Most mornings, before you’ve had your first cup of coffee, you have probably thought about or at least heard the name Kim Kardashian. And this is not because you’ve got a freaky case of fandemonium. Just scroll through your Twitter feed at any given moment and there she is, it seems. Kim K is everywhere, and her prevalence is an unnerving sign of the times. Vv Magazine’s Danielle Jobb takes a closer look at what keeping up with Kim Kardashian really means…
“An invisible team of publicists and social media gurus have created the Kim K brand”
The logo for the brand is Kim herself, as she smiles at us with the sultry appeal of premature Botox from the cover of half the tabloid magazines on any given newsstand. Her face is a pervasive element of our popular culture-sphere.
“Observability and power are inversely related,” says Professor Anamik Saha of Goldsmith’s in London. Anyone can develop a following on Instagram and Twitter, if they’re interesting enough. A rather perturbing thought since we live in a world where social media following is capital, and capital equals power. But, not power in the traditional sense of the word.
Since they are not tied to any distinct ideology or institution, the power held by these self-absorbed celebrities is merely symbolic or superficial at best. But that symbolic power still “influences wider social discourses and behaviours,” Saha explains. Take the recent debacle over teenaged girls trying to mimic Kylie Jenner’s famous lips and ending up with a swollen pout that would make a Real Housewife cringe. These social media stars have incredible persuasive power, but instead of using their platforms as megaphones for their opinions and beliefs, we literally get their mouthpiece. This generation teeming with could-be revolutionaries is too busy taking selfies to fight for anything.
“These social media stars have incredible persuasive power, but instead of using their platforms as megaphones for their opinions and beliefs, we literally get their mouthpiece”
Social media allows celebrities to permeate our lives on a level more personal than tabloids and talk shows. When we see the same image repeated enough times, we unconsciously attribute value to it. That is the philosophy behind Shepard Fairey’s OBEY Clothing campaign. As Fairey writes in his OBEY Manifesto, his infamous image “has no actual meaning, the various reactions and interpretations of those who view it reflect their personality and the nature of their sensibilities.”
If that’s the case, we have nobody to blame for the ubiquity of Kim Kardashian but ourselves. She might have a ridiculously large platform but, combined with silence, it just cancels itself out.
So after all that, what do you really think about Mrs. Kim Kardashian (-West)? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below or tweet us Kim Kardashian’s most influential moments on Twitter @ViewTheVibe.