In the early 2000s, Paris Hilton started the “famous to be famous” phenomenon. While Paris lasted a few years with A Simple Life, it was her friend Kim Kardashian, who was on the periphery of Paris’ journey, who made it her own and ran with it at supersonic speed.
When “momager” Kris Jenner pitched the idea for Keeping Up with the Kardashians, it wasn’t the first reality show of its kind, but what worked for the Kardashian-Jenners was the family quotient. The show has concluded its 14-year run and looking back, it feels like the women who were once “famous for being famous” have risen far beyond that and no one can deny the impact they had on pop culture in its first two decades. of this century.
When they made social media a part of their business
The rise of KUWTK and social media was almost parallel, so it was just a smart business choice for the Kardashians to jump on the bandwagon before people could realize its potential. Be it Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or any other platform, the clan made the most of it as they pioneered the influencer culture. Earning hundreds of millions of dollars by mail is no joke, but the clan achieved this status because they took advantage of it from the start.
In the first season of KUWTK, Kim posed for Playboy. (Photo: E!)
When they were open about their romances and breakups, and even about childbirth
KUWTK made some of its highest-rated episodes featuring the Kardashian women’s weddings. Kim’s marriage to Kris Humphries, which infamously lasted only 72 days, was chronicled in a two-episode special, and at the time the episodes were said to have had 10.5 million viewers (on TV alone). Kim’s marriage to Kanye West was also a big hit on the show. Khloe’s marriage to Lamar Odom, Kourtney giving birth to her first child Mason (where she literally pulled him out of her with her bare hands) all happened on camera.
Kourtney recently admitted that her life with Scott would have looked different if the cameras weren’t always there. (Photo: E!)
Kourtney and Scott’s many breakups, his substance abuse issues, Kylie’s romances are all chronicled in the show. But it must be said that while this was a show from the start, it lost some of its raw nerves over the last few seasons as the family got a little protective of their personal lives.
When they launched their many business ventures
Kylie’s Lip Kit, Kim’s KKW beauty products, SKIMS, and the sisters’ many fragrance and product lines helped them create a massive business empire that made them more than just reality TV stars. The show has always been a platform to promote these products and brands and that, coupled with their massive social media presence, became the new model for businesses in the digital age.
Kylie Jenner literally grew up in front of the KUWTK cameras, so when the controversy surrounding her lip fillers first erupted, the internet was abuzz with her transformation photos. (Photo: E!)
When Caitlyn Jenner opened up to the world
In retrospect, the jokes about Bruce’s changing appearance, which were beginning to become a staple of Saturday Night Live, were in bad taste. As Caitlyn met the world, KUTWK became a platform for her message, her changing relationships with her daughters and ex-wife Kris became a major storyline for an entire season. She even had a spin-off called ‘I Am Cait’, but the fate of the show was just like the other spin-offs (Rob and Chyna, Khloe and Lamar, among others) and it ended in just one season.
Caitlyn’s coming out was celebrated by everyone except her volatile relationship with ex-wife Kris forced her to leave the show shortly after. (Photo: E!)
The Kardashian-Jenner clan supported Caitlyn’s decision to come out, but the publication of her memoir, in which she beat up her ex-wife Kris, got her into hot water with Kim, Khloe and Kourtney. Caitlyn has had very few appearances on the show since the fallout.
When they were tone deaf to cultural appropriation and the magnitude of their wealth
Kim Kardashian crying in the ocean while losing her diamond earring is one of the most iconic memes to have come out of KUWTK and while this was hilarious to watch, with Kourtney’s witty retort, Kardashians have received a lot of criticism for showing off their wealth, especially in the last year. The family took a vacation last year for Kim’s 40th birthday as the US struggled through the worst of the pandemic. Even Kendall’s overcrowded birthday party, where phones weren’t allowed, found its way onto the internet. The sheer amount of wealth clubbed to death with the irresponsible attitude has brought them criticism.
The family has also come to hate cultural appropriation and this has been addressed many times on the show. Kim was accused of wearing blackface on a magazine cover, which sparked a lot of controversy.
Keeping up with the Kardashians had a good long run, much longer than its contemporaries or rip-offs, but the family isn’t done yet. The Kardashian-Jenner clan has already signed a deal with HULU for a new series. But even without a new show, the women of the clan know and will keep up with their fans.