“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” For a moment, let’s just dwell upon this quote because it will help us to answer the question of whether the Kardashian obsession is over.
Especially when it comes to Kim Kardashian, it is arguable whether she could be pegged into the mutually exclusive categories as delineated in the above quote.
Kim Kardashian is a celebrity because of the contemporary social media and Instagram driven culture, where she does a perfect balancing act of being the mesmerizing beauty queen/sex symbol and a modern, real woman: who tweets and posts makeup secrets, diet and exercise advice, and talks about “girl power”, publishes a book of her selfies (called “Selfish”) which becomes an instant bestseller notwithstanding the alleged vain narcissism, is said to have put a spin on white aesthetic standards of beauty and encouraged girls and young women to embrace their skin color and body types, speaks about some real, hot social issue, as well as bares all and thereby appears to be the one who is brave enough to be vulnerable (to possible attacks).
In today’s age of the visual medium having extraordinary power including our nano-second attention span, Kim Kardashian has truly achieved greatness, because she reflects the power and control in expertly exploiting a reigning value-system attributed by social media: voyeurism.
It is therefore of no surprise that greatness wouldn’t be thrust upon them. Voyeurism was the chief tenet that was teased, whetted and stroked masterfully in the show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians ”—which was all about witnessing how a high profile family consisting of beautiful people sit, stand, think, talk, and do normal things.
This was just trying to get a high beam transmittance of greatness to reflect back at one’s own self, to be compared and contrasted with one’s own conditions, because the social media enables each and every one of us to do the same. The same social media platforms that appear a level-playing field for everyone since it attributes everyone the same set of self-broadcasting power, Kardashians have labels of greatness thrust upon them, because of how they seem to defy the odds of being sidelined to the peripheries owing to their alleged viciousness or such called “empty celebrity cult”. Kardashians symbolize the great power everybody wants to have—of being famous just by catching your attention. It is a dazzling tautology that can only survive in this information age.
Therefore, some are indeed born great in this age, which worships putting yourself out there and successfully carving a business out of it, celebrating individual story lines which became relatable to the global public because of the marriage, divorce, fertility struggles, and in completely being able to ignore the rhetoric of “famous for nothing”. Kardashians are now a brand with a far-greater outreach beyond the American borders.
The obsession is very far from being over, precisely because the Kardashians symbolize the anti-elitist standpoint that has been always known to draw the masses, making them appear to be a rightful democratic choice. People find a perceived genuine connection with them because Kardashians connect, in real time, with real ways, with millions of people in a reality that sees them as best among equals in platforms/arenas which attribute any individual with the same arsenals to get famous.
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