In the flood of pop culture within our millennial-heavy media, it is hard to walk into your local grocery store without seeing the carefully tailored faces of one famous family plastered on the front of gossip columns and tabloid magazines. In fact, it is quite the feat to go an entire day without seeing the Jenner/Kardashian family slashed into headlines, constantly being referenced in both television and movies alike, and gushing throughout the pages of Instagram and Twitter. Their social boom is giving many songstresses like Beyoncé and T-Swift a close run for their money in popularity, except they have a definitive difference in their fame. While Bey is selling out stadiums, Kylie is printed on US Weekly for her lip size. And while Taylor is writing new ballads, Kim and Kanye are globally acknowledged for taking their three-year-old daughter, North West, to Disneyland. What makes the Kardashians so different from other celebrities?
First, It is important to establish that I have only ever seen 3 episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians: the pilot, the one where the gang adopts a chimpanzee named Suzy, and the episode where Kim loses her 75,000 dollar earring in the depths of an ocean. So, I am basing all of my knowledge on their careers from these eps and everything I have learned from twitter, newscasts, the pages of Buzzfeedand People, and those juicy, juicy scandals.
Since the dawn of (their) time (in the limelight), this wealthy fam has constantly been scrutinized for not actually “doing” anything worthy of merit. They do not sing, they do not dance, and since it is reality TV, they do not act. So, why are they soaking in the millions and whirling with wild popularity? Well, let’s start at the beginning.
From the pilot, I learned that before they were famous, they ran a successful clothing store called “Dash”. They are and were business women. Then, in 2007 Kim’s renowned sex tape boosted her family into the popular space, and, with the help of a good attorney and publicist, they got themselves the coveted reality TV show. Fast-forward to today, and the Kardashians & Jenner girls have expanded big time from sundresses to leggings, and into perfume, water bottles, seemingly unobtainable lip liners, gaming apps (which I was addicted to for a solid two months), hair dyers, and even wrapping paper plastered with Kim’s famous and robust booty.
They took their family and morphed themselves into a brand. All of them tried to capture ideal perceptions of beauty, even if it took a little body modification, (looking @ you Kim’s booty) making them camera ready at any time. This is an aspect of why the Kardashians are actually a lot more clever and savvy than the brainless airheads they are crafted to be in their show. But the sole reason that Kris and her kids have talent is a lot more simplistic than the merchandizing and modeling: The Kardashian’s talent is being themselves.Not everyone can have an extensive vocal range and a power-house diaphragm. Not everyone can be a Leo da Vinci or DiCaprio. Not everyone is spectacular, but the Jenner/Kardashian family shows that you can entertain by leading an average life (granted they were abounding with money well before fame but still).
Another fantastic example of this type of “talentless” entertainment is the world of Youtube. The most subscribed youtube persona, Pewdiepie, has over 45,700,000 subscribers in his mighty pool of followers. His speciality is trying out, not necessarily challenging, video games and giving some boisterous and amusing commentary to back up his gameplay. And he isn’t alone, thousands of everyday people- Zoella, Joey Graceffa, Jenna Marbles, Shane Dawson, etc.- vlog the best aspects of the course of their days, with only their personalities to offer. The Kardashians, minus the camera crew. It is entertaining mountains of millennials because it is relatable content that gives much stronger bonds than Beyoncé or Taylor Swift could ever give. The reason being is that reality tv, or Youtube, is not afraid to show the bad times or the sad times no matter how intimate. (We all remember this Kim Kardashian crying face gem below ):
Section 512, Row P, Seat 13 is never going to be as deep-seated as watching somebody genuinelydisplaying emotion, disclosed for the public to see. The human experience is something new to be thoroughly examined, so watching it through the someone else’s eyes is incredible. With this power can go on trips together, laugh together, feel loss together, and genuinely hear someone’s unadulterated opinions. The bond formed with reality stars or internet content creators with their audiences is nothing short of friendship, you know practically everything about them, and you, personally, get to hang out with them with every single new episode/video.
Kim and the rest of the K’s truly paved a pathway for a new field of talent in entertaining. Haven’t you noticed how award shows started dishing out awards like “Choice Female Hottie” and “Choice Selfie Taker”, fields requiring the talent that the Kardashians and many “untalented” others possess. Although the older generations may find them to be pointless or worthless, it is only because they aren’t used to this kind of engagingness. But we’ve grown up with an echo of self-love and a huge push for personality diversity. In this society, anyone can have talent- and all you have to do to achieve it, is to listen to that inspirational cat poster that was definitively hung up in your 5th grade class room and “Be yourself”.
dictionary.com defines talent as follows:
1. special natural ability or aptitude
2. a capacity for achievement or success; ability
Meanwhile we don’t think Obama is a fan:
Did you catch Obama’s not do subtle diss in the clip?