The Kardashians Have (Probably) Fooled Us Once Again


July 3, 2019

by Gracia Ventus

Kim Kardashian is like a Supreme box logo t-shirt. Take away all that hype and there's very little that is offered, although one could argue that at least t-shirt protects one's modesty.

Her wealth is built upon milking the hype machine, and once again we have probably fallen for one of her tricks.

Just a few weeks ago she announced that her new shapewear line would be called Kimono. Initial amusement aside, I was rather skeptical that she would make such a big gaffe in an era of political-correctness-gone-mad. After all, she - along with her mother and husband - is one extremely competent marketer. This was the woman who made use of all the social connections she could seize with her two-inch long manicured nails, then allegedly leaked a sex tape, or in Kanye's words - "home video", that propelled a multi-million dollar reality tv show. I refused to believe that she was that dense.

And of course the Internet reacted. Social media bubbled and frothed like a swarm of angry bees. The haters hated, her followers defended, everyone had something to say about cultural appropriation, diversity, and lack of respect on her part. Just as expected, she decided to drop the name a week later following the backlash, which also included a letter from the mayor of Kyoto urging her to reconsider the name. Along the way, she has created a slightly upward tick on Google trends, gained an even bigger notoriety for being 'insensitive' or 'brave', depending on one's sentiments, and most importantly, introduced her new business venture in the most explosive manner one can think of.

The fact that we are paying attention to this marketing exercise is a testament to our misplaced energy - it is perhaps easier to direct our anger at Kim K than the various injustices of the world, even if the latter are more detrimental to our existence. The Kardashians understood very well that the most important currency today is our attention. There's no pulling punches in order to stay relevant. If one's existence is built on perfected images of one's appearance (who on earth wakes up with a fully contoured face?), with the entirety of its appearance itself having been carved up and sculpted by invasive surgeries, disseminating a calculated sham is another trick in the book of publicity stunts. And yes the irony that I'm directing more attention to her is not lost on me.

Theodor Adorno warned us about the effect of tv culture in mid 20th Century, that we would be unable to discern what is real and what is fake. It seems like that age has dawned upon us. Our reactions to events are so predictable that it is becoming easier to manipulate us by spreading information that may not be true nor sincere in order to get the desired effect.


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