, is wearing pink lip gloss and big hoop earrings, and looking deeply concerned. She's talking about the moment she learned a sex tape starring her daughter Kim Kardashian had been leaked to the public. "When I first heard about Kim's tape, as her mother, I wanted to kill her," she says. "But as her manager"
This episode ofKeeping Up With the Kardashiansdebuted on American entertainment and reality TV channel E! on October 14, 2007. Even the very origins of this reality TV show are contested: Kris Jenner claims she took the idea to Ryan Seacrest at E, he claims he approached her when he was looking for families to be in a new version ofThe Osbournes.
In her autobiography, Kris paints a vision of her big, happy family laughing and arguing as she makes dinner. She writes that her vision was for "a blow by blow look at our crazy, loving, fun and incredibly close family", capitalising on the timing of Kim's leaked sex tape: "we had to act fast and take advantage of the moment". Kim, Kourtney and Khloe would be "the stars of the show".
Everything about it suggests a light, fun, materialistic family comedy with a drama queen at its heart. So, too, does Kim's voiceover for the first episode: "Six kids and two crazy parents: we're the modern day Brady Bunch with a kick. There's a lot of baggage that comes with us. But it's like Louis Vuitton baggage you always want it."
The plots of the first season include Kim's Playboy shoot, Kendall and Kylie buying a puppy, and Khloe and Kourtney giving a homeless man a fake designer bags makeover. It's a far cry from the current incarnation ofKUWTK, which, despite the odd funny moment, is much more earnest and serious in tone.
In retrospect, Kris's vision seems rather sweet and nave. In the decade since the show premiered, we've seen the Kardashian family go through three marriages, three divorces, and at least six pregnancies (with three more potentially on the way this season). We've seen Kardashian partners Scott Disick and Lamar Odom struggle with drug and alcohol addictions, Kim suffer the traumatic experience of being robbed at gunpoint, and Caitlyn Jenner come out as transgender.
Kris Jenner and Ryan Seacrest may have known they were on to a reality TV hit: Discount Replica Louis Vuitton Bags but they couldn't have known they were creating a family that would be at the centre of the biggest entertainment news stories of the next ten years. How did we get here?
When high quality designer replica handbags it comes to the rise and rise of the Kardashians, scholars replica louis vuitton bags have pinpointed a vast array of "turning points". Many look towards Kim's sex tape as the source of their mass appeal, but some go back even further, toher friendship with Paris Hilton, where she learned the art of manipulating cameras to turn towards her.
Ellie Woodward at Buzzfeedchooses Kourtney's first pregnancy as the moment that "propelled the family to a new league of stardom", allowing the show to transition into something less trivial. Was it Kim weeping for her 72 day marriage that cemented her fame, or her relationship and child with one of the most famous musicians on the planet, Kanye West?
Or perhaps it was the replica louis vuitton moves outside of their personal lives. The product endorsements, the video games, the personalised Emoji packs, the pay to view content, the fashion aaa replica designer handbags and make up lines the business moves that allowed them to move beyond reality TV and into the business of becoming brands you could buy from could be considered the crucial step from 1:1 replica handbags light entertainment to Kardashian world domination.
In a way, whichever one you pick says the same thing. The Kardashians were once a joke with the punchline "they're famous for being famous" now, they're famous for pretty much anything you can think of. The celebrity networking, savvy manipulation of sex scandals, high profile pregnancies, glamorous weddings, candid scenes of emotional vulnerability, apps, product lines and, yes, even the memes are all symptomatic of women that knew they wanted fame and left no stone unturned in the hunt to get it. Two women in particular: Kris and Kim.
aaa replica designer handbags "I knew we were on to something big," Kris writes in her autobiography, "and I loved the business cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk side of all this. That's what drove me, that's what excited me: the possibility to make this into much more than a TV show." "Kim," she adds, "really sees the same vision and has the same goals as I do".
In Kanye West's words,"Kim is the type of girl that, her entire life, if you were in school with her, most people would be studying and up late nights, but for some reason she would have the skill set to go and grab the one book, turn to the exact page, and just magically say, 'That's the exact answer.' Or she could wink at the person who had done all the work and get it done anyway."
From the Osbournes to the Hiltons, Kris and Kim studied what made other families famous and worked to replicate it, with the Kardashian stamp. Their body types, their fashion sense, the tone they strike in interviews all have evolved from and with the tastes of the time. The Kardashians are expert navigators and plunderers of the tides of pop culture's tumultuous seas.
Part of the reason why the Kardashians are so fascinating is because they exemplify what our society valued at different times. Kim Kardashian voluntarily played the role of silly, materialistic, fame hungry Playboy bunny in the first seasons ofKUWTK, now she emphasises her business savvy and drive to protect her family,taking GQ journalists to boardroom meetings.
What worked in 2007 (hitting your sister with your purse because she's jealous of your brand new Bentley) isn't what works in 2017 (frank discussions of anxiety, behind the scenes glimpses of tabloid topping controversies and high profile business ventures).
Ten years ago, we wanted flashy and flirty, now, we crave authenticity, ambition, and greater social responsibility. The only thing that's harder to discern is how far they simply reflect what's changed, and how much they had a role in shaping the shift.
Perhaps this is what makes them such irresistible tools in discussing our culture at large. If society fetishizes black culture but only finds it acceptable when performed by white bodies, the Kardashians use that to their advantage. If society paradoxically values women for their desirability and their chasteness, the Kardashians contort themselves into models of both, faithful wives and doting mothers posting semi naked selfies of their slamming bods.
There are, of course, countless career missteps from every member of the Kardashian family: from offensive Halloween costumes to tone deaf commercials to stolen designs these, too, only add fuel to their fire. The contradictions of our culture are what have made the Kardashians icons who are simultaneously upheld and abhorred.
Ten Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags years after its debut, the Kardashians are now simply too famous forKeeping Up With The Kardashiansto function as it once did. Lagging six months behind the Kardashian family's social media channels and constant tabloid speculation and interference with their lives, the show is engaged in a constant balancing act between updating their lives just enough in real time to remain relevant, and holding enough back to make their reality show worth watching.
As their fame has escalated, the show has also become unable to support the gravity of some of the events in their lives. The show's most ridiculous moments of comedy likeKris getting a monkeyto cope with being menopausal,Kylie mistaking a pig for a chicken, orKris asking Kim, "Would you stop taking pictures of yourself? Your sister's going to jail!" are long gone.
But the legacy ofKeeping Upin 2017 is not the perfect, most joyful, enjoyable reality TV show. It's a family we can't look away from, even if we'd really like to. Their influence seeps Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags beyond the bounds of their show, their apps, and their social feeds with every passing day. And with three more pregnancies seemingly announced in time for the 10 year anniversary, this constantly expanding family's reach doesn't seem to be dying down any time soon.
You don't have to watch the show to catch up the entire entertainment world will ensure you're indirectly keeping up with the Kardashians, even if you're trying your best to keep away from them.