When I logged onto my computer on New Year’s Eve, I was hit with this internet headline: “Are the Kardashians Over?”
If only. It turns out the Kardashians and their “mom-ager” Kris Jenner are definitely not over, as they peddle their self-indulgent drama and chaos to an impressionable social media audience far too eager to gobble it up. Our daughters are among this audience — and parents must step in.
While I have three sons, not daughters, I do have friends who have daughters — and they shake their heads over the incessant growth of the Kardashian culture. It has encouraged other women to try to make a living off their physical assets.
“I can’t stand it — my two teenage daughters love watching ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ on television, and to me, watching paint dry would be more exciting,” said one Woburn, Massachusetts, mom of two. “All they [the Kardashians] seem to talk about is parties, and houses, and relationships, which always seem to be on the rocks. I challenge my girls when they are watching. I say to them, ‘What have they done that is even notable?’ and, ‘Why do they ruin the life of every man they get involved with?’ Because they certainly seem to.”
According to Page Six of the New York Post, the Kardashian family — including Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian — has completely changed the use of social media for advertising. These women have turned their looks, influence, and drama into dollars.
Other women famous for their sexualized social media content have followed their lead — and today, nearly naked women pouting at iPhone cameras can amass millions of followers, which they can then use to woo advertisers anxious to reach their audience.
Mobile Media Lab, a company that connects those popular on social media with companies looking to advertise, estimates that an Instagram user with 100,000 followers can demand between $700 and $900 per photo. Someone with 500,000 followers could charge anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 for a single sponsored shot, reported Edgardaily.com.
The Kardashian sisters are getting six-figure payouts from a single post on Instagram and other social media accounts, reports Page Six; name brands are taking notice. Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner even contracts “bundle buys” from advertisers to the tune of $400,000 a post — promising it will go on the social media accounts of all Kardashian girls (minus Kim Kardashian).
“The reason many girls like the Kardashians is that they are business-savvy, and they are beautiful in an exotic sort of way,” said one 18-year-old girl from Reading, Massachusetts. “It’s easy to forget all the money they put into their looks, and just focus on how beautiful and on-trend they are. If they like a purse — you want that purse, too. For younger teens, that’s pretty irresistible. And we watch their show because they have beautiful homes and they shop a lot and there is always drama. We’re being pretty lazy, I guess.”
[lz_third_party align=center includes=”https://twitter.com/mariaalfar0/status/813040933696573441″]
The problem for our girls is the mixed cultural messaging. While there are movements afoot to help girls feel more secure about their bodies no matter their shape, the Kardashians pop up in social media feeds with whittled waists (thanks to waist-trainers), gigantic lips (thanks to lip enhancement), and ever-changing faces (thanks to who knows what procedures). Actual skill or talent, however — go figure.
“While Kim may have some form of forgotten skill as a dancer, the entirety of the Kardashian brood is talentless,” asserted celebrity news site Nickyswift.com. “Lacking the financial or personal motivation to actually learn a skill or develop a talent, their unwarranted fame is the world’s cruelest coincidence. Everyone knows that if you can’t do anything, you call yourself a ‘fashion designer’ or a ‘DJ.’ This is the limit of the Kardashian contribution to the world: self-aggrandizing fame that feeds upon itself like an ouroboros made up of injustice and selfies.”
The family’s most lucrative brand extension is the “Kim Kardashian Hollywood” app, a cartoon game that raked in nearly $80 million in 2015, according to Newser.com. Alice Hines, writing for TheOutline.com, noted the “genius.” The game notifications are designed to serve not only as a reminder to check in on the game itself, but also as a “gentle reminder that Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall [Jenner], Kylie [Jenner], Rob, and Kris are there, always and forever, in a million tiny little ways, waiting for you to just spend a little money on them.”
We will get tomorrow’s women from the girls we are raising now — women who pursue genuine interests with pure motives, healthy focus, and a drive to better society — or women looking for a fast buck who can never truly be happy with themselves. This latter type have bought into the warped and calculated fantasy world.