Celebrity Power In America

How did the family that is essentially “famous for doing nothing” gain so much media attention and become the icon of the ideal American family?  The Kardashians have social climbed their way up the ladder. The reality show, “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” based on the family, has become one of the most popular television programs in America. Although many watch it as a sort of mindless entertainment, the truth is that many young people are starting to look up to this family and are changing things about themselves to become more like the Kardashians.

Sadly I have fallen for the Kardashian craze as well.  Last semester in London, my friends and I ran into Rob Kardashian and his British popstar girlfriend Rita Ora.  Instead of asking for a photo with an accomplished and talented artist, we immediately started talking to Rob, the youngest of the clan, who can be defined as lazy, self-centered and a partier.

There are hundreds of thousands of people who signed a petition asking E! to take the Kardashians off the network. This is a clear warning sign that this show does provide a bad example to viewers.  “Keeping up with the Kardashians” does not provide role models for young viewers.  The program does not promote or instill strong values and morals in any viewers.  What it does do is create an image of greed and materialistic drive, that in turn paints a poor picture of success and reality.  The Kardashian family is yet again another example of Americans’ lack of focus on important aspects of life.


8 responses to “Celebrity Power In America

  1. Oh boy…Keeping up with the Kardashians, I have seen more episodes of this than I ever wanted to, for one reason or another. I like to think that I watch reality TV ironically, just in order to see how disillusioned people can become and have a few laughs at their expense. But honestly the views all count the same for the networks, so I can’t really hop on a high horse and judge other people who genuinely like the shows and become invested in them. Getting famous for a sex tape isn’t the best message to send our youth, but I think the messages coming from TLC shows are much worse. I once heard it said that “Toddlers in Tiaras is both a prequel and sequel to 16 and pregnant.” I’m positive there is one teenage girl who thought, “Should I try to get pregnant so I can be on TV?” and that is one girl too many. So, yes, I agree that reality tv is not providing any good morals in today’s society.

  2. I have maybe seen one full episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians in my whole life and even that was enough for me, mainly because I fully agree with your description of the show. I also believe that it does not promote or instill strong values or a good moral compass by any means and it certainly supports a lifestyle of “greed and materialistic drive” as you put it. At the same time though, I know that people enjoy watching mindless television from time to time as a release from stress and the society around them…I know I do. Isn’t that what reality TV shows are for? It’s a shame though that a large part of America does not watch these shows with that intention. They watch them to learn life experiences.

  3. I was part of the group that encountered Rob Kardashian and Rita Ora in London last semester. We had NO idea who Rita Ora was, even though she was becoming a household name all over the world as Jay Z’s protege. Once she became popular in the states, I was embarrassed. We had gone running up to Rob Kardashian, who has done absolutely nothing to deserve our attention, while his talented and beautiful girlfriend listened to us ramble to Rob. It really raises the question of what constitutes fame in our society these days and unfortunately our generation fuels the popularity of those who aren’t htat deserving.

  4. I think you have several valid points regarding America’s obsession with materialistic goods and luxury items. The Kardashian’s have basically won the lottery as they simply got lucky for becoming famous. Sure Bruce Jenner was an olympic runner and Kim’s father a high powered attorney(how do I even know this), but that has not resulted in their fame. The family has ridden their good looks to fame. As you mentioned, the Kardashian Family are now being looked up to! The show is centered around how ridiculously narcissistic each Kardashian is! It actually disgusts me; when did real family values get replaced by a family with no values! The Kardashians have far too much publicity and influence on society.

  5. I think Nick brought up a very good point. Keeping up with the Kardashians is entertainment. You can just take a load off, turn on an episode and just laugh about how outrageous their lives are, and how they go about their daily life. Of course, it is pathetic how popular it is, and how it might imply that Americans spend too much of their time watching this ridiculous show, but at the same time the vast majority of people aren’t watching it so they can later mimic these characters actions, and mimic their family values. I think people understand the difference between watching something for the sake of humor, and to watch something to learn to change their personal life.

  6. I honestly have probably seen an unhealthy number of Keeping Up With The Kardashians episodes. I agree with Josh’s comment about how silly it is that they have gained so much fame, none of which stemmed from their accomplished relatives (seriously impressed with your Kardashian knowledge by the way). While shows like this reflect our sad obsession with reality TV, I agree with previous comments that people who watch do so for entertainment purposes. The Kardashians are actually extremely dysfunctional, and while we love to watch them, I don’t think we necessarily want to emulate them.

  7. I wrote about something similar. I think it is a bit absurd how today’s society is so obsessed with people who are rich, powerful, and famous. I understand that the Kardashians are a wealthy family who’s father was a big lawyer, but honestly, what has Kim Kardashian or any of her sisters done that gives a reason as to why they are famous (besides Kim’s sex tape with Ray-J). Children in today’s society are looking at this show and thinking “I want to be like them”, but in reality, they are just a bunch of rich people who are only famous because of their money. This is a dangerous path I think our nation is heading on.

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