Dear Kris Jenner,
If you thought President Obama was "picking" on your family by his recent remarks that your wealth isn't a realistic marker of success, then please re-evaluate your sentiments.
It was brought to my attention that you had a few choice words for the president on one of your many television shows (where you attempt to self-promote your multi-million dollar brand, as always) "Kris" in which you argued that you were taught "dream big, work hard and you could have whatever you wanted." And you continued to criticize the president on wealth by further mentioning that you "bet the president has some friends with 10,000 square foot houses and that he wouldn't mind going over there..." as a counterargument to his referencing of your family's over-the-top lavish lifestyle.
But wealth was not at the heart of what President Obama was discussing; it was a question of values from the past and now. Let's face it, your family has garnered their wealth from continuing to showcase the high celebrity lifestyle that most of the middle class have now been forced to consume through various forms of media. You cannot leave a corner store magazine rack or go on any online news site without seeing the word "Kardashian" in some small print. The celebrity culture that your family has propelled has done wonders for your interpretation of dreaming "big" and you consider that as "hard work." And that Kris Jenner was the problem the President was talking about.
Thank you for making yourself Exhibit A.
When President Obama referred to the past generation in which "kids weren't monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing, or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success," how could you deny those claims? The Kardashian brand and all its affiliates have contributed to the ever-expanding "window into the lifestyles of the rich and famous." As a result, how you continue to gain your wealth is based on the viewership and interest you garner from youth: the impressionable masses who are still trying to figure out what defines actual success.
President Obama wasn't "picking" on your daughter Kim (who has shown the world almost every inch of her body in the name of fame) but was simply calling a kettle black. To be quite frank, there is no actual intellectual or social value to the work that your family puts out. In fact, much of the self-idolizing and materialism is more harmful than not.
In many ways, your "empire" represents the shift in values that now has dampened the light of what is considered the American dream. What was once an idea shaped around getting a good home, a good job, and the possibility of higher education has been exploited for this idea of ultimate fame and immense fortune. It is a shame that even in college, many don't recognize the opportunity that comes from an education but moreover the rewards and perks that come from the career they may get from it. This same reshaping of views can be seen in your critique of the President where you argued that there is nothing wrong with working hard for "nice things."
But that is the fundamental problem with the celebrity influence that your family and their brand have continued to push for: an incentive-driven reality. You continue to thrust this superficial idea of working hard and "you could have whatever you wanted," when that is an illusion. The fact that you even tried to make the connection between your family's aspirations for success and that of the President's dreams of becoming the Commander-in-Chief is ludicrous.
Newsflash: unlike most families in this country, yours had a secure financial spot to launch your dreams.
Your family didn't start from the bottom and raise themselves up... they capitalized from the notoriety of your late husband and the sex-tape controversy of one of your daughters. If neither of those aspects were in play, there would be no Kardashian empire.
If there is anything you all could get credit for is taking advantage the moment and attempting to make lemonade from the lemons of a public relations atrocity. Clever and opportunistic, I will give you that. But it would be foolish for anyone to consider your claim to fame as a model of the American dream and inspiration to middle class aspirations.
For you see the very root of the American dream is not success by fame and fortune but upward mobility through hard work and respectable values. Your definition of success is perhaps the very social ill that has transcended in how society lacks self-esteem in their work and this has thus led to the devaluing of a more humble way of life.
Perhaps your critiquing of President Obama on your show stood as the ultimate testament to the current flaws of popular culture: the ever impending idea that what you do is just as meaningful as that of those in public office or those who actually make a real difference in the world. Your constant celebrity showmanship is not nor ever will be. You are an entertainer with questionable talent that I have yet to actually figure out.
But you're famous for being famous and for some reason you feel that should be acknowledged. Well now that the President has recognized it, don't pout because he also took into account that it might just be partially responsible for how young adults devalue their understanding of achievement.
You can't blame him for equating your family to the modern-day Joneses that the middle class have been programmed to keep it up with... isn't that the play on words one of your various reality shows are punned with? Last time I checked, those who we were intended to keep up with couldn't much relate to the struggles we, the middle class, had to face to get there.
They already had it.
One who rather keep up with integrity of the American Dream rather than the Kardashians