These days, we don't hear a lot of "Who are the Kardashians again?" but we still get plenty of "But why are the Kardashians famous?" And as experienced media professionals (and also usually the "pop culture" friend in our group), it somehow becomes our job to try to explain. But here's the thing — it's not actually that easy. Sure, the fast answer that they want to hear is, "Because Kim Kardashian made a sex tape." But the convo is actually a lot more complicated than that. And it goes a little something like this.
So how did the Kardashians become famous then?
Blah, blah, blah, Kim's sex tape with Ray J, blah blah. But actually, she was kind of famous before that, TBH. She was friends with Paris Hilton and worked as her stylist and you can see her a little bit on The Simple Life even before the Ray J tape. And Kourtney Kardashian was on another reality show first, too, called Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive which was basically like The Simple Life but with a bunch of rich celebrities' kids. Because let's be honest, that's how they really got their start. Their step-dad was Caitlyn Jenner, a gold-medal winning Olympian who broke a world record, and their dad is Robert Kardashian who was a public figure after he was one of O.J. Simpson's lawyers. Like, reality show or no reality show, they still would've ended up as characters in that Ryan Murphy show about O.J..
Wait, isn't O.J. Simpson supposed to actually be Khloé's dad or whatever?
Yeah, yeah, there's a lot of rumors about that. Kris Jenner said no, but like, who knows. It doesn't matter. I mean, maybe it does, I don't know. But the point is, they were going to be semi-public figures either way. Like, the whole reason that Kim and Ray J met was because she was also working as a stylist for Brandy, so she was on her way. That's the whole reason why the sex tape was even relevant.
Okay, but the only reason they even got that show was because of it.
Maybe! And if that's true, good for them! If Kim and her mom could take a terrible situation where a sex tape was (maybe) leaked without her consent (unless Kris did it) and settle with the distributor company for millions of dollars and then also spin it into the beginnings of their Keeping up with the Kardashians empire to earn even more millions, like, they're the GOATS. That's a baller move! They should be famous for their business sense or whatever.
Whatever. They're just famous for being famous anyway.
Fake news!!! They're famous for like a million different reasons at this point. I'm not joking when I call KUWTK a whole-a-- empire. It's not just a show anymore, obviously, ignoring the fact that it's like the longest running reality show ever or the fact that it has set records for E!, which also hosts like major red carpets for award shows. Also, Kim doesn't just star on the show, she and her mom and Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian all executive produce it. Kim also has her game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, her Kimojis, and her official app. Actually, basically every single one of them has an app now full of exclusive content that is super successful. And now her KKW Beauty makeup line and fragrances and all that stuff that they spun off of Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics is taking off, too.
So shouldn't Kylie be getting all the credit then?
Um, no. Kylie and Kendall Jenner were just tiny little babies when Kim started KUWTK. KUWTK basically invented who they turned out to be today. But yeah, Kylie fully pulled a Kim and spun her media attention into her own reality show, Life of Kylie. (Although, like, is that even getting a second season at this point? Probably not any time soon if she's having a baby. Unless they've been secretly filming everything for the second season. But probably it's just a dud.) And though she's not the original beauty innovator in the fam, she was the first to start her own actual makeup company.
But Kylie's whole face is just like plastic surgery anyway. She should start a line of lip fillers instead.
She should! That's a brilliant idea! But I mean, realistically, they've probably all had some plastic surgery. They also have like super naturally adorable children, so who knows. Maybe they just know how to do a great glow-up. Kendall looks basically the same as she always has, except now she contours her nose with a very firm hand and also has eyebrows. That's another thing that Kim made mainstream — contouring.
Whatever. Kim didn't invent contouring.
You have to admit that she made it iconic, though. Almost as iconic as Kourtney's, "Kim, there's people that are dying," line from when the diamond earring got lost in the ocean. All of the Kardashian fame was worth it for that moment of pop culture history alone. But also, they've done some real stuff with their show like bring attention to the Armenian Genocide, raise money for homeless shelters, start conversations around pregnancy shaming and infertility and stuff, etc. All that.
Okay, but is Kylie pregnant or not?
Yes. Probably. I mean, almost definitely. I just feel like if she wasn't, we definitely would know by now. The Khloé pregnancy news broke at basically the same time and she's now confirmed it, so I'm gonna say yeah. But also, the theories that she's actually just Kim's surrogate are also not entirely unconvincing, you know? So like she could be pregnant without being a mom. But I think she's just normal pregnant, personally. Poor Kendall. She's the only one who's not going to be a mom. She must feel kind of left out. But at least she has her modeling career.
It's BS that Kendall is a model. She's just skinny and tall.
I mean, yeah. Lots of people give her s--t on Twitter about how none of her spreads would even win her a challenge on America's Next Top Model or whatever. But if she's getting work, then like, good for her. All the biggest models right now are reality stars or reality-adjacent anyway, like Gigi and Bella.
Fine. Reality stars are taking over all the industries. Are you happy?
Uh, yeah. And, BTW, who do you think sparked that movement? None other than Keeks herself. But let's not pretend that her real crowning accomplishment isn't just starring in Fall Out Boy's "Thnks fr th Mmrs."
Are we done here?
No. You haven't mentioned anything about Rob Kardashian once.
Oh. Oops. Well, whatever. Once you're off Instagram, you're basically irrelevant anyway. Bye, Rob.