, 2022-07-26 05:40:00,
Why is it that we call out the ‘Keeping up with’ clan more than other moguls?
July 26, 2022 11:40 am(Updated 6:36 pm)
The dire consequences humanity is facing as a result of the climate crisis are becoming clearer. But as more of us strive to reduce the impact of our individual contributions to climate change, the question of what exactly our wealthier, gas-guzzling public figures are doing to help keeps rearing its head.
Over the past few weeks, the revelation that Kylie Jenner treats her private jet like a “hop-on hop-off” bus has gone viral: her most recent trip between two Southern California locales lasted only 17-minutes. It’s probable that the plane was being moved to park at a different hangar, but private jets are, of course, emblems of celebrity excess. These quick trips emit tons of CO2 emissions, not to mention that this news hit amid global reports of blistering heat.
Naturally, the Kardashian-Jenner content-economy enjoyed a surge: tweets branded Jenner a “climate criminal,” with media headlines swiftly quoting those callouts, and infographics about the environmental perils of private aviation spreading across Instagram. There were even a good number of DM demands for my social media project, Kardashian Kolloquium, to “talk about it.”
As the author of a social media account that seeks to unpack the cultural impact of the Kardashians, I always appreciate it when pop culture consumers opt to generate discourse from the antics of America’s Royal Family. If I’ve learned anything from operating my account, though, it’s also that the “discourse” tends to run about as deep as most Kardashian-Jenner content – not very.
Photos featuring faces tend to earn more “likes” on social media than photos of, say, food — logic might follow that moral panic induced by the Kardashians was always bound to trigger greater engagement than the dilemma of, say, McDonald’s far less sexy but longtime methane problem.
The genius of the Kardashians is that they’ve compressed, exaggerated, aestheticised, scaled, and monetised their day-to-day lives in a way that delivers “love or hate” mass appeal akin to other “quintessentially American” corporations: McDonald’s, Disney, WWE, the list goes on. The difference is that the Kardashians are a gaggle of entrepreneurial women whose faces we can put to their enterprise. In fact, Kim Kardashian – who also made the frivolous trip list with a 30-minute flight emitting three tons of…
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