Our obsession with the world of entertainment is an ever-growing monster. Popular Culture has escalated rapidly in the past decade. Until the past decade, people rose to success through drive and talent. But that isn’t the case these days, is it? There are still the ever-present actors and musicians, but there has arisen a new type of celebrity: the reality star. These combined genres of celebrities have opened the door for us to enter our worlds, while in turn we escape our own.
When thinking about who the leader of this entertainment world is, a couple came to mind: Kimye. The trendy name mash is the title for Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian-West. Love them or hate them, you cannot escape their designer clad grasps. You’ve seen Kim and her moody behavior on her show Keeping Up With The Kardashians and know of Kanye’s influence on rap culture and his physical attacks on cameramen. But what makes them stand out? That’s the 195 million dollar question.
Kanye West got his start in the late 1990’s as a ghost producer and rapping with the group The Go-Getters. His big break was in 2000 when he began working for artists at Roc-A-Fella Records. During his time there, he worked with Jay-Z on his album “The Blueprint” and is known for revitalizing Z’s career. He began working on his own album that was leaked months before its release date. To save the album from flopping, he remastered the songs by adding soulful touches, string instruments and gospel choirs. His perfectionism shined through and it shot to number two on the Billboard 200. Since then, West has released many albums written about his life with a great variety of instruments. He has also made attempts to become a high fashion designer. But, the majority of his fame stems from the music no other artist can recreate.
Kim Kardashian is the daughter of the late defense lawyer Robert Kardashian, who famously worked in the OJ Simpson Trial. Although Kim grew up in a prominent family in Beverly Hills with other socialites like Paris Hilton and Nichole Richie (she even worked as Nichole and Paris’s assistant back in the day), she didn’t rise to fame until a sex-tape with her boyfriend Ray-J (musician) was leaked. Kim became an entertainment magnet with her famous rear-end in tow. In 2007 Keeping Up With The Kardashians, a series following her large and loud family aired on E!. Since then, Kim has become a household name with cosmetic and fast fashion lines, endorsing products (Hydroxycut, Sketchers and Midori Alcohol) as well as gracing the covers of entertainment magazines all throughout the land.
But what makes these two celebrities special? Kanye’s musical success has created him a net worth of $130 million through music sales, tours and everything in-between. His reality star wife has accumulated a net worth of $65 million dollars.
Kim is famous for being in the public eye, cameras from E! as well as paparazzi follow her every move to the extent of the viewers even know she has a framed photo of her sisters mug shot in her living room. She has made her relationships with family, friends and husband(s) information accessible to anyone with Internet access or a television. But why would someone so public marry a man like Kanye who has attacked paparazzi on multiple occasions while saying things like “Don’t talk to me! Don’t ever talk to me!” and slamming their cameras on the ground? Well, according to Kanye himself on Jimmy Kimmel, his distaste for the media is reasonable:
“The way paparazzi talk to me and my family is disrespectful. We bring something of joy to the world. When people hear my music, they have a good time. And I should be respected as such when I walk down the street. Don’t try to antagonize me. Because you know what, it’s not safe for you in this zoo. Never think that I’m not from Chicago for one second. And think you can walk up and disrespect me and my family constantly… Most people just bow down to TV or these cameras. I couldn’t care less about these cameras, I care about my family, I care about protecting my girl, protecting my baby, and protecting my ideas and dreams.”
This quote runs true. Although his wife is featured on every episode of KUWTK, almost every episode of TMZ and at least twice a day is posted about on E! Online, doesn’t mean he wants that life for his daughter North West. He has famously stood his ground on not allowing North to appear on her mothers show, even though they all live in the same home where most the show is filmed. And up until recently, posting images of the toddler online was completely off limits. Kanye has even said in the past to TMZ that he worries about drones equipped with cameras following his daughter and harming her.
“Wouldn’t you like to just teach your daughter how to swim without a drone flying? What happens if a drone falls right next to her? Would it electrocute her? Could it fall and hit her if that paparazzi doesn’t understand how to remote control the drone over their house?”
The tides are changing though, not everything stays popular for long periods of time. When Kim and Kanye appeared on the April 2014 cover of Vogue, backlash hit the magazine. People all over were claiming it was the “death of Vogue” and were all over twitter announcing their canceled subscriptions. The same day, Vogue Editor Anna Wintour released a statement saying, “Part of the pleasure of editing Vogue, one that lies in a long tradition of this magazine, is being able to feature those who define the culture at any given moment, who stir things up, whose presence in the world shapes the way it looks and influences the way we see it.”
Fashion Public Relations guru and CEO of Peoples Revolution Kelly Cutrone made a shot at the cover during an interview with The Huffington Post. “He’s really arrogant… So is Kanye West important in the fashion world? Maybe to Kanye,” she said. “Anna Wintour can put him on the cover of Vogue all day long but is she front row at his fashion show? N to the O, which means no in fashion.”
Sooner than later there will be someone more famous than Kim Kardashian, maybe even one of her younger sisters. Like other artists in the past, a young musician is going to dethrone Kanye. That’s how the industry works. So what’s the difference? We have never seen a reality star at Kim Kardashians level fall from graces. Let alone the majority of the “Kardashian Klan.” But, from the streams of comments on articles pertaining to Kim Kardasian online, the end is near. The couple received a lot of heat in the past two weeks due to Kanye Wests birthday gift to Kim; He had their daughter finger-paint on a Hermes handbag.
The thing is, every week people tune into Keeping Up With The Kardashians and every time Kanye West releases an album, it skyrockets to success. Why? I believe it is to escape reality. When the economy is down and people are hurting, they turn to things to take their minds off their issues. Just like how we turned to movies during the Great Depression. They live in this alternative reality where they can be a part of the Kardashian family antics or listen to Kanye rap about cars, designer clothes and power. But at the end of the day we as consumers know that without us, celebrities would be nobodies. I think many celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have forgotten that fact.