THE K AND J EFFECT: WHY THE KARDASHIAN-JENNERS ARE SO APPEALING TO THE MASSES

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“They’re young, rich, beautiful, and influencers.”


For the past ten years, we have been inundated with the presence of the Kardashian-Jenner family. From the reality series of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, to their numerous business ventures. This family has grown into a nearly $1 billion brand that stretches all around the world. We were first introduced to the surname Kardashian from the O.J. Simpson trial. Robert Kardashian, the girls father, was an accomplished attorney who served as one of the counsels for former NFL runningback O.J. Simpson during his trial. He passed away back in 2003, while the name is still being held strong by his daughters. And as an addition came the Jenner family when the mother remarried former Olympian Bruce Jenner (Katelyn). Two of the Jenners would go on to edge out their own identities in society: Kendall and Kylie.

Why has the influence of the sisters grown in size the way it has grown. Ten years ago, when their reality show first aired America, must less the world, didn’t even know of the sisters. As socialites in their hometown of Calabasas (Los Angeles), CA, they were known among a small group of friends. Once the reality show took off, we were first introduced to the second oldest sister, Kim Kardashian. Soon after we began to get to know the two other sisters Kourtney, the oldest, and Khloe, the youngest. Even their brother Robert was brought into the mix. And the influence of the sisters began to spread. We only knew them as reality personalities, not business women. That is until they introduced us to their store in Los Angeles D.A.S.H.

And slowly, but surely, the two Jenner sisters began to emerge as well. We knew them as the rambunctious pre-teens from the reality show. But eventually, Kendall would be introduced into the modeling world via her mother and sisters. Not long after her introduction into modeling came her younger sister Kylie. Now with all the girls more focused on their own business ventures and less with the reality series, my question still remains. How did they manage to garner so much attention? And why do so many young girls and boys flock to them? That’s right girls and boys. And here is one of my theories as far as exposure is concerned.

When we look at the Kardashian-Jenners, they were supposed to be like anyone else who popped on the scene the way they appeared. They were supposed to get their 15 minutes of fame, and vanish like everyone else; yet they didn’t. So, why have they managed to garner attention and stick around so long? Here is a theory of mine, the introduction of social media. Getting involved in social media with an early start before so many other people joined. Their series became popular not that long after airing on television in 2007. But guess what else took off around that time as well Twitter (founded 2006), Instagram (founded 2010), Facebook increased popularity (founded 2004), and YouTube (founded 2005) increased popularity. Also, the launch of major networks such as the one their show is on E!, introduced between the years 2002 – 2009. They became popular right when social media and reality television was taking off. Fact of the matter is, they got in early.

That is a strong reason as to how they became so popular. Then what about the popularity with so many young people. Well, young people are what young people have always been. The age group of 18 – 35 is such a wide demographic, yet this group makes up the validation and association group. From the highly publicized relationships of the sisters, to their signature look. So many young girls and young women want to be associated with the K & J (Kardashian and Jenner) name.  But the boys love them because one, the girls love them. And another reason is the other one, status. Men need to be validated just as women do. So, to men, we look and go young, beautiful, their own wealth, liberated, and famous. Dating a “K” or a “J” would be the equivalent of winning the lotto and moving from your one bedroom apartment into a 10,000 sq. foot manor. The underlying theory is that if you date one of them, or a woman that resembles them, you have arrived.

See, in the end, the Kardashian-Jenners have tapped into something in America. And that something lies in the very fabric of our nation. That something is capitalism, validation, and fame. All three things the sisters have, all three things society holds up as a standard for what you should want, even if you never attain it. I don’t see them going away anytime soon. Because that 15 minutes, is pushing 15 years. And still, with business opportunities endless, fame and being a socialite is crumbs compared to if they really position themselves well. They are in the app world, and we all know how lucrative the tech industry can be. Whether you like them or not, they are no longer socialites, but the society standard.


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