In Defence of the Kardashians

01/05/2016 22:29

There's a story currently on the Independent's Indy100 site which has been tweeted and retweeted from their account countless times over the past week.

The article, entitled "Everything that's wrong with celebrity culture -- in one 10 second video of Kylie Jenner", features a video uploaded to Instagram by Rob Kardashian of his 18-year-old half-sister Kylie taking selfies.

The clip shows Rob repeatedly saying "Yo" as Kylie takes selfies, ignoring her older brother.

The article's intro is as follows: "This generation created the 'selfie'-- a trend of narcissism particularly favoured by people who appear on TV just because why not?

"It should come as no surprise then, that the Kardashian clan -- specifically Kylie Jenner -- has struck again to destroy what little faith there remained in the future of humanity."

Now, I love the Independent, but I have never eye-rolled this much since I saw an Old Street station shop advertisement telling me not to let my eggs age another day.

No, Kylie Jenner taking a selfie is not endangering the future of humanity. Neither is her big sister Kim taking a naked picture, or posing with a champagne glass balanced on her backside.

I reckon politicians banning 3,000 refugee children from the country, or taking away free healthcare, is more likely to endanger humanity, but that's just me.

The Kardashians and Jenners have become a dartboard for over-30s, "serious" people, those who are clearly better people and more intelligent than a family famous for reality TV and selfies.

Even President Barack Obama couldn't help but question "what exactly Kendall Jenner does" at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, before joking that his Twitter mentions were about to go through the roof.

And on Facebook, I've seen countless people sharing memes reading: "Give us Prince and Bowie back, God, take the Kardashians."

Never mind the fact that the family have managed to become insanely rich by capitalising on a then-burgeoning market, reality TV.

In any other arena, that would be considered good business but nope,  airheads.

Kim Kardashian has become a one-woman brand, first capitalising on the betrayal of a man to make millions on a sex tape. She then patented an app which has made a ridiculous sum of money, started a fashion line with her sisters, and started a conversation on feminism, sexuality and slut-shaming by simply posing for a naked selfie censored with black bars.

Meanwhile, her younger sister Kylie, who is just 18 years old, has become one of the most famous people on the planet by using the teen market's interest in her selfies to get ahead.

She realised teens wanted her lips, so started her own Lip Kit range of lip liners and liquid lipsticks. Everytime Kylie restocks her range, available only online, it sells out in minutes.

Perhaps when she was ignoring her brother Rob in that Instagram video, she was thinking that this selfie where I'm wearing my own lip brand is going to get thousands of likes and further my career, as always.

And on the flipside, Kylie also uses her Instagram page to fight bullying, sharing the stories of others with the #IAmMoreThan hashtag.

Meanwhile, Kendall is a supermodel who has taken her role on Keeping Up With The Kardashians and has transferred it to the runways of Chanel and the billboards of Calvin Klein and Estee Lauder.

But whatever, they're all vapid and clearly not businesswomen, right?

Fair enough, there's other artists with talents in singing, acting, modelling, make-up that are having their lights dimmed by the beacon of brand Kardashian. But when did creating an empire become something easy, that is done by people with no talent, no smarts, no business acumen?

Selfies are their bread and butter. While a businessman may go to a meeting and discuss spreadsheets and profits, the Kardashians - amongst countless other celebrities - take a selfie, adding more promotion to the brand that keeps money flowing into their empire.

Don't try and kid yourself into thinking that this family is stupid when they've managed to take over pretty much every industry in a decade without even rousing suspicion.

If you rewind to the mid-Noughties, Kim was just a lackey to woman of the hour, Paris Hilton. Now, Kim is one of the world's most recognised people, while Paris has gone on to become a billionaire all on her own, without her Hilton trust fund which, by the way, was donated to charity.

Don't be silly enough to think that reality stars, in particular the Kardashians, are dumb and narcissistic and are ruining generations with their selfies.

The fact is that teens look up to them, and I can think of far worse people to look up to.

Yes, there are issues, as with everybody, but what is the issue with a teen model who is telling fans to vote, a la Kendall? Or Kim, who tells her 44million followers about the history of the Armenian genocide?

The new generation like selfies. They like social media. They Snapchat every element of their lives. That is what is happening, and that's not the fault of the Kardashians. Journalists might be annoyed that young people are using Snapchat and Instagram more than ever and leaving certain areas of the industry flagging. But the Kardashians are making an empire from it. Replace with men in suits who don't know what contouring is in any other industry, and you would be praising them as geniuses.

Get off your high horses, and stop blaming teens and celeb culture for the way the world is. Just because someone is taking a pouty selfie filtered to the gods, doesn't mean they're not smart and can't make a difference.