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Analyzing the Impact of the Kardashians Show on Pop Culture

Keeping Up with the Kardashians has been a pop culture phenomenon for over a decade. You’ve probably seen snippets of the show, heard about the family’s latest drama, or scrolled past their glamorous photos on your social media feeds. This reality TV show has not only transformed the lives of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, but it’s also had a significant impact on pop culture.

The Kardashians have redefined fame in the 21st century. They’ve shown you that it’s possible to turn personal lives into a profitable brand. Their influence has seeped into various aspects of pop culture, from fashion and beauty trends to the rise of reality television.

Yet, it’s not just about the glitz and glamour. The Kardashians have also sparked important conversations about body image, family dynamics, and personal growth. And you don’t have to be into details like the Kardashians’ ages in order to know that their impact on pop culture is undeniable – it’s worth exploring how they’ve shaped the world you live in today.

The Rise of the Kardashians

When we begin analyzing the impact of the Kardashians show on pop culture, it’s inevitable to discuss their meteoric ascent. This rise to stardom wasn’t merely by chance; it was fueled by keen self-marketing skills and a candid reality show that took the world by storm.

Their Reality TV Show

The launch of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” in 2007 catapulted the family to a previously unattainable level of fame. Keeping Up with the Kardashians, or KUWTK, was a different beast entirely. Pioneering the reality TV genre, it offered a raw, unfiltered glimpse into their lives: the good, the bad, and the fabulously extravagant.

KUWTK made the Kardashians a household name. Nothing was off-limits; relationships, family feuds, and yes, even heartbreak. Their hard-hitting honesty coupled with a clear penchant for the spotlight mesmerized audiences and set the stage for the reality TV boom.

The Kardashians’ show was more than just reality TV; it was a springboard for each family member to branch out and create individual brand identities. Kim and Kylie leveraged this popularity, swiftly becoming moguls in the beauty industry, while Kendall Jenner evolved into a highly sought-after international model. Not to mention, Khloe and Kourtney’s successful forays into fitness and motherhood-focused brands.

Social Media Influence

The Kardashians aren’t just savvy when it comes to television, though. Their expertise in digital branding is unparalleled. Equipped with charisma, unique personalities, and a keen understanding of their audience, they’ve mastered the arts of Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter like no celebrities before them.

This isn’t just about posting nice photos, though. Their social media feeds are carefully curated campaigns designed to support their brand identities. Whether that means promoting a new beauty product, showcasing an extravagant lifestyle, or providing glimpses into their private lives, everything they share feeds the Kardashian machine.

As of 2021, Kim Kardashian alone commanded a following of over 220 million on Instagram, making her one of the most influential people on the platform. But what makes this even more impressive is that all her sisters have amassed similarly awe-inspiring followings. It’s hard to discuss the impact of social media on pop culture without acknowledging the Kardashian effect.

Whether you appreciate their approach or not, there’s no denying the colossal influence Kardashians have had on pop culture. Seeing how effectively they’ve combined reality TV and social media forces is a clear testament to their strategic genius. This powerful fusion hasn’t just transformed them into mega-celebrities; it’s changed the very fabric of pop culture itself.

Body Image and Beauty Standards

Continuing from our earlier segment on the Kardashians’ influence on fashion, now we delve into another significant area where their impact can’t be ignored, body image and beauty standards.

Unrealistic Expectations

Analyzing the impact of the Kardashians on pop culture, you may notice they’ve played a part in shaping some unrealistic body expectations. Their hourglass figures and flawless faces, heavily replicated on social media, have skewed what you might perceive as a “normal” body type. They’ve helped push the notion that your worth is tied to your looks.

American culture has long associated beauty with thinness but the Kardashians have shifted this narrative slightly. The new “ideal” body type they promote through their reality TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, is a cinched waist paired with enhanced hips and buttocks. While this curvier, more voluptuous figure has been received positively by women who can identify with it, it’s also completely out of reach for many others.

So the question is, are the Kardashians setting an unrealistic beauty standard or simply reflecting and amplifying what already exists in pop culture?

Promoting Self-Acceptance

On the flip side, it’s noteworthy that despite the potential pitfalls of spreading an unrealistic body standard, the Kardashian clan also promotes body positivity and self-acceptance. They often share their personal journey with body image issues and how they’ve come to embrace themselves as they are. The evidence of their resilience can be seen through various media interviews and social media posts.

Kim Kardashian, for instance, has openly discussed her battles with psoriasis, a skin condition, while Kylie Jenner touches on the topic of body acceptance post-childbirth. On their reality TV show, Khloe Kardashian has used her “Revenge Body” series to encourage people to use fitness as a means of loving one’s self, becoming healthier, and fostering self-esteem.

Surely, this complex duality is one reason why the Kardashians resonate with such a vast audience. They mirror pop culture—a reflection at once distorted, amplified and alluringly relatable.

Cultural and Social Impact

As we continue analyzing the impact of the Kardashians show on pop culture, it’s essential to understand how the Kardashians have left their mark on cultural and social norms. From shaping our language to breaking longstanding taboos, the influence of this renowned clan is hard to overlook.

Influencing Language and Slangs

The Kardashians have a knack for inventing and popularizing new slang. Words and phrases like “Bible” (as a way to show sincerity), “Momager” (a combination of mom and manager—Kris Jenner), and the all-too-common “Literally” are just some contributions to our daily vernacular. They’ve also made contouring and ‘selfie’ household terms, demonstrating their power in shaping the contemporary lexicon. Their cultural influence doesn’t stop with lingo. It permeates every aspect of our life, prompting us to rethink societal norms and taboos, creating conversations, and encouraging us to explore new perspectives.

Breaking Taboos

The Kardashians have been instrumental in challenging and shattering societal norms, not the least of which include conversations about body image, mental health, and identity. KUWTK (Keeping Up with the Kardashians) has facilitated meaningful dialogues on comfortable topics as well as those laden with stigma.

Promoting body positivity and self-confidence, the Kardashians have advocated for diversity in body shapes and sizes, creating a new “ideal” body type that’s curvier and fuller. Their personal struggles with body image issues and their journey towards self-acceptance have resonated deeply with viewers, fostering a community that supports and celebrates each individual’s unique identity. Additionally, their open discussion of issues like mental health, addiction, and gender transition with Caitlyn Jenner’s journey has cultivated empathy and understanding, further unravelling these taboos.

The nature of their influence—their ability to spark discussions around sensitive topics and shape societal trends—echoes their larger cultural and social impact. Whether one appreciates their presence or not, the Kardashians have played a significant role in shaping what we deem as “normal” and in modifying the social conversation.


When you consider the influence of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on pop culture, it’s clear that their impact is profound. Their unique fashion sense has reshaped the industry, with Kylie Jenner’s cosmetic line setting new beauty trends. 

By promoting body positivity and self-acceptance, they’ve helped redefine societal norms. They’ve also sparked important conversations about mental health and identity. Sure, they’ve faced their share of controversy, from cultural appropriation claims to talent criticisms. 

But through it all, they’ve remained steadfast, continuing to set trends and transform pop culture. The Kardashians’ influence is undeniable, making them a cultural force to be reckoned with.

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