A guest blog artcle by Kristen Kuzanek (world citizen, student)
Growing up with a large family I know that life can be fun yet extremely hectic. However, I am not sure that I would want to have my life openly viewed by the world. There are many things in my life and my family’s lives that do not need to be broadcast on television.
Many of us I am sure have heard about, if not watched the television show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”, which airs on the E! network. If you have not heard of it, I am sure you have now if you have watched the news, read the paper, or picked up the latest People magazine. It is a reality show that follows the Kardashian/Jenner family around their daily lives.
I do not know what it is about reality TV that grabs people’s attention and leaves them addicted to watching the show season after season. I personally love to watch “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” but recently have started to question the true meaning being given to the audience; especially young girls.
Kim Kardashian is considered to be a role model for young girls all over. This is constantly seen on the show when she interacts with these young girls. They strive to be thin like Kim, try to dress like her; they want to be just like her. Celebrities are often considered to be role models for the younger generations. But are their actions sending the wrong message to young viewers?
This past season of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” showed Kim’s love life progress with Kris Humphries and ended with their engagement. They then decided to have their wedding taped and shown worldwide. Seventy-two days later, Kim Kardashian filed for divorce. She made statements saying that she married for love but rushed into it too quickly. So what meaning does this send to young viewers?
I believe that this gives young viewers the wrong idea of marriage and what it represents. Throughout the season viewers could see the differences that Kim and Kris possessed and the negative ways in which they dealt with one another. This sends out the message, that if you love someone you could marry them. That is not necessarily true! Marriage is a commitment on both parts and should not happen just because you love them. The relationship takes time to build, some people choose to live together, but in general it takes more than just love to have a marriage.
What celebrities fail to realize is how much the young viewers look up to them. Just a few weeks ago on Halloween, I was out trick or treating with my cousins and I saw three girls dressed pretty racy walking down the street. When I stopped them to ask what they were they replied “the Kardashian sisters” with excitement. It really took a toll on me because these girls could not have been more than 13 years old and were walking around with low cut shirts and very short skirts; it was appalling.
Mills (1959) would not really see this as a social issue but more of a social trouble. Yes, the actions of celebrities affect viewers but they do not affect society as a whole. These young viewers are closely watching their celebrity’s lives trying to be just like them. There is not enough evidence or longstanding past for Mills to consider this a social issue.
Some may argue with me and say that this is a social issue but I just do not see the effects on society as a whole. The whole wanting to be gorgeous and thin is strongly visible and effects many in the world but that is not what I am expressing this blog. I am merely stating that are there role models sending the right message to their viewers or are they sending the wrong message?
Mills, C. Wright. 2000 (1959).The Sociological Imagination: Fortieth Anniversary Edition. Oxford University Press.
E! Television website http://www.eonline.com/on/shows/kardashians/index.html