Why I've Kept Up With The Kardashians: A Confessional
For someone who bases a lot of their identity around the media they consume, I have to admit, maybe The Kardashians being my problematic faves isn’t the best thing to have happened to me. That said, I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that almost nothing is nearly as entertaining as watching the privileged, dramatic, petty & intense lives of the Kar-Jenner family.
From the first season when Kris only started revealing herself as a mastermind momager, to when Kanye went through his public breakdown in 2016, to Kim and Kourtney swinging arms at each other- everything has been simultaneously the most useless and entertaining content to have had existed on television.
Maybe some people don’t enjoy watching rich Americans munch on salad and discuss lip-gloss 7 days a week, but I’ve found great joy in it. As have the millions who have kept the show going for 14 years (rip KUWTK, you are missed and we wish sincerely that all the latest drama was on tape.)
It cannot be denied that The Kardashians have truly had a huge hand in influencing so much of popular youth culture, television, fame, beauty and entrepreneurship. They were, after all, some of the first people to be famous for practically nothing, a career choice many are able to now make following the blueprint the Kardashians left behind. Their main skill-set is their ability to build a career out of the brand that is their identity. They seem to be completely oblivious of this, and their show as well as their interviews highlight this at all times.
To be able to watch this over and over brings with it some kind of sadistic joy- I will find myself physically cringing while watching it often yet love every second of it.
Perhaps that is what has kept me hooked to the Kardashians for so long. Through their mess (which let’s not deny, we do all relate to sometimes,) I realize so much about the kind of life I do not want to live and the kind of person I do not want to be. But also since I am watching such personal experiences of their lives so closely, I get to be a part of a life I could probably never have even if I tried anyway.
You start to understand how each of them thinks, you follow each of their individual lives so personally. When you read the news about them, you know you’ll get to watch all of it happen soon on tv. Sometimes, I have known more about the Kardashians than my own friends. I have been in bed for days binge-watching seasons on seasons of the show and forgotten to get back to the people I know.
They are just that interesting. I’ve forgotten my own problems and been invested in Kim's 72-day marriage or Rob and Chyna’s toxic relationship showdowns.
Even though as time passed, most of them have emotionally matured and have become quite self-aware and have worked on having a healthy relationship with themselves, their blind-spot is pretty much...how they got to where they are. On bad days, I have watched Kim complain and known exactly what Kourtney meant when she said “Kim, there’s people that are dying,” and on some days, this ignorance has made me laugh.
I’ve found myself cackling to the snide comments they all pass passive-aggressively at each other and learned so much about how famous people live. From the inside, it doesn’t seem all that glamorous. It just seems messy, and it’s so nice being able to witness that from a distance.
Through keeping up with the Kardashians, you are suddenly a part of something that is so unrealistic and still really happening. Even if only through a screen, you live out their worst and best moments with them in full detail, with monologues of their thoughts and feelings. You are experiencing huge, life-altering moments with them. The show holds your hand and guides you through someone else’s life.
I’ve gotten to witness such different sides of so many public figures, watched people in all their shame and in full glory, I’ve been in hotel rooms with people cheating, weddings, photoshoots, family fights and scandals. In my room, in the comfort of my bed, the Kardashians have shown me all the things you are curious about if you’ve grown up reading about celebrities.
Although I know that watching KUWTK obsessively is probably more a reflection on the viewer than the Kardashians, I guess I’ve just always felt special that someone has curated a life for me to watch and have a drink to on days I just want to laugh and be petty. I’ve kept up with the Kardashians because they’ve genuinely compelled me to. They’re my kryptonite.