Why my obsession with the Kardashians? Truth be told, I may never know the answer to that. However, after being asked by numerous people I have decided to analyze why other reality junkies and myself keep tuning into the E! network’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” on Sundays at 10 p.m.
Perhaps it is interesting for the average person to view how the other side lives. Maybe it allows the ever-curious mind to delve into this life of privilege, mansions, and astronomical social connections, at least for a half hour anyway. It seems as though Kim Kardashian is living the ideal life, does it not? She did not have to sew and design her way to victory like the contestants on Project Runway. With her 5’3″ curvy stature, she was not held up to the same strict standards that the petite women on America’s Next Top Model are; yet she is still frequently booked for modeling gigs.
Kim Kardashian did not need to have the same skills required of others to become a household name. Why? It is because she was born with more connections to other famous people in ‘the biz’ than most of us could ever dream of obtaining. She was born into a life of privilege.
Her father, Robert Kardashian Sr., was the attorney for O.J. Simpson at Simpson’s notorious murder trial in 1995. Robert Kardashian was a well-known name in California, and had the money to give his family everything their hearts desired.
Kim went to preschool with socialites Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton. THOSE were her childhood playmates. From the start, her life was very different from the one most of us will ever know.
That being said, it still leaves the question of “Why do people keep watching?” While entertaining on the surface, I believe watching the Kardashians has an underlying moral message if one knows where to find it. Think about it– Kim was born into wealth and fame and was given all the grandiose things that life has to offer, but is she happy?
One may argue that money equates happiness. Kim has money and therefore she must be happy, right? I do not believe this is the case. If one were to follow the series, they would see the life of a rich and famous yet undoubtedly lonely individual. Kim Kardashian is 30 years old with a booming career, and is sitting on two failed marriages, another high profile failed relationship, and a constant suspicion that people are using her for her fame. Can one blame her? At that level of celebrity, how could one ever know whom to trust? Kim can barely go anywhere without her photograph being taken as there is a swarm of paparazzi waiting for her at most places she goes. Her privacy and potential to develop genuine relationships with people has been replaced with money and fame.
I may never be totally sure why my fellow reality junkies and myself are so obsessed with “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” I mostly believe it is because it’s human nature to be curious about the lives of others, especially when they are as rich and inarguably entertaining as the Kardashian family.
However, watching the Kardashians is also a healthy reminder that living this high-profile life may not be everything it is chalked up to be. After watching those half-hour specials filled with drama, scandal, and all the highs and lows of being famous, I know that I am personally glad to return to my own reality.
Kathryn Derby is a third-year student at WCU. She can be reached at KD716057@wcupa.edu.