There was the fall of the Roman Empire, and the end of the middle ages; now, we say goodbye to another era—Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
On September 8, 2020, Kim Kardashian announced that after what will be 14 years, 20 seasons, 100s of episodes and several spin-off shows, season 21 would be the final season of the franchise. It should honestly be a public holiday.
The recently released trailer for the final season has given us a taste of what to expect and we did not expect anything less from our favourite family. We will watch the Kardashian/Jenner clan enter new chapters of their lives, and some, resurrecting old ones. Khloe Kardashian had the public in a frenzy, with them questioning her decision to take back her ex-boyfriend and father of her child, Tristan Thompson, who had cheated on her…publicly (…twice). One of the times was even with her younger sister’s best friend. The trailer also promised more Kendall and Kylie cameos, and we will definitely drink to that. As for ‘the least interesting to look at’ sister, well, we’re just happy to see Kourtney; because who else is going to remind us that there are “people literally dying”. But the most devastating of all: Kim Kardashian’s divorce. Although the scandal had been prior knowledge, seeing Kim cry and refer to herself as a “f*****g loser” was heart-wrenching. It goes without saying, then, that we can expect more tears, fights, and drama— after all, it is the Kardashians we’re talking about. So, with the trailer taking on a nostalgic feel, it seems there is no better time to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce on the Kardashian legacy, than now.
Keeping Up with the Kardashian debuted in 2007, pre lip fillers and filters – how were people surviving? Kris, Kim, Kourtney, Khloe and Rob stood before us, alongside the Jenner family: Bruce and young Kendall and Kylie. With the intention of documenting their everyday domestic life, the show made the family global moguls; with their empire ranging from Kylie’s cosmetics to Kim’s shapewear, and my personal favourite—Rob’s sock line. Roughly 14 years later, we have witnessed 3 weddings, felt like a shoulder to cry on during numerous failed relationships, watched the family expand by 10 grandchildren and learned what it really means to travel in style. Like I said—everyday domestic life. To provide some perspective about the world the KarJenners once lived in and how far they’ve come: Kim Kardashian was a wardrobe organiser and the most well-known person was former Olympic athlete, Bruce Jenner. But our Kimmy has come a very, very, very (did I say very?) long way.
The name Kim Kardashian evokes various emotions and reactions: some think minimal clothing and mirror selfies, whereas some of us think of a beauty mogul and trainee lawyer (and that little fact that she reached millionaire status). But let’s be honest, we all think about that booty. Kim Kardashian has had one or two missteps, no doubt—her most notable being her infamous sex tape with ex-boyfriend, Ray J. This seems to be some of Kim’s haters’ favourite go-to’s for discrediting her and all her accomplishments. To those people: please raise your hand if you know of anyone who has managed to handle a sex tape scandal with such elegance, and then used the platform said sex tape gave them to practise prison reform, co-produce an exceptionally successful television show and simultaneously run a multi-million-dollar business? Oh, and she has four children. No? No, you don’t? I didn’t think so. All the sisters have achieved highly impressive levels of success, some of which include Khloe’s Good American brand, Kourtney’s Pooch brand, Kendall becoming the highest paid model, and Kylie just being the highest paid. But please, don’t forget about Rob’s sock line.
When we think of the Kardashian/Jenner name and legacy, it has become synonymous with sex and promiscuity; unfortunately, alongside the fast cars, ‘snatched’ bodies and lavish lifestyles, comes the lack of privacy. With the tap of a few buttons, you could have access to each Kardashian/Jenner sister’s dating history, along with their height and favourite colour. It is no secret that they’re not strangers to the Hollywood dating scene; but honestly, who still is? We’ve all heard the saying: “It’s a small world”, and for the world’s most elite, it’s miniscule. However, judging single women in their prime for kissing a few frogs before finding the one seems a little old-fashioned and outdated. Perhaps, instead of seeing them as synonymous with sex, they should be seen as synonymous with sexuality; specifically, female sexuality and the re-possession of it. Post baby number one, Kim Kardashian was an advocate for showing women they could be a mom and still be sexy— and sexy she was. She had admitted that motherhood provided her with a new perspective on her body, allowing her to feel more comfortable about being sexy as a mother. She also felt other mothers should experience the same sense of freedom she did. From this, her shapewear line stemmed, and the rest was history.
Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the KarJenner sisters, hopped on the bandwagon once she had her first child too; she was candid in a KUWTK episode about meeting her new body after giving birth, and accepting that it had forever changed, but in a good way.
The Kardashian/Jenner family have rightfully obtained their Master’s degrees in Body Image, majoring in What It’s Like to be Body Shamed, and graduating Magna Cum Laude. The secret: adapt to a no-carb, gluten-free, sugar-free, tasteless, literally-made-from-plants-and-water vegan diet. It has been made public knowledge that the Kardashian/Jenner family do a little more than avoid carbs to keep up (pun intended) their fit bodies; when you’re making millions, what’s the occasional nip and tuck? You won’t catch these sisters missing leg day, nor will you catch them missing nose job and Botox day. All jokes aside, as professional Keeping Up with the Kardashian viewers, all we can do is applaud the sisters for speaking with confidence and authenticity about something that, regardless of race, age, or shoe size, we can all relate to — not always feeling beautiful. We applaud the Kardashian/Jenner sisters for demonstrating, through their lifestyles, what taking care of your body looks like; motivating viewers to maintain it, love it and - my personal favourite - flaunt it.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians may have only started off as a show to fill a time slot on Sundays, but it quickly surpassed that and became somewhat of a tradition, a custom. Kardashians and Sundays are like Oreos with milk. They were the older sisters we never had, allowing us to rummage through their makeup drawers and telling us all their dirty little secrets. They were the high school clique we always dreamed of, a reference point as to what family looks like; closeness, love and warmth—sprinkled with the occasional catfight and bitch-slap. The slut-shaming, shouts of ‘reality tv trash’ and ridicule can get a little loud at times, but they’re going to have to try harder to remove the Louis Vuitton prints of these women in the sand. To the Kardashian (and Jenner) women: thank you. Thank you for welcoming us into your lives, thank you for dominating every industry you set your sights on, thank you for sharing your smiles, your laughs, your tears. Thank you for your time, thank you for your grace. Thank you for your vulnerability, thank you for your strength; thank you for your influence and your power.