Life Is MUCH Easier When You Accept The Kardashians & Move On

Photo: Michael Buckner/WWD/REX Shutterstock.
As REO Speedwagon sings, “I can’t fight this feeling anymore.” They’re referring to love, but the feeling I can’t fight anymore is the Kardashians. You see, in the year 2015, I accepted the Kardashians and Jenners and moved on with my life. It’s been great. You should join me. The proverbial grass is actually greener. We are a society obsessed with this family, and it’s time people stopped fighting the obsession and moved on. Underneath every article published about a member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, there’s at least one comment remarking how they’re only famous because of Kim’s sex tape. Maybe the fame-built-upon-sex-tape argument was true once upon a time, but it’s hardly the case anymore. Look at Paris Hilton. Has she managed to keep her sex-tape fame going? With Kim, then, there are obviously other machinations at play. The Kardashians and Jenners are famous because of Kris Jenner’s freaky genius marketing and publicity brain. She looked at her large family that longed for fame, and she knew what she had to do. She got them a reality TV show. And guess what? People love watching that inane, silly show. Their notoriety just snowballed from there. Why can’t we just admit the Kardashians are noteworthy as a meticulously crafted pop culture phenomenon? Maybe their brand of interesting isn’t your cup of tea, but it’s captivating their millions of fans and followers. They’ve turned their mere existence into an empire. That’s no small feat. Every single second of their lives is available for consumption by someone who’s willing to pay a nominal subscription fee to their apps, websites, or other business ventures. They lure you in with Instagram and television, and then they get you to cough up actual money to get more access “to their worlds.” The Kardashian and Jenners are living, breathing infomercials. Can’t knock the hustle. So this year, somewhere between the constant comments questioning “Why is this family famous again?” and their near-ubiquity across the entire goddamn planet, I just accepted them. I decided to view them as what they are: businesswomen and entrepreneurs, gunning for market saturation. Other people are doing the same thing on their YouTube channels, Vine, and Instagram. We don't sit here rebuking Grace Helbig or Bethany Mota. True, Helbig and Mota haven't reached Kardashian levels, but they're certainly well known for broadcasting their lives to millions of followers. Think of Kris Jenner not as the momager scourge of our civilization, but as the most brilliant marketing strategist in the world. Taylor Swift is the same way. If she weren’t a singer, she'd be an amazing publicist. Kris and Taylor have an innate ability to create news stories, keep their fans involved and excited, and maintain the level of brand awareness that global companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Apple salivate over. At their core, the Kardashian/Jenners are just an American story. They’ve pulled themselves up by their stiletto straps to accomplish exactly what they set out to: rub elbows with A-list celebrities at events like the Grammys and Emmys; sit with Anna Wintour at Fashion Week; and have millions of fans expressing their devotion in the form of likes and faves. The family actually uses this upward climb to peddle a pseudo "We're just like you!" accessibility to their fans. They may be hobnobbing with the rich and famous these days, but they really relate more to the people following their every move on multiple screens. I don’t get why people are so resistant to them when viewed objectively, so here’s another perspective. This is what the family has signed up for: The inability to step outside without a million photographers snapping photos while screaming at them and their children; constant divorce rumors in tabloids; criticism about their looks that has led all of them to (allegedly) have cosmetic procedures; slut-shaming about Kim’s past; waking up at 4 a.m. to squeeze in workouts to maintain their desired figures; and more extremely demanding rigors that all but eliminate the possibility to ever return to normalcy. Not that a return to normalcy is even in the cards anymore. The Kardashians and Jenners now live in a perfectly constructed bubble of their own making, and they're so far removed from reality that they've probably forgotten what it means. (Lo, the irony of starring in a reality TV show.) Do you want that life? I sure as hell don’t. There’s no amount of money you could pay me to give up my privacy to live like the Kardashians and Jenners. I’m not going to knock a group of striving women who’ve so clearly mapped out their brand, even if that brand is in-your-face-all-the-time over-sharing. They pay for it with constant judgment and hounding. Such is the trade-off of 21st century fame. All we can really do is watch and see how this story is going to play out. As long as people click on stories and buy magazines about the Kardashians and Jenners, they’re going to keep making headlines. You can choose to look away, but I’m going to check out what Kendall wore to walk around New York City yesterday. Sue me; she has a great sneaker collection. With so much tragedy going on in the world — and so much infighting in our own country as we approach the presidential election in November — a little mindless escapism is much appreciated (as long as people are also staying informed of other current events). That is one part of the Kardashian/Jenner hustle that I still refuse to begrudgingly accept, though. They now have global name recognition and one of the combined largest fan bases of any family in the world. (Sidenote: Do any other families besides England's royal one and the Beckhams even have fan bases?) I wish they would use the immense wealth their empire has generated and their vast, far-reaching platforms to do some good. They could inform their followers about current events that will impact their lives, like the 2016 presidential election. Kim and Kanye appeared at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser this past August, but there are ways to get involved with the election without even being political. They could inform their fans about the issues that affect their lives, and where various candidates stand on them. They could simply urge people to vote. They could also pull a Zuckerberg and donate money to a charitable foundation they establish, or to other philanthropic organizations. They could spend time volunteering. The time has come to change their myopic focus. Their days of striving for fame and notoriety are over. Now, it’s time to help others, even if it’s just by disseminating information through their broad social channels. Kim has done this a bit when she tweeted about Sandra Bland and spoken about the Armenian genocide. Kylie participated in an anti-bullying campaign on Instagram. But there's always more that can be done, especially when they have so much money and influence.

Please don’t take my begrudging acceptance of the Kardashians and Jenners to mean that I’ve decided to be entirely earnest or sincere about them, though. You might not agree, but I’m of the firm belief that the Kardashians/Jenners are entirely self-aware, and they can take a joke. They know exactly who and what they are, because Kris Jenner has worked it out in their brand profile. Someday, she’ll lead a case study on her family at Harvard Business School. You don’t have to like it, you just have to acknowledge and accept that it’s happened. The sooner you do, the better you’ll feel the next time a headline about one of them pops up. Trust me. Kardashian carefree is the way to be.

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