14 4 / 2012
12 3 / 2012
The Kardashian women are a reverberating theme in both popular culture and feminist discussion. Though they are a largely contested topic, I personally have an endearing admiration for each and every one of them. Watching their show every week is not only a secret indulgence of mine, but a source of great inspiration. In my heart of hearts, and somewhat educated opinion, I absolutely maintain that they are excellent role models for women of all ages.
First off, the Kardashians have an amazing appreciation for their family, which they demonstrate continuously. Through the hard times and the easy, the sisters share an irrevocable bond and seem to be each other’s biggest support system. Sibling rivalry is inevitable, but no matter how large the disputes they encounter, they are still unfailingly there for each other. And for Rob. Every week, as they meet with the rest of their family for family supper, they continue to demonstrate the high priority and value they place on family. This is refreshing to watch, as this value seems to be all but lost in our modern, fast-paced society. It is encouraging to see that no matter how busy these ladies may be, they routinely make time for family. Furthermore, their non-traditional, blended family is an inspiration for me, especially because I belong to such a family. The Kardashian women consistently express great love for their family, and show that family is a matter of the heart.
Khloe, Kourtney, and Kim have largely gained notoriety for their relationships, but while the media tries to portray them as increasingly volatile, there are great lessons to be taken from each. Married to Lamar Odom, Khloe has never been afraid to follow her heart despite pressure and cautionary tales from her family. However, this is not a tale of rebellion; it is a matter of personal integrity. She has always been a free-willed and independent character, and her relationship with Lamar shows this: they follow no one’s rules but their own. Kourtney has also taken a non-traditional route to relationships. Committed long-term to Scott Disick, she is now pregnant with their second child while the pair remain unmarried. Their unconventional approach sends an inspiring message that each relationship is unique, and following society’s conventions is not a prerequisite to a successful relationship. Her devotion to Scott during his addiction and recovery is an especially poignant demonstration of how love can be a struggle, but gains strength from such tribulations. Lastly, there is Kim. While she does not necessarily have the most admirable reputation when it comes to relationships, one thing is true: she wears her heart on her sleeve. She is not afraid to make herself vulnerable for love, and there is some merit to be found in that. Each Kardashian sister displays different aspects of the intricacies of relationships, and they prove that successful relationships do not need to meet any one model.
Contrary to popular opinion, the girls have also done an amazing job as business women. Undoubtedly, they did receive an extreme leg-up coming from a wealthy family. However, they have worked hard to build and maintain an empire for themselves. One of the comments I have repeatedly heard is that they do not do any of this themselves, but rather, “they have people.” The latter statement I agree with, the former not so much. Yes, they have staff- this is part of running a business- a single person cannot run an entire franchise. Furthermore, I have never heard this comment about any successful businessmen, which is a whole other issue in and of itself. These women work hard, and their show constantly demonstrates this; it also demonstrates the strain it puts on their personal lives, which is a pressing issue for any working individual. The hard work ethic the Kardashian women maintain and the balance they find between work, play and family, is an incredible precedent for other women.
Lastly, the Kardashian women stand as wonderful physical role models. Each has a unique body type, and they all practice healthy habits. What stands out to me the most is their enjoyment of food on a social level. As Naomi Woolf explicitly elaborates on in The Beauty Myth, diet culture in today’s society has created an environment that nearly forbids women from enjoyin food. The Kardashian women break this cycle, never restricting themselves to unrealistic diets and always indulging in seemingly divine cuisine. Likewise, they follow beneficial fitness regimes and promote active lifestyles. Together, the sisters promote healthy lifestyles and healthy body image which is a positive message for everyone to be hearing.
Haters gunna hate, but I am keeping up with the Kardashians and am impressed. The women’s powerful connection with their family, honest relationships, successful businesses, and healthy lifestyles are profoundly inspiring to me, and should be for others as well.