A look into the infamous family’s influence
Let’s take a peek into one of America’s most well-known families, the family that has graced our televisions for 14 years and 20 seasons, the family that always knows how to steal the spotlight, the family who went from Calabasas middle-class to having wealth that expands all over Calabasas and Hidden Hills: The Kardashian-Jenner clan.
With most family members having at least 100 million followers on Instagram, the Kardashian-Jenner family is easily one of the most influential and powerful families in the world. The family boasts seven members, in descending order by age: Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Rob, Kendall and Kylie, with Kris Jenner acting as “momager”—both mom and career manager for the six of them.
Despite being called the family with “no talent” by Barbara Walters in 2011, the Kardashian-Jenners have created a media empire that few could rival.
Up first is Khloe Kardashian’s Good American clothing line, which lands her a rumored, easy $3.6 million a year. There is Kourtney Kardashian, who has a booming lifestyle brand Poosh—think Gwenth Paltrow’s Goop but more affordable and realistic. Then, there is Kendall Jenner, who was touted as the highest paid model in the world in 2018 and is the creator of the tequila brand 818.
Then there are the last two Kardashian-Jenner titans—Kim and Kylie. Kylie Jenner has a reported net worth of $700 million and was given the title of the “youngest billionaire” in 2019 by Forbes, mainly due to her earnings from her company Kylie Cosmetics.
Finally, there is Kim Kardashian-West, the woman known for her curves, the 72-day marriage, the “ugly crying” face, her breakdown over $75,000 diamond earrings that were lost in the crystal clear waters of Bora Bora and helping launch her whole family into an incredible amount of success and stardom.
Kardashian-West’s repertoire of ventures includes her popular mobile app game “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” which has over 45 million downloads, her fragrance line KKW Fragrance, her beauty line KKW Beauty and finally her shapewear line, Skims. Kardashian-West is an entrepreneur, a businesswoman and someone who knows how to milk every single opportunity and platform. She is even an aspiring lawyer who has become a powerhouse figure in the fight for criminal justice reform.
Not only that, but this trend-setting family gave us these iconic, Gen Z-defining moments: the quote, “You’re the least interesting to look at”—from when Kardashian-West dissed Kourtney for being uncompromising with their Christmas holiday photo shoot schedule, the cat-fight brawl between Kim and Kourtney—a personal favorite, “Kim, there’s people that are dying” and finally the catchphrase that everyone uses when they are having an Instagram photoshoot: “You’re doing amazing, sweetie,” which Kris Jenner so iconically says to Kim Kardashian-West when she posed mostly nude for a Playboy shoot.
Then there is the golden ticket that put the Kardashian-Jenners on the reality TV show map—”Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” The show first aired in 2007 when the Kardashain-Jenner family had just begun their take-over of Calabasas, and it has propelled each of the Kardashian-Jenners’ careers from regular, privileged rich people to one of the most well-known families that fuels American popular culture and media. In addition, the series is the major generator of E! Network’s ad impressions where 2020 alone saw five billion impressions generated by some form of viewing the show.
After 14 years of having their whole lives broadcasted for millions of viewers, a reported $150 million filming deal from 2017 through 2020, a plethora of meme-worthy moments and too many spin-off shows to count, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” will air its last season in 2021.
However, there are major criticisms of the Kardashian-Jenners, from not admitting to using lip fillers to being blamed for creating unrealistic and unsustainable body image standards for women to sometimes having poor takes on major political and social issues, like Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad and her tequila brand’s exploitative nature. There is also the denial of plastic and cosmetic procedures being considered culture appropriators and taking tropical vacations during a pandemic. The famous family is not above critique, controversy or accountability.
At the end of the day, whether you’re a fan, a hater or indifferent to the Kardashian-Jenner family, there is no way to escape their faces, their many companies and products and their names in the headlines. It is difficult to deny that this family has changed the world of media.