Is the Kardashian clan news? Enough for Barbara Walters, who interviewed les femmes for her special on the “10 Most Fascinating People of 2011,” and referred to them as a family that’s made a living out of “being famous.” No talents to speak of or insights to share, but famous for being famous. Or some might argue infamous.
The clan did come back at Walters and defended working in reality TV (which apparently isn’t easy but probably not as tough as working in a coal mine).
So why are celebrities “making” news as opposed to simply being occasional news and blips in our news feed? There’s money to be made, endorsements to be had, sponsors to woo, and an adoring public to keep enthralled by the trials and tribulations of simply being famous/infamous.
Celeb news sells—even in your local newspaper with local famous/infamous people. Here in Indy, Colts owner Jim Irsay’s tweets are reported as news. “Check out what Irsay tweeted today!” Tweets are actually replacing any legitimate newsgathering activities, including actual in-person interviews because it’s easy. And it’s easy to make news by tweeting.
I remember in my former newsroom life when editors decided that the final episode of Survivor earned a spot on the front page. That was an “a-ha” for me – when editors split in the vote in a budget meeting and moved real news aside for reality TV.
The Kardashian family is ultimately branded down to their pinkies – including their favorite “kolors” of OPI nail polish being personally branded by Kim, Kris, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie.
I give the K girls their props. They do know how to make a living out of simply being famous.
But is it ultimately good for women?
Turns out someone else has thought of that and is using the Kardashians to illustrate a point with a campaign underway on Twitter using #WhyKardashians.
According to Mashable:
“Using the hashtag #WhyKardashians, MissRepresentation.org is holding a Twitter debate and conversation about the objectification of women in American media and culture. It’s part of the group’s “call-to-action campaign,” to empower women and girls to challenge limiting media labels to realize their potential.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, CEO and founder of MissRepresentation.org and director of the movie behind the campaign, told Mashable that the White House Correspondents’ dinner was just one catalyst for the idea, along with the prominence of celebrity culture in general.
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is an annual event traditionally attended by senior government officials and press corps. In recent years, many celebrities have also attended. Both Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan were invited as guests by Greta Van Susteren of Fox News.”
Objectification (and ridicule) of women is something the Kardashians should be worried about – along with other reality stars whose excessive behaviors make us (women and men) all ashamed, embarrassed and weary. Like passing a terrible accident on the roadway where you have a natural reaction to turn your head and look … even if just for a split second.
So take a counter stand next time your lunch or after work talk turns to celeb chatter and move on. You can find something of substance with MissRepresentation.org. Check out the video as well. It’s worth having a discussion on this subject and maybe sharing with your daughter.