Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 29 September 2020

I'm a 33-year-old man and I love the Kardashians: here's why

I spent years turning my nose up at the family reality show but then, thanks to my gym, I suddenly became hooked

The Kardashians are offering auction winners a chance to appear in their popular reality series. Getty Images
The Kardashians are offering auction winners a chance to appear in their popular reality series. Getty Images

Before the summer of 2012, I’d never shown any bit of interest in the adventures of Kourtney, Kim, Khloe or Rob Kardashian, let alone those of Kris, Caitlyn, Kendall or Kylie Jenner.

Up until that point, I had actually done the complete opposite, actively avoiding and passionately dismissing all six seasons and 70 episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, the reality television show that had brought them wealth and fame in exchange for becoming a pop culture punchline.

At the ripe old age of 25, all of my years and wisdom had led to me stubbornly insisting that these Kardashians resembled everything that was wrong with the modern world. They were void of personality, eschewed hard work, and were able to not just coast but flourish simply because of their looks.

Then I actually saw an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

My change of heart towards them wasn’t swift and sudden, though. Originally, I watched the show under duress. Not just because the mere sight of it was an insult to my cultured eyes, but because my showdown with the Kardashians occurred at the gym.

Due to work commitments, I could only get to the gym between 9pm and 10pm every evening, which, as you probably guessed, just so happened to coincide with when Keeping Up With The Kardashians aired.

What made it worse was that every television in the gym was tuned to the same channel, so I had no escape from the show’s intimate look at their undoubtedly glamorous but superficial lifestyle. Over the next two weeks I would use my fury at the family’s various dramas to inspire my workouts.

But, then, I began to notice that I was spending more time watching these episodes than monitoring my speed, distance or how many calories I’d burned. This was just the beginning, too. I became so hooked by Keeping Up With The Kardashians that I would walk on the treadmill just so I could fully engage with what was unfolding on the screen.

To make matters worse, I’d somehow become mesmerised even though it was being aired in the gym without any sound. Sure, there were subtitles, but that didn’t stop me feeling embarrassed and ashamed by my newfound limerence. These feelings only deepened after a fellow patron caught me leaning in, reading and then laughing at Scott Disick’s most recent quick-witted barb.

So why had I become so enamoured? The reason that immediately comes to mind is the love between the leading trio of sisters, as well as their rivalry. Kourtney was the eldest, but more responsible; Kim was the middle daughter that always aimed to please; and Khloe was the care-free rapscallion. They were all so distinctly hilarious that even the finest sitcom writers couldn’t have created a better trio to play off each other, especially when you threw Kris’s matriarchal presence into the mix.

The fact that it was a reality show only made it all the more appealing to me, as I genuinely couldn’t tell what was real, what was fake and what had been recreated. Thus, I just took everything at face value, and fully embraced the escapism.

They were all so distinctly hilarious that even the finest sitcom writers couldn’t have created a better trio to play off each other

The more I watched, the more I was in awe of a family that I had so recently and so harshly maligned. Not only were these savvy businesswomen, who have created a world-renowned billion-dollar dynasty, but by being so candid and vulnerable about every single facet of their lives for the millions watching, as well as the even bigger crowd of voyeurs reading about them online and in papers from afar, showcased an endearing toughness that I found myself inspired by.

Two months later, I accepted my fate, cancelled my gym membership and simply decided to watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians from the comfort of my own home. I was almost certainly the first person to join a gym, go every night and somehow get even fatter. But it was a small price to pay for my new obsession.

The 18th season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians begins on Thursday, March 26.

Updated: March 25, 2020 05:57 PM

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