The Kardashian family is famous for a reality TV show known as “Keeping Up with the Kardashians (KUWTK)” whose concept emerged from an infamous sex scandal by one of its members (Kim Kardashian). Reality shows are trending because of a culture of celebrity worship and society’s obsession with fame and material possessions (Holmes and Deborah 31). Since its founding in 2007, the show has explored the lives of the Kardashian-Jenner family and has become one of the most popular reality shows.
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Critics have bashed the family for superficiality and distortion of reality. On the other hand, the show has been criticized for the participant’s lack of talent and authenticity. Reality shows have been described as a scourge to society because of their extremely scripted plots that are aimed at creating tension and manipulate viewers. KUWTK has been described as a biased and manipulated representation of the modern American family and culture. The Kardashian family is loved and hated for its obsession with fame, money, and physical appearances, misrepresentation of American culture, and promotion of values such as hard work, independence, entrepreneurship, and unity.
Why people hate the Kardashians
Many Americans hate the Kardashians for their debauched life of luxury and misrepresentation of the modern American family. Reality TV has evolved tremendously and now covers many subjects and issues that affect the American society (Kitson par. 1). The Kardashian show is one of the most successful reality shows and has aired since 2007. It has spawned several other shows that focus on the lives of family members. KUWTK has a very polarizing effect on audiences.
Those who love it admire the hard work, independence, talent, and entrepreneurial spirit of the cast (Kitson par. 2). Viewers are mesmerized by how hard the family works and spend their money on lavish lifestyles (Kane par. 3). On the other hand, those who hate it criticize the casts’ lack of talent, addiction to fame and money, self-absorbent natures, and distortion of reality regarding American culture (Brown par. 4).
The family has been criticized for presenting a distorted and exaggerated image of American culture in their show. The Kardashian sisters are very conscious of their appearances and body images. Some of them have undergone several surgeries to perfect their looks and create images that appeal to the media (Kane par. 5). This trend perpetuates the idea that beauty and perfection are one and the same thing that women should yearn for.
On the other hand, emphasis on fame, money, and lavish lifestyles gives young people the wrong impression regarding the real meaning of life. The show promotes the importance of wealth and fame and ignores other important aspects such as contentment, frugality, and happiness (Holmes and Deborah 42). It is easy for people to embrace the notion that for them to be happy and successful, they have to attain wealth and fame.
It is a common phenomenon for people in different societies to develop interest in the lives of the rich and famous (Barker, Holmes and Ralph 1). Wealth and success are goals that many people pursue. Therefore, it is normal for them to admire and obsesses over wealthy and successful families. According to Husband, people hate the Kardashians because of a psychological concept known as cognitive dissonance that occurs when an individual holds two conflicting beliefs simultaneously (Husband par. 2).
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For example, some people admire the family’s unity and hard work but on the other hand dislike their decadent life of luxury and obsession with fame. These contradictory beliefs generate hatred. The love and hate feelings towards the Kardashian family is primarily due to their success, complex lifestyle, and manipulative antics that are aimed at increasing their popularity. Kim Kardashian has been accused of being famous for nothing (Husband par. 2). The media emphasizes the physical appearance of Kim Kardashian so much that she is wrongly represented as unintelligent, untalented, and vague (Husband par. 6). This has been worsened by her family’s show that mainly focuses on aspects of her life that are likely to augment the aforementioned sentiments.
The success of the Kardashian family has been described as a reflection of society’s obsession with sex, fame, and money as well as a desire for association with rich and famous people (Kitson par. 4). Social media is obsessed with how the Kardashians look, spend their money, address relationship issues, and approach fashion. The obsessive tendencies of many young people expressed through social media contribute to the family’s fame and success in business and entertainment (Kane par. 7). It is unfair to criticize and hate the family because their success is rightly earned through hard work. The media covers topics and issues that pique people’s interest and the Kardashian family is one of them (Murray and Ouellette 43).
Why people love the Kardashians
The Kardashian are a close-knit family that has achieved great success and fame. Its women are independent and care a lot about each other as demonstrated by the success of their joint business ventures (Wallace par. 2). They own a television station, fashion lines, and recently signed a reality TV contract that has been described as the most expensive in history. It is easy to hate them for the level of success they have attained.
However, their hard work and unity are inspirational to many Americans. The success of the family has also been due to the Kardashian sisters’ willingness to feature their personal and work lives on the show that features themes such as failed marriages, family misunderstandings and tussles, and clashes between the sisters (Kitson par. 5). Many of the plots are exaggerated and manipulated to achieve certain desired results. However, they are very entertaining and contain numerous ideas and lessons that can benefit viewers. Unlike many rich people who keep their lives private, the Kardashians give people access to their private lives in order to learn about their success, joys, sorrows, and challenges (Wallace par. 2).
One of the reasons why people love the Kardashians is because their show explores real life issues and events that people can relate to (McClain 49). The sisters allow people to peek into their personal lives and experience the many challenges they face despite their fame and wealth (Wallace par. 3). For instance, Kim Kardashian does not shy away from letting the media learn about her marriage to Kanye West who is one of the best and richest rappers. The ubiquity of the Kardashian sisters is the major sources of the public’s interest in their lives (Murray and Ouellette 49). The media cannot ignore the Kardashians because of their flashy and obsessive lifestyles. The manner in which they share their challenges is relatable to many viewers lives hence their obsession with the family’s show (Kitson par. 6).
For instance, Khloe Kardashian struggles with weight and self-image issues that are challenges faced by many Americans (Mattern 63). Success and fame does not exempt them from life’s challenges and pains. On the other hand, relationship issues between Kourtney and Scott as well as disagreements between the sisters are explored. The Kardashians are very open in the manner in which they share their problems with the world (Brown par. 7).
A dominant theme in the show is the importance of family. They provide emotional and financial support to each other to ensure that their family remains close and united. The theme is explored beneath the show’s overt exploration of fame, money, and lavish lifestyles. Every episode includes a monologue that aims to explicate the importance of family (McClain 57). The sisters fight and disagree on many things because of their varied interests and principles. However, they remain united always and do not allow differences and challenges to affect their family. The show can be used as an example of the challenges that rich families face as they deal with various issues and how they address them to prevent divisions between members (Wallace par. 5). The Kardashians are always supportive of one another and use their fame and wealth to strengthen family ties.
The Kardashians have made a fortune by sharing their lives on television with the world. One of their strengths is the ability to blend their work and private lives (Mattern 56). In today’s society, many people find it hard to create work-life balance because of factors such as family responsibilities and inflexible work schedules. The Kardashians succeed in their endeavors because they know how to merge their work and personal lives (Wallace par. 7).
They have successfully used what they are passionate about to create careers that built huge business empire (Brown par. 6). Many people love the Kardashians because they have converted their lives into lucrative careers that they enjoy. On the other hand, they offer invaluable lessons on how to effectively synchronize personal life and work. The entrepreneurial spirit that the Kardashians possess is an important pillar of their success (McClain 62). Entrepreneurship is a concept that is gaining acceptance in today’s American society and people can learn from the Kardashians. Their passion for fashion and entertainment has led to the creation of successful reality TV shows and fashion lines that are good examples of American entrepreneurship. The family teaches people that it is possible to pursue one’s passion and earn a living doing it.
The Kardashian family is synonymous with lavish lifestyles, money, and fame. The media adores them because of their ability to attract millions of fans through their reality TV show that chronicles their private and work lives. People have developed a love and hate attitude towards the Kardashians. They are loved for their hard work, strong family ties, entrepreneurship, and independence. They have succeeded in creating lucrative careers from their passions.
On the other hand, they are hated for obsessing over fame, money, and physical appearances. In addition, they use their show to present a distorted image of American culture. People can love or hate the Kardashians. However, their success and fame is proof that anyone can transform their passions into lucrative careers than can allow them to pursue and live the American dream. The Kardashian family will continue to entertain the world and achieve greater success because people relate to the challenges they highlight in their reality show.
Barker, Martin, Su Holmes, and Sarah Ralph. “Audiences for Stardom and Celebrity.” Celebrity Studies 6.1 (2015): 1-5. Print.
Brown, Adam Tod. The Real Reason Everyone Hates the Kardashians. 2015. Web.
Holmes, Su, and Deborah Jermyn. Understanding Reality Television. New York: Psychology Press, 2004. Print.
Husband, Andrew. The Science Of Why We Hate Kim Kardashian. 2015. Web.
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Kane, Kim. Cosmo is Right: The Kardashians are “America’s First Family.” 2015. Web.
Kitson, Rachel. Why We Love and Love to Hate the Kardashians. 2015. Web.
Mattern, Joanne. Kim Kardashian: Reality Star. New York: ABDO Publishing Company, 2012. Print.
McClain, Amanda Scheiner. Keeping Up with the Kardashian Brand: Celebrity, Materialism, and Sexuality. New York: Lexington Books, 2015. Print.
Murray, Susan, and Laurie Ouellette. Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture. New York: NYU Press, 2004. Print.
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