Are the Kardashians the Blueprints for Your Daughter's Future?

When was the last time you asked your daughter what she wanted to be when she grew up? When she was five? Fifteen? Yesterday? Last year? What did she say? Teacher? Lawyer? Doctor? Reality Star?

A little over a decade ago the latter wasn’t necessarily an option, but it was more like something people fell into by chance, not a calculated career move. Think of the first few episodes of the Real World and the cast. They got less than fifteen minutes of infamy. Now today’s reality stars not only get extended time in the limelight, but they can rack in millions of dollars if they’re wise enough to make a brand of themselves. The bigger question is: Is it really that wise of a decision?

When parents think of their children and their future, of course you want your kids to grow up and be successful and make enough money so that they’ll be comfortable in life. Who wants their children to suffer and struggle? That’s why we promote education and perseverance and teach our children right from wrong, because ultimately that’s what we always believed would win out. “Respect will get you farther than money.” Was a saying that I was always told growing up by both my parents and grandparents and it most oftentimes proved to be right. Sometimes adults will single out the young man that helped them pick up the papers they dropped or gave them a token of appreciation whether than preferring the other kid that maybe dressed well, but was ill mannered. Not only that, but degrees usually got you good jobs, good pay and security.

Now?

Degrees aren’t worth as much as they used to be because the economy is lacking in the job area. The people that have little or no morals are the ones that get praised, put on television, and paid insane amounts of money if they’re entertaining enough. The scary part is this is a part of the generational turn now. This is what entertainment is about: Be as rude and crude as possible and sign on the dotted line because you’ve got yourself a gig. And money. Lots and lots of money.

Over the years as the Kardashian name became bigger and bigger people have asked one question over and over again: Why are these people famous? I’ll tell you why. They’re the entertainment equivalent of the popular girls in high school that you wanted to be. Women make the Kardashians famous because they represent the kind of lives most of us have dreamed of having since we were old enough to dream of such things. Designer clothes, flawless makeup, the physiques, beautiful homes, nice cars, excess money to do what you want any time you want. While the average girl probably still sees professional manicures, pedicures, and massages as a treat or at the very least a once a month occurrence, these women can breeze out of a mall after a $20,000 shopping spree and decide she didn’t like her French manicure from the day before and not think twice about getting it redone right then. We want that lifestyle that we see them lead on television--at least certain aspects of it.

When people first laid eyes on Kim Kardashian alongside Paris Hilton they were wondering who she was, and now that they know, they can’t get enough of her and her family. Being introduced to Kim and having her get a reality show deal introduced us to the entire (or at least most of them) Kardashian/Jenner clan and now they have become a phenomenon of sorts.

And also role models overnight.

We love the physical and material aspects of it (at least those of us intrigued by them), but what about the moral aspect? Not only do they allow the cameras into their gynecology exams (I seriously didn’t think they were going to go so far as to show Kourtney in stirrups, even that was too much), but the crew is right there filming as they give strip teases to their boyfriends in front of their younger siblings and witnessing the family join in on conversations while their parents talk about their sex lives. Yet, no one seems to think they’ve gone too far and others will vehemently argue this is the way to go, uninhibited, free and open with one another. There seems to be no boundaries anymore.

But the thing that made me physically cringe was the other week was when Kourtney hurled a four letter expletive at her mother with not a second thought or any remorse. “Mind your own f***ing business!” Not that they haven’t done that before with telling her to “f*** herself” and such, but I was wondering if anyone else even batted an eyelash at that cruelty. Not only that, but her mother’s point that she was trying to make was that if Kourtney was intending to have another baby with her boyfriend Scott she thought that they should seriously consider getting married. In my most sarcastic tone ever, “Oh the humanity of that nonsense! Really? Get married before having another child with your boyfriend? How weird!” In all seriousness it was one of the only few times I’ve agreed with Kris Jenner on a subject. Whether the show is completely scripted or that was actually a real moment, I wouldn’t care if someone was going to pay me $10,000 to scream that at my mother, I would never do it. Even if you don’t believe me, that’s fine, but believe this--I don’t know a lot of mothers that would simply walk away from a comment spoken to them that way by their own child. It was disgraceful and disgusting seeing it which made me think of the way that show is as a whole--scripted or not.

Not only are the adults disrespectful, but the younger girls, Kendall and Kylie are pretty much headed in that same direction if they’re not completely there yet. Khloe is very encouraging to her younger sisters to do whatever they want, despite what their own father, Bruce Jenner, wants and expects of them. He didn’t want eleven year old Kylie to wear makeup which any sane person/parent would more than likely agree with, but after being bullied by his wife and his stepdaughters he relented. Bruce Jenner also didn’t want his very young daughters to have boys up to their rooms, no matter how innocent, but again he was overruled, and again I must say that I didn’t see what was so wrong about the point the was making. Khloe is the frontrunner in a lot of the younger scandals, often taking Bruce on head to head and confronting him in a way to let him know that if he doesn’t let them do whatever they want, they won’t like him or want to be close to him.

So is that what it’s all boiled down to now? If you don’t let your kids run roughshod over you they won’t like you anymore. I used to think that was called discipline and drawing a line, but apparently parents want to be friends with children so badly now that they’re willing to forego actually raising their kids properly, all for the sake of being “liked”. I would believe that if you loved your children you would set boundaries, but according to today’s parenting, I would be wrong.

I guess we shouldn’t expect much from careers borne on the heels of a sex tape scandal, a mother who considered changing her last name back to her late ex-husband’s while she’s currently married to her husband of twenty years for the sake of good restaurant seating, and people who find ways to market their own weddings and the births of their children all for the sake of making a buck or two (or million). But is there any redemption for this madness? I’d like to think so, but I doubt these people would be willing to change their ways.

Look at the mothers now that find Kris Jenner to be an inspiration. She’s a woman who coaxed her daughter into posing nude for playboy and had her fourteen year old daughter Kendall posing scantily clad on a beach. All for the sake of business and making money and she makes no apologies and you can tell that monetary success comes above all else to this woman. Just watch the show and see how she conducts business. And don't think that it's such a farfetched idea that your daughter won't be a reality star one day or aspire to be one. If your child expresses any kind of interest in the entertainment industry, dig deeper into that because there is a possibility that you could be raising the next Snooki. Then you have to ask yourself if that's something you'd actually be proud of. What parents have to realize is that the younger generation is paying more attention to reality tv and reality stars than they want to admit, and given half the chance of making money by going to clubs and drinking and having cameras follow them around to tape some of their most intimate (and embarrassing moments, for both you and them) instead of working you need to ask yourself how good a job you did as parents. The enticing thing about fame is if you get enough of it, it's going to be the money that ultimately lures your kids down a path you probably won't want to see them take. How is it not alluring to get paid $30,000 for an appearance at a club or something--that's more than a lot of people make in a year! But there's a price. Oftentimes the people who do it are not only relinquishing their privacy, but they're also reducing themselves to mere characters, people without shame that go against everything that puts order in society and seemingly lacking any self respect. If you raise your children right they're not even going to want to go down that road.

But for those people who act like this is the worst family in the world, they’re not. Are they making the world a better place with their antics? Most positively not. But it’s also not their job to teach your kids morality and either keep them from watching or keep them on the right path in their lives so they will be respectful children to you and to others. Money does make situations better, but it shouldn’t be the only thing in your life that you care about. Life isn't all about beauty rituals and looking great well into your fifties and sixties and how much you can make from it.

But most of all, I wonder if Kourtney Kardashian is going to be proud the first time her son, Mason, flings a four letter word her way and tells her to get her own life.



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