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The “Kardashian Klan” rose to fame in 2007 with their namesake reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Eight seasons and three spin off series later [Kourney and Khloe Take Miami (2009); Kourtney and Kim Take New York (2011); Khloe and Lamar (2011)], people across the globe find themselves loving, hating or completely ambivalent towards this modern day Brady Bunch.

Identifying with the first category, I am a self-proclaimed Kardashian sister. From religiously watching their shows, to correcting anyone who believes inaccurate information about them, to purchasing a variety of their beauty products, books and DVDs, I am a supporter of the Kardashian brand. And I’m going to explain why.
Kardashian clan
I LOVE romance, I love fun, and I love romantic movies, and in my opinion the Kardashians are one big romantic comedy. Even in the midst of their emotion-filled dramas and scandalous fights, there are always elements of pure love for one another. In addition to that, each member of the family has their own unique love story. Following any Kardashian show is like opening a surprise box of chocolates because every time you tune in, you never know whose relationship you’re going to get more details about next.

The most recent season of Kourtney and Kim Take Miami outlined Kim’s blooming relationship with rapper and fashion icon, Kanye West. Despite busy schedules (the reason for the demise of her relationship with NFL star Reggie Bush in 2010), Kim and Kanye have been finding small moments of time  to squeeze each other into their hectic yet lavish lifestyles. I’d say they’ve been pretty effective considering the show Season Finale revealed that the couple are expecting a baby!
Kim and Kaney
At first, I was skeptical as to whether or not their relationship was a publicity stunt. Even I can admit that Kim’s love life credibility had been lost once she filed for divorce merely 72 days and 2 E! Channel wedding specials after marrying NBA player Kris Humphries. But because of the show I was able to see that they actually have a lot of things in common, such as having lost a parent and each of their passion for fashion. With Kim’s divorce being finalized just days ago on April 19th, about a year and half after she initially filed, I am curious to see how things are going to play out for KimYe (as they are now being called)!

The show’s most recent season also updated us on Kourtney’s growing family, after welcoming her second child with baby daddy Scott Disick. Her reluctance to formally settle down with Scott was still evident however, but why she is so hesitant to consider marriage is for the viewers to decide. I believe that since Kourtney was the oldest when her mother and father divorced, she was the one who best understood what was happening. I think her seeing how quickly her parents went from being in love to being divorced made her very critical of the institution of marriage and the emphasis society places on it. On the other hand, I admire her decision to self-define what family means instead of conforming to an “ideal” definition.
Kourtney and Family
Still, I believe that by not having some type of formal commitment, Kourtney puts Scott in an awkward position. He’s not officially a part of the family since they aren’t married and also, they have a rocky on-again, off-again relationship. But he also isn’t a stranger to the family, since he is the father of the two newest members of the brood. Only time will tell how their relationship will evolve and I plan to tune in and watch.  

I love the fact that by following this series I can see how each member of the family has grown over time, because each of them prides themselves on being transparent with their assortment of issues. For Kim, this included clarifying the surprise surfacing of her shocking sex tape with then-boyfriend Ray J Norwood. Other private issues the family has chosen to divulge to the world include the death of family patriarch Robert Kardashian from esophageal cancer, Khloe’s weight and pregnancy concerns and Rob’s lack of direction in life. While some might assume these are just story lines fabricated to increase ratings, I believe what I hear and see. Their candidness opens doors for people to hate them, but also allows millions of viewers including myself, to relate to them in many ways.
Kris Jenner and daughters
While most criticize “momager” Kris Jenner for constantly exploiting her children, I see her differently. I think she is a great mother who has dedicated her life to making sure her now-grown kids are happy. In one episode, when Kris felt unappreciated by Kim, she gave out her daughter’s personal cell phone number to potential clients, forcing Kim to manage herself. The ploy worked, because after maintaining her own schedule for a few days, Kim realized how much work it actually took and apologized to her mom. This episode made me appreciate my mom for all of the things that she does on my behalf that I don’t notice.

I love the relationship Kris has with her daughters. I respect the fact that they have open lines of communication and can truly talk about ANYTHING with each other. Sometimes, I find the way they speak to their mom disrespectful and would never emulate that in my life; however I still admire their frankness. It was because of this honesty that Kris could convince Khloe that Bruce walking her down the aisle at her wedding would not be disrespectful to her late father. Their open communication also allowed Khloe to publicly disapprove of Kris wanting to change her last name back to Kardashian, once the family’s celebrity status began to explode.

Rob KardashianMost of the people who abhor the Kardashians state “they are famous for being famous” insinuating there are no good grounds for them to be in the spotlight, and don’t deserve the public platform they have been given for these last 6 years. I disagree. While we can all acknowledge that they are lucky to have been born into a rich, blessed, privileged or whatever you prefer to call it, lifestyle, I believe that they do work hard for the notoriety they have received. Whether it’s sharing their personal lives with the E! Network cameras, opening DASH stores in California, Florida and New York or launching their own fashion lines at major department stores like Kohl’s and Sears, these ladies have a unique work ethic that was instilled in them by their hard-working, defense attorney father.

It saddens me that brother Rob hasn’t achieved the same level of success as his sisters. In some ways, I feel as if he has fallen through the cracks in his mother’s radar. She can help Kourtney, Kim and Khloe with scheduling their appearances and aiding in their business ventures. She even can help the little Jenner sisters, Kendall and Kylie with their modeling careers, clothing lines and Seventeen Magazine jobs. But for some reason, Rob hasn’t been able to find his niche and his mother hasn’t been of much help. It seems ever since his split with former 3LW singer and Cheetah Girl actress Adrienne Bailon, he hasn’t had the same drive. Throughout most of the KUWTK seasons, Rob is seen mooching off of his sisters money and bumming around with their boyfriends and husbands, and in several episodes he goes so far as to state how he wishes his dad were there to help him out. It seems most unfortunate that Rob feels like he has no direction without his father. Luckily though, things have been going better for him, and currently his time is dedicated to developing his high end sock line Arthur George which is available exclusively at Neiman Marcus.

Khloe KardashianThe person I relate to the most would have to be Khloe. Our personalities are similar in that we both are brutally honest, and don’t really care what other people think. I admire her for being the strong sister despite her being the youngest in age and I hate that she is always being criticized about something. At first she was picked on for being the “fat, ugly” sister. Then, she was criticized for not being able to keep a man. And even after she did find a man who even put a ring on her finger, critics doubted that her marriage to NBA star Lamar Odom would last. Now, having been married for 3 ½ years, people have the nerve to bash her for not being able to conceive. And to add insult to injury, the issue of whether or not the late Robert Kardashian is her biological father has become a world-wide discussion, after Kris published a memoir in which she admitting to cheating on him while they were married.

Despite all of these things, Khloe has never let the haters bring her down. She remains a beautiful and strong young woman, who in a lot of ways holds her family together. From letting Rob live with her and teaching him how to be financially responsible, to leaving him for a few months to aid Kourtney with getting the Dash- Miami store back on its feet, whenever family calls, Khloe is the one always there to answer.

In my opinion, the Kardashians are the perfect example of a hilariously dysfunctional family. Although they are most commonly associated with sex tapes, out of wedlock pregnancies and other inappropriate behavior, elements of good values can still be found amongst them, and I appreciate them for using their celebrity status to do positive things in society.  
Kardashian girls
In 2008, Khloe teamed up with PETA and posed nude for their “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign, which promoted awareness about the mistreatment of animals. Little sister Kendall Jenner insisted that all of the gifts she received at her Sweet 16 birthday party be donated to charity, because she already had everything she wanted. At the end of the day, despite the money and the fame, the Kardashians are just regular people who go through real-life situations, and I truly enjoy watching as they navigate through life’s many ups and downs.

If you are interested in “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” DO NOT MISS  the SEASON 8 premiere on June 2nd at 9pm ET on the E! Network.

 

 

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 146 - December 4592
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