Press "Enter" to skip to content

I don’t want to keep up with the Kardashians

I attempted to start this article numerous times. Each time, I found myself vigorously hitting the delete button and returning to a blank page. It seemed that no matter how I approached it, any words I typed to begin my criticism of the Kardashians could be molded into an “anti-feminism” argument. I implore that this is not the case — I just cannot bring myself to care about the Kardashians.

I cannot remember a time without the Kardashians. “Keeping up with the Kardashians” premiered on E! Network in 2007 when I was in fourth grade. Their ever-evolving-from-plastic-surgery faces and bodies have been plastered on television, computer and phone screens for years.

They have been revolutionized into the American ideology of success. They drive fancy cars, own an unrealistic number of lavish mansions around the country, wear expensive, beautiful clothes and spend extravagant amounts of time focusing on the perfection of their physical appearance. Because of these materialistic things, this family is admired, praised and followed obsessively on all platforms of social media.

Yet they are walking contradictions of the American ideal of becoming successful for something meaningful, which requires hard work and dedication. They are a slap in the face to any middle or lower class individual who wants to someday label themselves as successful. This family was labeled successful just for having something handed to them.

When you are famous for being famous, as the Kardashians are, you mean nothing. You haven’t performed in award winning movies, or topped the charts with a catchy pop song or led a political or social movement for reform. Since you mean nothing, you can essentially mean everything. You become a malleable role model for any public stance that can transform your empty actions or words into something with a cleverly hidden meaning. The Kardashians are more malleable than anyone.

What have they done for our society? What have they contributed? The easy way to discover this answer was to type it into Google, and I did just that. I was immediately faced with the classic Buzzfeed formula for click bait: “Ten ways the Kardashians are helping our society” and “8 positive things the Kardashians have done for the world.”

These articles are filled with generalized propositions that try to squeeze meaning out of the vague actions the Kardashians engage in their everyday lives. The obsession with plastering selfies online is “body image love” and Kris Kardashian exploiting her daughters’ bodies and faces is “being a lady boss.” The problematic marriage of a heavily in debt, controlling narcissist (Kanye West) and Kim Kardashian is a “positive model of interracial marriage.”

However, these explanations of why I should care just don’t work for me.

I am aware that by making this argument, the common counter is to frame me as an “anti-feminist” who believes she is above the “shallowness” of girls who wear a lot of makeup, care about clothes and show their skin. That is not the case. I am all for female empowerment to allow ladies to express themselves in whichever way makes them feel the happiest and most complete as an individual.

But this obsessive focus on the Kardashians is unnecessary when there is so much else going on in the world. In hindsight of hurricanes, threats of nuclear war, racial injustice and other serious political social issues our society is facing today, does it really matter that a Kardashian or two might be pregnant?

Get the Maine Campus' weekly highlights right to your inbox!
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Secure and Spam free...