There was a time when I thought I loved the Kardashians. Sure they were horrible, in their own overly-tanned, overly-exposed, overly-E! way, but there was something about them. I would blush and hide my face; I would admit that no college educated, intelligent woman should be into this kind of thing; I would try to joke around the subject; but in the end I would admit to it. Yes, I love the Kardashians.
“But, but, but,” I would say. And I would start to list my reasons. I would start to justify my adoration for one of America’s most despised (and most watched) families. And yet when I sat down to write this, it started to dawn on me: Maybe I don’t love the Kardashians at all. Maybe I really hate them. Maybe I have been suffering some sort of reality show stockholm syndrome.
I saw my first Kardashian show on accident while flipping through the channels. It was Khloe and Kourtney Take Miami. I didn’t know anything about these girls — I had a vague idea of Kim’s sex tape with Brandy’s little brother, and their appearances at various pseudo-celebrity laden events, but I really knew next to nothing about them. And yet I found myself drawn in….
I found myself shocked by how… normal they were. They would often berate their mother for spending too much money on something she didn’t need. They would talk about the best way to honor their late-father, and their supportive stepdad. The promos of Khloe and her husband Lamar would look like they were headed toward what, on any other reality show, would be a screaming, stomping, throwing fight, just to have it actually end in a calm and loving discourse about one another’s needs. It wasn’t like other reality TV. It was strangely reflective of real life.
Also, they find their mother as ridiculous as we do. Kris Jenner is craze-balls (to use the medical term). She wrote a memoir in which she opens by talking about how riding through Paris in a Mercedes after a private tour of the Louvre is what she was born to do. She is obsessed with wealth, and wants to flash her money in every way she can. If the whole family were this way, it would be unwatchable, but her children treat her like most of us treat our racist old grandma. We love her so much, but the things she says are better mildly ignored. Her kids ask for smaller sweet 16s, because there are kids out there with less. Discussions of whether things are worth the money, or are a responsible decision occur on a regular basis.
And yet like all of us, as ridiculous as they find their mother or each other, they always value family. They make time for one another, they prioritize each other, and they support one another. Sometimes they fight, sometimes they hurt each other, but the love is always there.
So what was it that turned me from a Kardashian fan, to a Kardashian foe? Kim’s wedding.
I don’t care that she was wed for less time than it takes to find a clean shirt in the morning, or if said marriage was a total farce. I care that her wedding special was the first time I was forced to remove my fake-tan colored glasses and suddenly… I couldn’t stand them. They were treating one another terribly, wasting money on inconsequential bullshit, and acting like horrible brats. I’d never been a fan of Kim, but something about her special day sent the whole family into a dreadful spiral.
Were they always this way? Maybe. It could be that they are getting worse, or that Kim brings out the worst in us all (watch your back, Ye). Perhaps I am growing out of some of my lesser pursuits. Or it may be, like so many victims of reality TV, something just eventually snaps and you realize you’ve had the strength to escape all along. You finally pick yourself up off the couch, having faith that you will someday love something decent. Though considering my history, I wouldn’t have high hopes.
Megan still has Kardashian relapses, but she’s taking things one day at a time