The Kardashian look: a pop culture phenomenon with a problematic side

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The Kardashian look: a pop culture phenomenon with a problematic side

By Léna Grotticelli

Calabasas, CA – What started as a reality show in 2007 has become a daily reality for a generation of hopefuls aspiring to resemble the famous Kardashians. But keeping up with the Kardashians in the looks department is no easy feat.

The Kardashian sisters have made careers through their complete sex appeal, product promotion and businesses. © Collage: IMAGO / APress & Screenshot / Instagram / kimkardashian

Detroit Pistons rookie Luka Garza last week noted he lost 30 pounds in preparation for the NBA Draft by cutting carbs and wearing “a size trainer, like the Kardashians.”

The professional athlete is just one of millions of people around the world, from TikTok teens to celebrities, who have turned to the Calabasas clan for everything from contouring advice to workout routines.

The Kardashian tribe inspired a generation to shop for billions of dollars in their cosmetics and clothing lines, hoping to emulate the famous family’s fabulous look and lifestyle.

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Kim, Kourtney, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie are the sellers themselves – modeling their products using free marketing on TikTok and Instagram, where the Kardashians each have hundreds of millions of followers.

Yet, as the complete beauty and hourglass obsession of the Kardashians reached an all time high, thanks to the growth of social media and their daily use more than ever before, young women in particular have started to change their appearance to look like to the sisters – and not just using online filters.

The “Kardashian Look” has inspired notorious Internet challenges, like the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge, for example. The world’s youngest billionaire made her fortune selling makeup, mostly lip kits and plumping serums. Those who can’t afford to spend the cash instead resort to household items like shot glasses, creating suction and making their lips swell. Sometimes it’s serious side effects, such as bruising on the face and broken blood vessels.

A parent site laughed at the fact that the Kardashians had motivated the teenage girls to do just about everything, including hosting “butt sucking parties” where they attempted to shape Kim Kardashian-style posteriors with vacuum cleaner attachments and toilet pistons. The jury is still out on how many of them actually happened.

The pop culture phenomenon is a glamorous, tanned and ultra shapely ideal that forces young women to engage in sometimes expensive and painful diets.

The problem is, this standard is often unattainable or difficult to maintain without the cash flow for procedures, personal stylists, on-call makeup artists, hand-picked diets, and daily fitness trainers.

Still, the online facade and the family’s success make style seem like the norm – and the goal.

The Kardashians influenced mainstream culture

The Kardashian-Jenner sisters (left to right): Kourtney, Khloé, Kim, Kylie and Kendall.

The Kardashian-Jenner sisters (left to right): Kourtney, Khloé, Kim, Kylie and Kendall. © Screenshot / Instagram / khloekardashian

As much as you can try, can you really look like a Kardashian?

A young influencer named Chaly said she spent as much as $ 1.3 million trying to adopt Kim’s look, between buying designer clothes and maintaining regular service maintenance. salon.

“I am ready to find my Kanye”, she said noted.

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It’s a nod to the depth with which Kardashian women have permeated rap and hip-hop culture as well, with Kim and Kylie’s romantic ties to rap moguls Kanye West and Travis Scott, respectively.

A recent hip hop artist camp look for for talent for a music video saying that he “throws the Kardashian look” exclusively, his only criteria being “Must look like a Kardashian”.

It would be remiss not to mention the widespread criticism of the Kardashians’ “laundering” and the past use of cultural appropriation for profit, showing just how far their influence has infiltrated – and how far public opinion has gone. public can be polarizing towards them.

Yet their constant promotion of smooth skin and a flawless pout continued to dominate the mainstream aesthetic for young women, securing them deals with big companies like Disney, Pepsi and even. Olympic Games.

Lip filling and plastic surgery in adolescents

Kylie Jenner at her sister Kendall's tequila brand launch (left) and promoting her own cosmetics line on Instagram (right).

Kylie Jenner at her sister Kendall’s tequila brand launch (left) and promoting her own cosmetics line on Instagram (right). © collage: screenshot / instagram / kyliejenner

Then there is the blatant help of bangs, procedures, and plastic.

Part of the $ 1.3 million influencer Chaly has spent is earmarked for professional improvements. She is just one of many young women who received lip fillers and Botox at an increasingly younger age.

Kylie Jenner reluctantly herself admitted to get lip fillers as young as 17 in an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, though it’s hard to make a direct correlation between reality royal and the fans they may have inspired to get the job done. .

The Kardashians have remained silent, for the most part, about their plastic surgery, rumors of their facelifts, implants and facial procedures abound.

According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), adolescents can legally go under the knife, as long as they have the green light from their guardians.

“Parental consent is required for all plastic surgery procedures performed on adolescents under the age of 18,” said ASPS.

The association reported a key difference between why teens have cosmetic surgeries compared to adults: Teens often view surgeries as a way to fit in, while adults more often look for procedures as a way to stand out from the crowd.

How much is too much?

Jennifer Lopez (c.) Was slammed after a recent pic for her "Kardashianized" watch and recruiting the services of the Kardashains glam team.

Jennifer Lopez (c.) Was criticized after a recent photo for her “Kardashianized” look and for using the services of the Kardashains’ glam team. © Screenshot / Instagram / chrisappleton1

The desire to fit in has undoubtedly been exacerbated by the increase in internet use during the pre-teen developmental phase and by the ever-influential selfie. After all, Millennials and Gen Z are the first generation in the history of having cell phones and social media accounts in college, some even earlier.

While the Kardashian sisters themselves are now in their 30s and early 40s, they still have a knack for mobilizing their young fanbase. Maybe that’s because their half-sisters, the Jenners, are much younger. Last week Kylie launched her 24k gold cosmetics line, packed with glamor Pictures of herself dripping with gold paint, in honor of her 24th birthday.

Because of this, there seems to be a different standard and often a stigma for older people and celebrities who mirror the Kardashian trends.

Jennifer Lopez, for example, was slammed last month for her “kardashianized look” after using the same hairdresser and makeup artist like the Kardashians. She was ironically questioned by many followers for her “too Kardashian” appearance.

So where does the line lie between those who think the Kardashian look is trying too hard and those who see it as the cream of the crop? Is this a blurred generational divide or a rift between extreme fandoms and those who simply have no interest in following them?

As with all trends, time will tell when this one goes out of style and how long its effect on pop culture will last. And if the Kardashians have something to say about it, they’ll keep creation of TV programs, to sell products, and line their pockets until the tide turns.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / APress & Screenshot / Instagram / kimkardashian

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