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I Don't Dislike The Kardashians, The Problem Is That People Care About Them

The Kardashians, aka America's unofficial royal family, are a very divisive entity.

This country is obsessed with everything they do, and their exploits are constantly making headlines.

But all of this attention is not necessarily positive, as some people absolutely despise this family, seeing them as the epitome of excess and narcissism. These individuals seem to ask: Why should we care about rich people who spend most of their time taking selfies?

It's a fair question.

With that said, I am not among the people who feel a visceral hatred toward this family. How could I?

I don't know them personally and don't believe it's necessary to waste time or energy feeling so negatively about a group of strangers.

In some ways, I actually respect them. They epitomize the American dream. They're an immigrant family who escaped the Armenian Genocide and climbed their way to wealth and stardom. Isn't that what most people come to this country for?

And Kim Kardashian West, the biggest star of them all, essentially took a slut-shaming situation and carved out a multi-million dollar empire. That's not only impressive, it's a fairly empowering story. She should be applauded for not allowing the haters to deter her from pursuing her goals.

In the words of Kanye West, “My girl a superstar all from a home movie.”

Indeed, good for her. When life gave her lemons, she made millions.

So, no, my problem with the Kardashians is not with them as human beings or individuals.

My problem with the Kardashians is that people care about them so much and what this reflects about us as a society. I think they're a distraction from reality, which is problematic as it deters us from focusing on and addressing more pressing issues.

But it's not their fault millions of people are preoccupied with every tweet or Instagram photo they post — it's society's fault; it's our fault.

We live in a hyper-capitalistic country in which wealth and status are worshipped, while poverty and suffering are ignored and even chastised.

That's what pisses me off about the Kardashians: People allow themselves to be distracted by this family simply because they are wealthy.

In a country where the middle class is shrinking and countless other problems converge upon millions of people every day, many spend their time worrying about a family who does not make a concerted or consistent effort to contribute to society in any meaningful way.

The Kardashians' efforts to educate people on the Armenian Genocide, among other issues they occasionally focus on, are certainly commendable, but they rarely use their fame for any form of activism (it's not necessarily their responsibility to, either). But I digress.

I'm not going to hate on the Kardashians for being rich. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

But I do think it's time for us to take a moment and think about what we prioritize and pay attention to.

Take, for example, the day humankind landed a spacecraft on a comet for the first time in history back in November 2014. This was a tremendous technological and scientific accomplishment.

Comets are massive balls of ice and rock that orbit around the sun at 84,000 miles per hour. Landing on one is not a simple task. But, through some incredible ingenuity, humans somehow managed to plant a spacecraft on a comet 317 million miles from Earth.

Moreover, comets have the potential to provide us with information about how the solar system was formed. Scientists believe comets can help us better understand how Earth, and all of its lifeforms, came to be.

So, if I haven't made it clear, landing on a comet is a huge f*cking deal.

But I bet you didn't hear about this, because it happened the same day Kim K broke the Internet by revealing her backside on the cover of Paper magazine.

Again, I don't blame Kim Kardashian West that you never heard about a monumental moment in human history — I blame society and its warped priorities.

At the time, the media focused heavily on Kim K's derriere. So, perhaps this is who or what we should blame.

But, this wouldn't be entirely fair, given the media operates as a business and in order to survive has to generate viewership.

In other words, most viewers (the general public) are far more interested in looking at Kim K's rear-end than hearing about something like the comet landing (or other, more depressing news). So, the media just gives people what they want, and the vicious cycle continues.

In terms of fostering integrity and focusing on what's most important, capitalism is not so good for journalism. It pushes the media to concentrate on what will generate traffic and viewership, and the Kardashians definitely help in that regard.

Meanwhile, we inhabit a country where one in five kids live in poverty, 12 percent of the adult homeless population are veterans, 40 million people collectively owe over $1.3 trillion in debt and 30,000 die from gun violence every year. These are just a small sample of the issues we collectively face as a nation.

I'm not asking people to stop paying attention to the Kardashians altogether. I'm simply saying there are a lot of things going on in the world worth focusing on other than Kylie Jenner’s Instagram account or Rob Kardashian's Snapchats.

You can't build a better world if you're blind to the problems it's currently facing.

We're all part of the problem, and we can all be a part of the solution. Change is accomplished little by little.

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John Haltiwanger

Editor

John Haltiwanger is the Senior Politics Writer at Elite Daily. He was born and raised in DC. John earned an MSc in International Relations from the Univ. Of Glasgow and a BA in History from St. Mary's College of MD. He loves life, and burritos.
John Haltiwanger is the Senior Politics Writer at Elite Daily. He was born and raised in DC. John earned an MSc in International Relations from the Univ. Of Glasgow and a BA in History from St. Mary's College of MD. He loves life, and burritos.

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