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Thursday 3 November 2011

Kardashian phenomenon - why? Plus, Sunrise Kardashian exclusive

So, I just got off the phone with some friends who were camped overnight at the Kardashian David Jones autograph signing.

They were beyond excited.

They were completely happy they stayed overnight in freezing conditions, with blankets and food supplies and wrist bands so they could take turns in peeing and eating and not lose their spot.

They'd been there since 7pm last night.

The girls at the very front of the line? Since 7am that morning. From Canberra.

The next two? Flew in from Adelaide. Booked a hotel room even though they weren't even sleeping there, later realising it was the very one the famous family are staying at. Like, Oh.Em.Gee.

It is madness? It is hysteria over people who could well have coined the term 'famous for being famous.'?


Does it mean we should belittle them, make fun of them, ridicule them?

In my opinion: I don't think so.

See, here's the deal: we all have our 'thing'.

Think about it.

There are those of you who go to midnight sessions of 'Twilight'. Those of you who will camp overnight to get tickets for some old rockers from the 1970s. Some will line up to be first to read the new Harry Potter book. Others who will even put their name on a waiting list at the Myer beauty counter to ensure they get that miracle cream.

Are you all mad?


Oh, but wait. The whole 'role model' thing! What's that about? Young girls looking up to the Kardashians... are they insane?

What kind of young people are we breeding? Who will run the country when we die? What ever will we do with our delusional youth?

Really? So you didn't plaster posters of Michael Jackson all over your wall and desperately hoped you'd meet him one day (ahem)?

Did you grow out of it? Did you go to uni, achieve great things, save people's lives. I am sure you did.

The friends who were on that line at David Jones? Uni-educated, smart young women. An ex-work colleague of mine who professed a love for the reality TV family? Smart as a whip, a success in her profession, in her 30s.

Here's what I like about the Kardashians: they have nice hair, and fab makeup, and know how to pull an outfit together. I may even steal some of their fashion and beauty tips. They are pretty, and their show makes for good company when I am on a writing deadline. I am also fascinated by the spectacle they create everywhere they go. As a Communications uni student in the 1990s I could not possibly have envisaged such a family would exist. I would probably have researched them for one of the essays on how a well-oiled PR machine works.

Here's what I don't like: well, I can't 'print' it online. I may be sued. It's pretty salacious.

Every older generation is horrified at the famous people our young folk want to emulate/meet/snog. People from my parents' era thought The Beatles were evil. Oldies before that thought Elvis was the devil incarnate.

Oh, but they can sing. Dance. Act. Whatever.

True, that. They have an actual skill, a talent.

The Kardashians are talented, too. They have turned their surname into one of the most well-known on the planet and they make no apologies for it [I suspect most of us are pissed they are so brazen about declaring their love for 'things', that they are so endorsement-driven, so materialistic].

In the celeb-obsessed culture we live in, where most of us know how many kids Angelina and Brad have, or what Robert Pattinson's favourite food is (but don't know how many asylum seekers have died en route to Australia - yes, appalling), it makes perfect sense that the Kardashians are the poster women for all that is aspirational and label-obsessed [some would even say vulgar and vacuous].

In the words of a 17 year old: "what-eva!"

It's their 'thing'. They also have to live by the sword and die by it. The highs are incredible highs (endorsements! contracts! gazillions and squillions of dollars!). But the lows are spectacularly rock-bottom: zilch privacy, living life in a goldfish bowl, being ridiculed for any wrong move. Witness Kim's sullen look the whole time she has been here. Whatever reason she has for ending her marriage after 72 days she is still fronting the media and doing her 'job.'

Here is the clip from their appearance on Sunrise:

What are you thoughts on the Kardashian juggernaut?

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