The Kardashians: Don’t Hate Them Because They’re Successful

–They’re not shy about cashing in on fame – but that’s just one of the perks of reality TV

Turning lemons into lemonade is the American dream. And who, in the past five years or so, has squeezed more sweet lemonade out of the bitter juice of a lemon than the Kardashian clan? Now that Mama Oprah has co-signed on the Kardashians’ significance in pop culture history with her two-part special on OWN, we have to sit and re-examine where we stand with the family we love to hate.

Let me preface this by stating that I used to watch “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” mostly as a “girl power” allegiance thing, not wanting to write Kim Kardashian off because she once made a sex tape with Ray J. People make mistakes; let’s get over it.

But then I started seeing Kim everywhere. And then Khloe. And then Kourtney. And then Rob. And Kylie. And Kendall. And even Mama Kris. (Damn, how many of them are there?)

They were the faces of their own clothing line at Sears. They have their own color collection with OPI. They’ve endorsed Skechers. They’ve hawked diet pills and Khloe and Lamar had their own unisex fragrance. They’ve released two books. They just signed a three-year extension on their TV show, netting them additional millions. Let’s not forget that Mama Kris initially agreed to do the reality show in order to boost the profile of their L.A. clothing boutique.

They’re businesswomen, and they’re not shy about leveraging their fame to pad their wallets. And maybe that’s where the hate comes from. They’re profiting off our attention, not their talent, and we don’t like that. So we give them more attention.

This has left me wondering why can’t the Royce Reeds (“Basketball Wives”) of the world leverage their reality TV spotlight into something greater? Is Tami planning on using the money from her T-shirt sales (do people really need the word “bitch” on their shirt three times?) to fund her retirement? Why can’t some of the black reality stars, who have thousands of Twitter followers and millions of viewers each week, get in on that reality show come up?

(Continue reading at Loop 21…)