The Kardashian Ratings Tank — Is the Brand Damaged?

Kim and Kourtney Take MiamiFor years I’ve defended the Kardashians. Sure they don’t have discernible entertainment-related talent, given that they don’t sing, dance, act, host, or do stand-up comedy. But they’ve managed to market themselves to mainstream media on the heels of one pornographic sex tape, which has since been parlayed into clothing stores, fashion lines, fragrances, and a well-paid television show.  And that takes talent. In fact, I’d argue that the OJ Simpson trial, coupled with Bruce Jenner’s already existing media-name, is where it all began. With all the effort that went into building their empire, you’d think that the Kardashian Klan would be a little more careful about the brand that made them famous. Unfortunately, their actions as of late suggest otherwise, and their recent ratings-dip prove my point.

Kim Kardashian, arguably the most notorious sibling, has insisted that she’d like to step away from her sex-tape image, yet she continues to publish sexed-up photos on nearly every social media site (see duck face).  And though I was willing to let that slide, my disdain boiled over when the sister’s smelled each other’s private parts on ‘Kourtney & Kim Take Miami.’ When I saw the episode, I was most disappointed in E!, a network with desensitized executives who neglected to pull the plug on a bit that wouldn’t even pass Howard Stern’s smell test. And let’s not forget Kim’s vampire facial, which warrants a lot of words — but I’ll remove my profane-laced tirade and merely call it classless. As for the 72-day marriage, I won’t kick the girl while she’s down, but she made the choice to air every facet of her private life on national television, including walking around town in history’s most gaudy engagement ring, which made me fear for her life.

Kim’s pregnancy was a perfect opportunity to transition the Kardashian brand into something more mature, because all sex-pots have a shelf-life, and she’s approaching her expiration date. Instead, she’s struggling with maternity fashion, and insisting on wearing heels despite her ever-growing bump. I understand she wants to look good, but when you have your own fashion line — it’s best to be on-trend, and baby-bumps don’t go with heels. To be fair, I’ve heard through the Hollywood grape-vine that Kim Kardashian is incredibly kind and professional, and everyone loves to work with her. And in the land of The Dishmaster, that goes a long way. That being said, I will hold you accountable for your poor choices, and they’ve made some.

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