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The Legacy of Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Taking the world by storm


Keeping Up with the Kardashians took the world by storm and captured the hearts of many, including mine, as it has become my all-time favorite guilty pleasure. Unfortunately, after 14 long years, the most famous family in the world decided to close this chapter of their lives. However, with every end comes a new beginning as the Kardashians announced that they will have a new show entitled The Kardashians. Their family undoubtedly changed society with their fame and tremendous influence, but in what specific ways did they impact the world we live in today? Okurrrrr, let’s begin!


Beauty


Let’s be real, the whole family looks like they are on a red carpet 24/7. They changed the world of fashion and beauty and even built business empires in the same industry, but was it for better or worse?


The most well-known physical features of the family are Kim’s curvy figure, Kendall’s gorgeous fox eyes, and Kylie’s signature luscious lips. While the family denies they got certain plastic surgery procedures, they documented and opened up about the process of getting some done during the duration of their show: Kourtney’s breast augmentation, Kylie’s lip fillers, Khloe’s rhinoplasty, Kim’s botox procedure, and Kris’s face lift.


During the rise of their fame, interest in butt enhancement procedures such as Brazilian Butt Lifts (BBL) rose by 34% while interest in butt implants rose by 100%. On the other hand, after Kylie Jenner announced that she got lip fillers, interest in lip augmentation increased by 43%, and interest in lip fillers skyrocketed as it went up by 3233%.


However, according to the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation, the BBL has a highest fatality rate of 1 in 3,448, which alarmed the medical industry. Dr. Anthony Youn and Dr. Daniel Barrett, plastic surgeons in the United States, shared that people come into their clinics because they want to achieve a “Kardashian-esque” look. They noted that while the family normalized plastic surgery, younger individuals go to them to get surgeries they do not need just to look like a Kardashian and fit into the beauty standards of society.

While the family is accused of promoting unattainable beauty standards as they promoted and popularized having big buttocks and breasts while having an incredibly small waist, they created a new standard of beauty that is outside the common Eurocentric ideal. They empowered people of color and made others realize that they do not need blonde hair, white skin, blue eyes, and a slim physique to be beautiful.


Raising awareness


The Kardashians have used their significant platform to shed light on taboo topics. Throughout the duration of the show, they have been honest about their struggles with mental health as members of the family battled depression, anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder. Khloe and Kim even opened up about their struggles with infertility and their experience pregnancy complications. They helped normalize surrogacy, IVF (in vitro fertilization), and egg freezing which helped people around the world know the options available for them when they struggle to conceive just like the Kardashian sisters. Their audience appreciates their honesty when it comes to dealing with such issues and how they gave help to others who are experiencing the same thing. The Kardashians showed that even such taboo issues are very much real in the world we live in today.


Moreover, Kim Kardashian used her influence to fight for justice and improve prison reform in America. She is following her father’s footsteps, Robert Kardashian, who is known for being the defense attorney of OJ Simpson in his infamous murder trial as Kim is currently studying to become a lawyer. She helped wrongfully convicted individuals get out of jail by working with President Trump and utilizing her platform to ask for the support of her millions of followers.


Controversy


Their great fame also came with a fair share of controversies from divorces, insensitive comments, cheating scandals, and more. Perhaps one of their latest ones was during a Variety interview where Kim shared that the best advice for women in the business is to get up and work. She added that, “It seems like nobody wants to work these days,” while her two sisters agreed. People called her statement insensitive and rude especially to individuals in poverty who are working hard everyday to provide for their families. Her advice seemed tone-deaf to others considering the fact that they grew up privileged.


Legacy


Over the past 10 years, they have done some good and bad. Although they should be held responsible for their actions with the influence and power they hold in society, we should remember that just like every person on this planet. No one is perfect and they are human beings just like us.


 

References


Adegoke, Y. (2019, June 7). Kim Kardashian has changed the face of beauty — and that’s not a good thing. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@yomiadegoke/kim-kardashian-has-changed-the-face-of-beauty-and-thats-not-a-good-thing-9e8926fe11f7


Harris, E. A. (2020, April 2). Inside Kim Kardashian’s Prison-Reform Machine. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/arts/television/kim-kardashian-prison-reform.html


Heller, C. (2019, December 14). Kim Kardashian opens up about IVF and undergoing 5 operations after pregnancy with Saint. Retrieved from https://www.eonline.com/news/1102531/kim-kardashian-opens-up-about-ivf-and-undergoing-5-operations-after-pregnancy-with-saint#:~:text=Kim%20Kardashian%20suffered%20from%20preeclampsia,operations%20to%20fix%20internal%20damage


Kindon, F. (2021, March 22). Khloe Kardashian's fertility fight - frozen eggs, failed IVF and 'fake tries' with Lamar. Mirror. Retrieved from https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/khloe-kardashians-fertility-fight-frozen-23753790


Roundtree, C. (2021, June 11). How the Kardashians changed the face of plastic surgery. Retrieved from https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-the-kardashians-changed-the-face-of-plastic-surgery


Tijerina, J. D., Morrison, S. D., Nolan, I. T., Parham, M. J., Richardson, M. T., & Nazerali, R. (2019). Celebrity Influence Affecting Public Interest in Plastic Surgery Procedures: Google Trends Analysis. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31392394/


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