The Kardashian empire has dominated the front lines of tabloid, social media and television attention for over 10 years. Their reign over reality TV, however, is coming to a close. This summer marks the 20th season of the hit show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” which follows Kardashian sisters Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie, along with their mother Kris Jenner and step-parent Caitlyn Jenner. The show has gained a cult following on E! since the early 2000s and will surely be missed by its millions of viewers worldwide.
How Did the Kardashians Get Famous?
The Kardashians’ celebrity status was initially ignited by the elder three girls’ late father, Robert “Rob” Kardashian, and his contribution to the infamous O.J. Simpson trial for the murder of his wife, Nicole. Throughout the girls’ childhood, their parents were intimate friends of the aforementioned couple, and the traumatic events of Nicole’s murder most definitely led to the dissolution of Kris and Robert’s marriage.
Following her divorce, Kris Jenner remarried a retired Olympian gold-medal decathlete, formerly known as Bruce Jenner until her transition in 2015. Now Caitlyn Jenner, she has become a strong advocate for those in the transgender community, and much of her transition was highlighted within “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” The couple has two daughters — Kendall and Kylie — who have both made names for themselves as supermodels and business owners, respectively.
Later in the early 2000s, the Kardashians came back into the spotlight due to Kim’s infamous intimate videos with her then-partner, the famous rapper Ray Jay. Though this is truly the catalyst to the family’s fame, there are many other Kardashian scandals that are just as crazy and memorable.
1. Kim’s Marriage to Kris Humphries
Kim Kardashian’s nuptials with NBA player Kris Humphries were not only highly publicized but also shockingly short-lived. Following the ceremony in August 2011, the couple was only married for 72 days before Kim filed for divorce. Since then, she has spoken out regarding the pressure she felt to marry Humphries and the intense doubts that she had leading up to the event. “I felt pressure. I felt that I was going to let everyone down,” Kim said in an interview with Us Weekly.
2. Khloe’s Cultural Appropriation
Over the years there have been countless instances of the Kardashian sisters crossing lines and facing no consequences. Khloe Kardashian, however, has encountered prolonged media scrutiny for multiple blunders that tarnished her public image.
In March 2020, Khloe was accused of “Blackfishing” — “a term used to describe someone who intentionally portrays themselves as a race other than their own” — in an Instagram post where she is sporting cornrows with pink pastel ends.
This is, unfortunately, not the first time that any of the Kardashian sisters have been accused of appropriating Black culture. With the current social climate and increased awareness of racism worldwide, one would hope that the Kardashian sisters would learn their lesson.
3. Kendall Jenner’s Modeling Blunder
The eldest daughter of Kris and Caitlyn Jenner, Kendall Jenner is a renowned supermodel who is well sought after by major fashion houses around the world. Though she is undoubtedly beautiful, many question the validity of her fame — placing her success in the modeling world to be based on nepotism rather than talent.
In an interview for Love Magazine in 2018, Kendall spoke out about her personal selectiveness for the modeling jobs she chooses to accept: “Since the beginning we’ve been super selective about what shows I would do … I was never one of those girls who would do, like, 30 shows a season or whatever the fuck those girls would do. More power to ‘em.”
This comment rocked the modeling world. Many resented Kendall for her pretentious comments and lack of regard for the models who must work their way up the totem pole without the help of their famous families. Remember, Kendall, not everyone is born a multi-millionaire.
4. Tristan Thompson’s Infidelity
All the Kardashian sisters’ relationships have been undoubtedly tumultuous, but Khloe’s prolonged situation with Tristan Thompson, a famous basketball player for the Boston Celtics, takes the cake.
Khloe announced her pregnancy with her first child, True, in 2019. Just days before she went into labor, a major scandal broke: Thompson had cheated on Khloe with Jordyn Woods while she was nine months pregnant with his child. Khloe found out about his infidelity while going into labor and was forced to deal with the trauma while simultaneously welcoming their baby girl into the world.
Unfortunately for Jordyn Woods — the former best friend of Khloe’s younger sister Kylie — the model was exiled from the Kardashians’ inner circle and crucified on social media. Check out Seventeen magazine’s article for a comprehensive timeline of Khloe and Thompson’s relationship.
5. Kylie’s False Forbes Fame
In March 2019, Forbes announced that Kylie Jenner was the youngest self-made billionaire in history. However, this claim was soon to be disputed, as an investigation proved that Kylie’s business is significantly smaller and less profitable than the Kardashian clan made it out to be. The company, Kylie Cosmetics, was originally formed as a marketing ploy to cover up the speculations that she was using lip injections in 2015. Eventually, Kylie sold 51% of her company in January 2020 for about $1.2 billion dollars, securing her the billionaire spot that she so desired.
The Kardashians have continued to break media headlines even with their many past scandals. Although “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” is soon coming to an end, it is likely that the family will continue to dominate the tabloids, and it will surely be interesting to see where the next year takes them in their celebrity adventures.