Keeping Away From the Kardashians

February 1, 2009 § 5 Comments

So, last night while I was sick and flipping through channels, I came across a commercial for the E! network’s reality show, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” The premise of the show is just that this rich family, whose reason for fame is ambiguous, gets followed around by TV cameras. While I find this inherently creepy, the commercial I came across last night was even worse. The commercial consists of the three Kardashian sisters, and even their middle-aged mother, looking at each other with mean, but “sexy” pouty faces as we hear their voices bad-mouthing each other in the background. Lately, I’ve been more and more aware of these messages telling me that I must be a bitch, as long as I’m a sexy bitch. Competition amongst women is often discussed by feminists, but I’ve seen it become a greater part of my life lately. One example that really bugs me is the t-shirts that are sold in the Juniors’ section of almost every major department store that say things like “Blondes have more fun!” or “Brunettes do it better!” Even these inane, yet ever-popular slogans are damaging to all of us. As if we weren’t already receiving messages from society that we weren’t good enough, we also have to hear it from each other.

Clearly, the media play a huge role in planting the bitch-seed in young women. Going back to the creepy Kardashian commercial, how are we supposed to be supportive of each other when we are being fed with images of sisters that aren’t? With this commercial, young women are being shown that in order to be successful and sexy yourself, the proper response to another woman’s success is to talk about her behind her back, even if she’s your sister. These messages leave us with nothing but gossip, jealousy and guilt, which make them such an effective tool for silencing us. After all, why would young women want to aspire to be successful if we should expect resentment and even hatred from our friends and sisters in return? I don’t know about you, but this makes me want to keep away, far away, from the Kardashians and E!.

§ 5 Responses to Keeping Away From the Kardashians

  • Katie says:

    This commercial, and this show, have scared me for a long time. Scripted television shows and movies I have always accepted as being not realistic, and recognized that the actors and actresses are only playing characters. But with the recent surge of reality television I feel more than ever that you have to try to live up to these people. Surprisingly I do not want to be anything like any of the Kardashians, but the fact that these are real people really scares me. I dont mean to hate on her personally, but she is representative of a lot of other women in America who are straddling the line of bitchy/sexy verses unconventionally pretty/ saying what you mean. I think that this show, and shows like these make average, or even normal women feel inadequate for not looking like they do and not being a sexy bitch.

    and silvia, I think your a sexy woman for saying what you think.

  • ruthelizabeth says:

    everything about this kind of reality TV is sad. Especially when they only choose hotties as the “real people” who then act as if being terrible people is a right they have earned. through hotness. yuck.

    ps- So You Think You Can Dance is THE best reality show and subscribes to none of this ridiculous trashiness. (though the dancers all happen to be beautiful because they are so passionate when they dance and then happy afterwards. like joshua.)

  • Joel says:

    In a similar vein, if anyone has been seeing the new Cheeto’s ads, note that in each the narrative of the ad goes as follows:

    Act I: In which a stupid woman talks inanely either on the phone or to another woman.

    Act II: In which fed-up woman glances over at the Cheeto’s cheetah, who suggests that fed-up woman take action.

    Act III: In which fed up woman uses Cheeto’s to enact vengeance on the stupid woman (either by smearing Cheeto’s cheese on her white shirt or attracting pigeons over to her table with a Cheeto).

    Most curious no?

    It was only in passing, but me and my friend Christina wondered who this commercial was meant to address. Is it a) the vindictive woman demographic or b) males who love seeing 20-30 something women be antagonistic? Who can say? Who does the ‘bitchy archetype’ serve? Obviously in this case it’s meant to serve Cheeto’s, but seriously, who gains here and how?

  • ginger lady says:

    I also think it’s interesting that the Cheeto’s cheetah is clearly meant to be Freud. Like women need a male thinker to okay all of their actions because they are simply unable to unleash their feelings without being prompted to do so by a ‘legitimate’ male figure. Or we just can’t think of evil actions without male influence, because we’re so stupid. Stop capitalizing on oppression Cheeto’s.

  • Fitz says:

    “Stop capitalizing on oppression Cheeto’s.”

    Dear god, please tell me you’re joking.

    It’s a formulaic ad campaign, they’re not somehow singling out women

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