Farrah Abraham may have had a baby before graduating from high school, have no awareness of major cultural events; and have just been rejected from a Playboy photo shoot, but guess what: She's, like, a millionaire. That's right, Farrah made a ton of money from the release of her sexy "home video," and the cash continues to flow. The issue now is how she will leverage her, well, exposure.
Unsurprisingly, when people are searching for Farrah, they are looking, most frequently, for "Farrah Abraham full video" -- and that doesn't refer to a product of her budding music career.
Shortly following her MTV fame, the teen mom made a few attempts to create a career for herself, but cooking videos and an election results announcement (released a day after the official election results announcement) didn't seem to be clear avenues of success.
So, we decided to investigate:
How can Farrah Abraham leverage her sex tape to achieve talentless fame?
In light of her "private tape made public" we decided to evaluate Farrah's potential paths by analyzing Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian -- contemporaries with sex tape origins, that followed very different routes to arrive at their current celebrity status. Both women have had a tumultuous relationship with society and each other, but only one came out on top ... and somehow keeps getting more famous.
The results are clear. Paris's fame is steadily waning, but Kim has kept us interested since 2007.
Of course, Kim's famous family has something to do with all this, but it's not as if Paris decided to buy a lake house in, like, Michigan, and gradually fade out of the limelight. No, Paris Hilton is still trying really hard to be famous. Actually, she's been "not caring" that Kim is more famous than her, because she has been "the original" for years now.
The fact of the matter is Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton were both introduced to us as two readily objectifiable sex symbols who, despite modeling careers and a brief flirtation with Auto-Tune, have never actually been famous for any discerible skills. In the end, it was the way they handled the attention that made all the difference.
In case there was still any confusion: Paris Hilton is trying really hard to be famous.
Like, really hard.
Though she is still a household name, at one point she was arguably the most famous woman in America. As the Daily Beast points out, Paris Hilton "ushered in the modern era of gossip rags" and "without Paris we wouldn't have Perez." In a way, she pioneered the very ability to leverage a sex tape, and though she had help from the shifting trends in voyeurism and social media, that footage would have been "ruinous" to any other young female.
In the early 2000s, Paris was not only the "it" girl, but a whole reinvention of socialite celebrity status, equipped with fame that seemed to aggregate itself. The heiress was much more famous than Kim. As a matter of fact, before the rise and fall of their best friendship, Kim worked organizing Paris's clothes. That's right, before she was sprawled across TVs and tabloids everywhere, Kim Kardashian was Paris Hilton's sidekick, the self-proclaimed "Queen of the Closet Scene."
In part, Paris Hilton helped to catapult Kim to the top, but it is what the two did with their fame that distinguishes them. Paris's sex tape is the paramount reason for her celebrity, and she has made no effort to distance herself from that "One Night In Paris."
Since then, Paris has sort of been "famous for being famous," and though she briefly uttered the words "music career," her entire schtick has predominantly been a combination of overt sexuality and, throughout many scenes in The Simple Life, stupidity.
This is not to say it is not possible to be "famous for being famous," but Paris' once captive audience is gradually losing interest. The public has been disinterested since approximately 2011, when Oxygen scrapped "The World According to Paris" after it accrued fewer than 400,000 viewers.
As The Daily Beast put it, Paris is beginning to look like "yesterday's celebutante." Kim, conversely, is not only not burning out, but getting more famous.
Let's be clear, Kim is not traditionally talented either.
And as hard as Kris Jenner may try, no one will ever forgot about Kim Kardashian's sex tape. There are remixes, websites, and even a geriatric reaction video, all dedicated to her curiously bra-clad rendezvous with Ray J. What Kim did "right" was not erasing the footage, but changing the narrative.
Though she entered our consciousness as someone who might be reduced to a "bimbo" or (worse) "one of Paris Hilton's friends," Kim has managed to rise like a phoenix out of her initial "superstar" status, and not just become, but create a flawlessly poised woman, who transcends celebrity, and is a cautiously tendered brand.
This is not to say that Kim is not still sexy -- it'd be quite impossible for her iconic curves not to be. Mrs. Kanye West certainly distributes some PG-13 content, but don't be fooled by the exposure: alluring yet somehow tasteful and, ultimately, curated.
As the New York Times called it, the Kardashians have built an "empire that includes fashion boutiques, fitness videos, credit cards, a best-selling fragrance, skin care products and a self tanner," but the brand extends beyond its products, into an intensely curated presence that also happens to be highly GIF-able.
"Why is she so famous?" your rightfully perplexed grandmother has probably asked you at dinner, at least a few times. That question elicits hackneyed commentary about society and vapidness, but the truth is Kim is not famous by accident. The interest in Kim Kardashian and her family extends beyond Americans glued to their screen watching Italian stereotypes engage in drunken hot tub antics. Although, speaking of "Jersey Shore," Kim is tied with Snooki at the top of the celebrity-loyalty index.
Love that I can gradually build the perfect bronzed glow I want with #KardashianSunKissed Tan Extender w/ Bronzers!
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) May 21, 2013
Kim and the Kardashians are walking billboards -- capable of promoting everything from bronzer to animal-print stickers. It'd be wrong to say Kim doesn't have a job, because she does. As a full time employee of the Kardashian Klan, she is perpetually expected to live up to the perception of herself that people expect, and she's turned just "being herself" into a super lucrative business.
So, what should Farrah do?
If we've learned anything from Paris and Kim, it's that leveraging your "home video" for fame is possible, but dancing with a hamburger is a fast track to irrelevance. Though she continues to profit from her back door exploration, Farrah's current reputation could use an elective procedure of its own. If the "Teen Mom" wants any shot at having relevant Google search results five years from now, it's time to put on something other than glitter bikinis, and start crafting the brand. Although Farrah is "sick" of the Kim Kardashian comparisons, there's no better example of talentless, sex tape fame for her to follow.