Love, hate or tolerate them, the Kardashians changed the nature of fame forever. But that change finally may be outpacing reality TV’s most tenacious clan.When “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” premiered in October 2007, the iPhone was four months old. Netflix had just launched streaming video. The Kindle hit the market.
Facebook and Twitter became global platforms. Google acquired YouTube. And Kim Kardashian, who had just achieved notoriety through an old-school VHS sex tape, was on the cusp of becoming a global celebrity for the technological age.
Famous for being famous is a concept as old as mass media itself. Socialite Brenda Frazier was a Depression-era celebutante and Life magazine cover girl. Zsa Zsa Gabor was a mid-century beauty queen-cum-B-movie-actress-cum-tabloid star. Gabor’s most direct descendant was Paris Hilton, who parlayed her Page Six stardom and her own leaked sex tape into a reality TV career — and Hilton had no more astute student than her personal organizer/friend Kim Kardashian.
“We’d go anywhere and everywhere just to be seen,” Kardashian told Rolling Stone in 2015. “We knew exactly where to go, where to be seen, how to have something written about you.”