Keeping Up with the Guilty Pleasures

Edited by: Yashasvi Arunkumar (UG 20)

We all have those weird habits that we adopt over time. They’re not always approved by society; like drinking coffee only after midnight, or having shots every Thursday. But they’re secret things we take joy in: they’re our guilty pleasures.

My guilty pleasure doesn’t involve substances, but it involves the internet, so you just know it’s going to be great:

I obsessively read up on the Kardashians.

For those of you who are like my younger self, and don’t know who the Kardashians are, here’s a summary: they’re famous for being famous (there’s also a sex video involved, but I won’t get into that). They have their own reality show, and have made a brand out of their name. The most famous of the lot is Kim (who was the star of the aforementioned video). Chances are you’ve probably heard of her.

 

I’m not sure how the Kardashians piqued my interest (was it BuzzFeed? It was probably BuzzFeed). I’m not so far gone that I watch their reality show(s), but I’ve found myself actively checking out articles on them. I’ve read way too much about the plastic surgery, all the recent pregnancies, the ‘self-made’ controversy, and of course, the entire cheating story that’s recently popped up everywhere on social media. I have—and I really don’t know why I’m admitting this—searched the word ‘Kardashian’ on various sites, just to find out more about the clan members’ lives. Here's the proof that I've actually done this weird thing:

I should also clear this up: I’m not a fan of the Kardashians. I’ve seen and hated their evangelizing of plastic surgery and dangerous weight-loss products. Moreover, as someone who hates the idea that the only way to be ‘modern’ and ‘powerful’ is through revealing your body, their constant near-nudity puts me off (though I respect their choices). But let me clarify that what I do isn’t hate-reading, the way some people might read about their lives. I genuinely find them really interesting.

What fascinates me is the way an entire family spends their whole lives in the spotlight. Cameras follow them everywhere, and have practically been a second classroom for younger members of the clan. I recently watched a short clip where the sisters find out about the cheating incident, and when I finished, I genuinely wasn’t sure how much of their reactions were genuine, and how much of it was out of an awareness of the multiple cameras around them, recording every movement, response, and emotion. How do you find a balance? We’ve heard so much about reality stars exaggerating emotions for the camera, but when you do it so much, how do you react when something so genuine happens? Does this kind of constant scrutiny from a young age have an impact on your emotions and behaviour? I’m not an expert, but from my limited knowledge, I suspect it would.

But while I am curious about the psyche of the Kardashian clan and how the cameras affect it, sometimes I just enjoy watching the drama and gossip. It’s fun to see what they get up to next, and whether or not the internet will pounce on them for that. From their clothing choices to their out-of-place tweets, it’s fascinating to keep up with the Kardashians, even if I don’t really like them.

I should get going now, Kim says she wants to become a lawyer, and I’ve got to find out what’s happening.