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Why the Kardashian Empire Won’t Last Forever

If you didn’t know them from “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” then you’ve certainly learned about the Kardashian family one way or another, whether it be through media scandals or the launch of a new beauty brand, or perhaps the release of a new mobile game. Even the name “Kardashian” has become eponymous with inescapable fame, the kind that permeates every corner of pop culture and becomes a reference within itself. The Kardashians have molded so many of our current trends that it’s hard to imagine what pop culture would be like without their influence–but I think that time may be closer than we realize.

What always begins as a novelty eventually turns into a worn-out commodity, and I don’t think the Kardashians are any exception (hello, Kylie Jenner’s failure to trademark “Kylie”). Since the family’s rise to fame, every move on their part has been a financial calculation. KUWTK was a hit for a while after its release but lost a staggering amount of viewers as it headed toward its 2021 series finale. Stories of the Kardashians’ relationships trend for a day or two before fizzling out. Kylie’s famous lip kits, once a must-have, now sit in millions of dusty drawers. Their companies–which span everything from tech and fashion to food and alcohol–make for good money on their end, but at the end of the day, much of their products’ merit only comes from the name attached to them. It’s just not new or innovative anymore. We have to face it: the Kardashians are not immortal, and their empire’s foundations have begun to weaken.

Matriarch Kris Jenner is behind much of this orchestration. In fact, rapper Ray J recently revealed that his infamous sex tape with Kim K was all part of a deliberate scheme concocted by her mother. Kris had drafted a contract for three sex tapes to be “leaked,” all featuring Kim and Ray J–even despite previous claims from the family that it was an accidental breach of Kim’s privacy. Kris’s manufacturing of events is also highly evident in KUWTK; if it means more attention for her brood, she is more than willing to sell a good story to the press. Her daughters have also garnered a healthy dose of publicity for their relationships and product launches, but so much of it is just layered in artifice. Remember those claims of the Kardashians stealing ideas from lesser-known fashion designers? Or those faulty Kylie lip kit products? Relationship scandals that result in nothing but Twitter memes? Should things keep going in the direction they are, I predict that the empire will have an earlier demise than expected.


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