x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 November 2017

Why we shouldn't celebrate this shameful 10-year Kardashian milestone 

It's time we all truly turned a blind eye to the goings-on of this controversial clan 

Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian , Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian. Jamie McCarthy / WireImage / Getty Images
Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian , Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian. Jamie McCarthy / WireImage / Getty Images

Upon opening my inbox I see an email urging me to celebrate the “history-making” 10-year anniversary of Keeping up with the Kardashians – it is enough to bring on an uncontrollable urge to gag.

I do a double-take and scan the text again. Has it actually been a decade? Have the world’s reality-television watchers remained hooked on the frivolous lives of this notorious family for 10 years, really?

I soon discover that yes, the first episode of Keeping up with The Kardashians aired on October 14, 2007.

It’s difficult to remember life before this much-talked about reality show that shot to international fame and created poster girls out of the five sisters featured – Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie.

From the family’s celebratory occasions to its tragedies, everything has been dramatically publicised, and viewers – and social media followers – are made to feel very much like a part of the family.

Some of those hooked on the lives of the Kardashians keep their fandom to themselves, much like a dirty secret, afraid of being shamed for wasting time on what many like me deem the ultimate in trash television.

Others explain their actions, describing the show as “easy-watching”, something to be watched when they feel a need to switch off from the reality of their own lives.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence even reportedly binge-watched the show during breaks while filming her psychological-horror film, Mother.

Now, as the world speculates about 20-year-old Kylie’s pregnancy to her boyfriend of five months, Travis Scott, my social media is righteously awash with anger and fury over the fact that this young woman’s allegedly-leaked pregnancy is overshadowing real-world events – like the dire situation in Rohingya, or the mass shooting incident in Las Vegas.

But I have to ask myself, are journalists partly to blame? Over the past 10 years, news outlets have been quick to jump onto stories about Kim K’s wedding and subsequent divorce from basketball player Kris Humphries, Rob Kardashian’s battle with weight-loss and Bruce Jenner’s transformation. And, many of the fashion pages are often littered with stories about Kendall walking the runway for luxury labels like Chanel, Fendi and Balmain, although I have yet to figure out what makes her any more important than other models, besides the fact she grew up with a trio of Kardashians for sisters. Furthermore, despite reports in Teen Vogue and Business Insider of her cosmetics packages arriving to customers’ doors either empty or filled with live ants, writers and beauty bloggers on social media continue to applaud Kylie’s purported entrepreneurial vision and business acumen.

Everything gets sugar-coated when it comes to this family. And the world, time and time again, falls into the trap, making idols out of these overprivileged and undeserving women.

Far too often, news of Kim’s supposedly “down-to-earth” parenting strategies and Khloe’s apparently empowering body transformation reach my uninterested ears.

And despite their on-screen lifestyles showing stark contrasts to traditional Muslim cultures, there is a shocking Kardashian fan community within the UAE.

During visits by family members to Dubai – and there have been a few in the past year – mobs have quickly formed within shopping malls, and fans hoping to emulate Kim’s appearance have paid upwards of Dh6,000 just for a VIP spot at her make-up masterclass with Mario Dedivanovic, which took place this January.

It’s time we all woke up to what’s really important and start ignoring – if not boycotting, any (non)news concerning the Kardashians. It’s 10 years too late, but better late than never.

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Read more of Hafsa's columns:

The branded-watch culture in the UAE can be bewildering

Give into the lifestyle and hire a cleaner

Since when has splitting the bill been considered a stingy act?

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