essays

Breaking Up with the Kardashians

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I’m a very very very loyal person. If you’ve made me feel any type of emotion, I’m probably still holding some space for you in the Six Flags branch that is my heart. Therefore, it’s not easy for me to announce, after a decade of fandom, I have officially unfollowed all of the Kardashian-Jenners’ social media accounts.

Some of you might be very surprised, since I was once the first news source folks would consult for synopses of any type of tea. In 2013, I my junior thesis included Kim K’s face photoshopped on top of the Virgin Mary’s — peak blasphemy — to support a theory that celebrity worship is based on Catholicism.

But most of you are probably like, FUCKING FINALLY. And I’m about to give you a very detailed list of reasons I have stopped following them.

Yes, I made a goddamn chart:

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Cultural Appropriator recognize Cultural appropriation.

I used to be fascinated with the idea of a group of people living such a calculated existence that can be monetized at any point. Can you imagine spending at least two hours out of your day in hair and makeup in prep to be photographed even while you’re taking a shit? Can you imagine spending hours planning fake dinners, fake confrontations, fake gatherings with your family members just so you can have some content for a fucking TV show?!

Undeniably, Kris Jenner is a fucking genius for spinning the act of existing into a multi-million dollar enterprise. This isn’t new. There are literally thousands of articles about Kris Jenner spinning KKW’s sex tape into a recognizable, highly coveted brand.

But no matter how calculated the performance:

  • Caitlyn Jenner is still a Republican.

  • Rob Kardashian still leaked Blac Chyna’s nudes.

  • Kendall Jenner still hasn’t given a proper apology for the Pepsi commercial. (She basically said, “Sorry that I got caught and offended y’all. Hit that link in bio to buy the t-shirt I made with my face and Biggie’s face on it though,” when we needed, “Sorry for the part I play in perpetuating white privilege, I’m definitely taking notes.”

  • Kylie Jenner constantly steals imagery from small cosmetics brands, then gets praised by Forbes for being self-made. *1,000 eye rolls*

  • Kylie claims to have “invented” wigs. *10,000 eye rolls*

  • Kanye West still said slavery was a choice, chooses to stay in the sunken place. *eyes fall out of sockets completely*

And having this content on my timeline makes me fucking complacent. Every double-tap turns into a dollar or two in their pocket and I’m done participating.

Kardashian Body Politics = TRASH

Honestly, I’m mad at y’all. I talked about KKW’s body incessantly, and NOT ONE PERSON CARED TO CLUE ME INTO THE FACT THAT I WAS GAY THE WHOLE TIME!? Lol, jk, I low key always knew ;)

In all seriousness, the presentation of KKW’s body as unabashed commodity made me realize that it’s ok to suck dick on camera because you feel like it. In a twisted way, I have KKW to thank for my open-mindedness around sex work, because seeing a woman show off her body and collect cointage on her own volition is fucking powerful. And even though she isn’t the first to do this, she certainly made this impact for me.

But I swear to god, if I see any more workout content with fake injected asses bouncing around, I will fucking scoop my own eyeballs out and eat them. God, I can only take so much of women who are conventionally average in body type (except for plastic surgery) repeat that they are fat and nitpick their perfectly enhanced bodies. I was so numb to flat tummy tea and waist-trainer content, that I found myself scoffing at a body-positive influencer scolding KKW for promoting an appetite-suppressant lollipop. Then I was like, wait… you’re right… if someone is fucking hungry, KKW should probably be promoting food they can eat to keep from passing out??? And Rob isn’t a fucking loser because he’s fat! He’s a loser because he doesn’t respect women, despite being raised by and being around so many of them.

Their weight loss content is so normalized, I forget how damaging it actually is. Mindlessly scrolling through their workout videos and watching them eat salads gratuitously out of giant plastic containers is a fucking Josie and the Pussycats moment.

Where are the WOC Reality TV empires?

I’ve always thought that Reality TV is a powerful tool that democratizes self-actualization. Having an Eat, Pray, Love moment is a very privileged activity, but the format of the confessional allows you to reflect on your actions and your place in the world. The language used in confessionals is informal, often starting with, “I feel…” and that’s really important. Honestly, before I could afford therapy, the next best thing for me would be to imagine myself explaining situations in a confessional.

Some numbers: It was reported in 2014 that the Kardashians made $10 mil per episode, which equates to about $500,000 per episode per family member. My fucking queen NeNe Leakes of RHOA made $2.5mil to film one season, which comes out to about $300,000 per episode… you have three guesses as to why NeNe gets paid less than a Kardashian for doing the exact same shit… (hint: Racism)

Did you know that NeNe performed on Broadway’s Cinderella? Did you know that NeNe has a clothing line on HSN!? My girl has been hustling on the side, but since she does not have the power of being white/”racially ambiguous” and the access to Kris Jenner’s vast social network, she doesn’t get the same type of clout.

Women of Color are pigeon-holed into roles fueled by racial bias, and it’s rare that their side hustles are given as much legitimacy as the people who are appropriating their cultures — direct jab at Kylie here, who claims she started a fucking full lips trend, and honestly, I still cannot get over the fact that a journalist in 2018 claims that she is “self-made.” How does that journalist still have a job?

In conclusion, I’m very okay with the FOMO I will be experiencing when I’m not the first to read and summarize Kardashian news, if in exchange, I am becoming a less conspicuous consumer. We all have slip-ups. I mean, I’m not gonna lie, I got drunk multiple times last weekend and binge-watched episodes of KUWTK on Hulu while shoving french fries in my face. But I don’t think it hurts to start cleansing yourself of guilty (read: problematic) pleasures.

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