We are bombarded with images of the Kardashians on a daily basis, making it virtually impossible to not know who they are. They dominate magazine covers, talk shows and their reality show plays pretty much daily on E! Entertainment.
Fame begets fame, which means that members of this family are often linked to other celebrities. And of course, this fame has bred multiple business opportunities, which has only kept them at the forefront of media, meaning that yes, we see even more of the Kardashians today than we did, say five years ago. This dynamic family was introduced to us 10 years ago and hasn’t really left our homes since.
When looking at the Kardashians, the show (and by extension them) has come a long way.
The first season saw Kim Kardashian (arguably the most famous of the bunch), insist on being front and centre of the pack. That year we were introduced to each individual Kardashian/Jenner, we saw the rise of the bandage dress, and we came to understand that the show’s antics were both crazy and staged: From x-raying Kim’s butt, to establishing that yes, Khloé really is Kris Jenner’s daughter.
While they have become more and more famous over the years, there has been a definite shift in the dialogue that occurs within the show. With children entering the stage, one of the focuses has been the type of language we use to raise and uplift children, highlighting that even when being critical towards oneself we need to be aware of the little ears that are often listening, further reflecting that perhaps we (as adults) are too harsh on ourselves.
Boasting a positive and healthy body image is often at the forefront of the conversation, with pregnancies changing the shape of a woman’s figure, and how society needs to embrace all shapes and sizes of women, thus redefining how we view beauty (thank you Khloé and Good American).
Mental health has been touched upon, in a time where the world seems ready for this conversation, because suffering in silence can be deadly. We watched as Kanye halted his tour to take some time out and re-evaluate his mental health. Because you can’t pour from an empty cup.
This conversation is needed, and if the Kardashians can thrust this dialogue into the spotlight, then more power to them.
Crime is a huge aspect that has been thrust to the forefront of the media, with Kim Kardashian being robbed in Paris and at one point acknowledging that she was mentally preparing herself to be raped. Let’s take a minute to think about that. We live in a world where this kind of thing happens all the time, and having this thrust upon the Kardashians, while horrible, needs to be viewed with a silver lining. It has pushed these crimes to the forefront where we watched Kim’s journey with PTSD and understood that this is not an isolated incident, with women suffering daily and maybe, just maybe we (the world) need to do something about this.
And then. Possibly the most famous dialogue to date has to be when Bruce Jenner embraced his true self and embodied Caitlin. Lots of controversy around this one, but also a dialogue that needed to be pushed. From his experience with how Caitlin has been received, to how his transition has affected the family, this is a multifaceted conversation.
Fertility issues, alcoholism, rehabilitation, cheating spouses, drug overdoses, racism and so much more, the Kardashians have come a long way from the ditzy calculated plots of the beginning seasons, and have instead brought forth (often unintentionally) some very serious issues that needed (and still need) to be discussed as they are global and not isolated conversations that have to be had.
Erin Mc Luckie Moya is a journalist, digital-strategist, radio and television presenter and serial entrepreneur.
Keeping up with the Kardashians is broadcast on DStv’s E! Entertainment (Channel 124) on Sunday nights at 8pm.