I have roughly zero qualms admitting my love for all things low-brow. I blast Bangerz in my car more often than not, religiously read Perez Hilton and will stop whatever I’m doing to watch any “Fast and Furious” movie that happens to be on TV (R.I.P. Paul Walker). That said, it should come as no surprise that I have a guiltless obsession with the royal family of reality television: the Kardashians.
When my interest with the Kardashian klan was burgeoning, I assumed I was enjoying it solely through the ironic lens of someone part of the generation that prides itself on oversized eyewear and an extensive closet of Bill Cosby sweaters (I’m guilty of both). This was seasons ago when the family adopted a monkey, Kim dated Reggie Bush and Rob was still hot. I kept my love affair low-key and would lie to friends and family, pretending that I didn’t know intimate facts about the family. Yet here we are, almost seven years later, and I still can’t manage to escape the Kardashian k-void, which as of late has caused me to sit down and ask myself: Why do I insist on keeping up with the Kardashians?
Members of the family have attributed their ungodly success to their relatability, but that seems like a stretch. I’ve personally never been in a position to casually drop $30,000 on a Birkin bag and, for whatever reason, no one gave me my own clothing line at the age of 15. To be fair, that clothing line would have consisted of bedazzled graphic tees and ill-fitting cargo pants. And, the last time I checked, no one in my family had a child out of wedlock with one of the most famous musicians of our time (I hear a few of those One Direction boys are still single, Mom). To top it all off, my family has never been offered a television contract just for being us.
The aforementioned list only scratches the surface of reasons why people loathe this family, claiming the show is a cesspool of excess, ignorance and debauchery — that could very well be a direct quote from my dad, but I’m not sure. To an extent, I get it; 16 year-old Kylie drives her $100,000 Mercedes-Benz with the same blasé attitude I have toward my used 1995 Honda. It sure as hell isn’t my normal, but it is theirs. Yet the world treats the Kardashians with the same amount of disdain normally reserved for war criminals, but for what reason? Because they have money? Because they have a television show? Because they participate in a more lavish lifestyle than most of us? So what? They also run a multi-million-dollar business, do extensive charity work and have yet to try and kill off an entire race, as the overzealous emotions of their critics would have us assume.
I’m not here to justify the ubiquitous presence of the Kardashians or my love for them, nor should I have to. I don’t watch the show as an escape from a mundane life or to fulfill some sort of (beautiful dark) twisted fantasy. I also don’t watch it for the compelling dialogue or thought-provoking narrative. I watch it because I laugh every time Scott makes a quip about Kris Jenner, I shed a tear (an actual, real-life tear) when Kim talks about her baby and I cringe every time I see Bruce because, my God, what is going on with his hair? I watch it because I’m entertained.
If you were to scroll through my DVR right now, you’d find a wide range of shows from “Parks and Rec” to “Homeland,” and weird documentaries on hard drugs and prison life. You’d also find every episode from this season’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” right there in plain sight. Eight seasons deep into the series, I can finally say my love for the show comes from an honest, completely un-ironic place.
In the words of Jimmy from “Degrassi”: “And I can’t hear the critics / Talking over the applause.” Haters gon’ hate, but I’m too busy keeping up with the Kardashians to notice.