These days, you will never hear: “Who are the Kardashians again?” However, there is still plenty of, “But why are the Kardashians famous?” The weird part is, it’s not actually *that* easy to explain. Sure, the fast answer that they want to hear is, “Because Kim Kardashian made a sex tape.” But the conversation 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 best friends with Paris Hilton and worked as her stylist. You can even see her a little bit on The Simple Life before the Ray J tape.

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 celebrity kids. Let’s be honest, that’s how they really got their start. Their stepdad was Caitlyn Jenner, a gold-medal-winning Olympian who broke a world record. Their dad is Robert Kardashian, who was a public figure after he was one of O.J. Simpson‘s lawyers. 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?

There are a lot of rumors about that. Kris Jenner has vehemently denied those accusations. It doesn’t matter, they were going to be semi-public figures either way. The whole reason that Kim and Ray J even met was because the KKW Beauty founder was also working as a stylist for Brandy, so she was on her way. That’s the whole reason why the sex tape was relevant.

how did kardashians become famous

OK, but the only reason they landed KUWTK 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 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 — they’re the GOATS. That’s a baller move. They should be famous for their business sense. Of course, there are rumors that Kris was the one who leaked the now-infamous video, but we’ll let you be the judge of that.

Whatever. They’re just famous for being famous anyway.

Not true! They’re famous for a million different reasons at this point. I’m not joking when I call KUWTK a whole empire. It’s not just a show anymore. It’s one of the longest-running reality shows ever, and it has set records for E!, which also hosts major red carpets for award shows. Also, Kim doesn’t just star on the show, she, Kris, Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian all executive produce it. Kim also has her game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and Kimojis — not including her other companies KKW Beauty, KKW Fragrance, Skims and more.

Actually, basically every single one of them has a company all their own. Kylie Jenner‘s Kylie Cosmetics made the youngest Kar-Jenner a billionaire at one point, Khloé has her Good American apparel company and Kourtney launched lifestyle site Poosh in 2019.

kylie jenner famous

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 — the reality show 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 she’s not the original beauty innovator in the fam, she was the first to start her own actual makeup company.

How do they all look so gorgeous?

Realistically, they’ve probably all had some form plastic surgery or fillers. They do have 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 distinct eyebrows. Oh, that’s another thing that Kim made mainstream — contouring.

kim kardashian famous

Well, Kim didn’t invent contouring.

You have to admit that she made it iconic, though. Almost as iconic as Kourtney’s, “Kim, there are people that are dying,” line from when the diamond earring got lost in the ocean. KKW Beauty launched a collection of easy to use contour sticks that fans love. All of the Kardashian fame was worth it for that moment of pop culture history alone.

Also, they’ve done some real humanitarian work, like bring attention to the Armenian Genocide, raise money for homeless shelters, start conversations around pregnancy shaming and infertility.

Kendall started modeling so young.

I mean, yeah. Lots of haters used to 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. People are eating their words these days since she’s now the highest-paid model in the world. Go, girl!

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?