In the top 10 ‘most liked Instagram pictures’ of all time, Kylie Jenner (the youngest of the Kardashian family) holds first, second, fifth and ninth places, with a total of 40 million likes. With this comes a shocking amount of power and influence; with just one tweet (“sooo does anyone else no open Snapchat anymore?”) she was able to slash Snapchat’s net worth by over $1 million dollars.
The family’s show Keeping up with the Kardashians documents the lives of the Kardashian clan and has been running for 14 seasons with a total of 212 episodes, bringing each member of the family worldwide fame and millions of dollars. Collectively the Kardashian-Jenner women earned a total of $ 122.5 million dollars between June 2015 and June 2016.
These facts alone seem to answer the question of ‘who cares about the Kardashians?’ The answer is seemingly obvious: the Internet. However, the more difficult question is ‘why’? Why do five million people tune in to watch this family who have never technically done anything other than effectively promote themselves. Why are they given so much attention and care and how have they managed to have the world wrapped around their diamond-encrusted fingers?
The explanation for this rise to stardom seems to be largely luck and a mother with an exceptional head for business. The ‘luck’ started in the case of OJ Simpson when Robert Kardashian was plunged into the spotlight for being OJ’s lawyer. This was the first time the family received significant media attention. The second, influential, event was when Kim Kardashian’s ex-boyfriend, Ray J, made public (without her consent) a sex tape they had made together. Commendably she used this to her advantage, to further her own success.
From questioning a friend to get their opinion on why the Kardashians are so popular, it was this action that stuck out for her and the savvy way she used the sitation to her advantage. The fame that this brought the family enabled Kris (the matriarch) to start the show.
Now, 10 years on, they have all gone on to accrue their own individual fame and success. Kendall Jenner, the second youngest has gone on (thanks to both her genetics and family’s connections) to become one of the most famous supermodels in the fashion industry.
What is inspiring is that these six unimaginably successful and powerful women have created an empire and legacy by themselves; the men in their lives falling by the wayside in the shadow of their successes, which in this day and age must always be encouraged. While this is true it is significant and telling of the modern era that news articles on the unexceptional lives of this family will get far more readership than news stories about terrorism, war and genocide.
Image: David Holt via Flickr