Yet Another Kim Kardashian Post

Let’s admit it—we see Kim Kardashian everywhere. I don’t necessarily like her, her family, or the consequent TV show/product endorsements/anything to do with the Kardashian clan; but like her or not, I’m forced to keep up with this family because of their presence on social media. Deny it all you want, I don’t care, but the fact of the matter is, this woman is probably one of the most successful social media users on the planet. She’s everywhere—and I seriously mean everywhere. Going down her impressive list—28.2 million Twitter followers; 25,176,521 Facebook fans, 25.1 million Instagram followers—having Kardashian-West’s numbers is something that only exists in my dreams (or nightmares; I’m not sure how I’d feel about it, really).

All this being said, my blogpost today is yet another Kim Kardashian post. Although I’m somewhat reluctant to do so because I really don’t like encouraging the pervasive presence of the Kardashians, I stumbled across Kardashian-West’s latest Super Bowl ad for T-Mobile.

The commercial addresses the issue of “lost data,” where cell phone carriers taking away unused data at the end of a customer’s billing period. She reasons with the audience that they should fight back (by switching to T-Mobile) as lost data will result in missed opportunities to see “my make-up, my back hand, my outfits, my vacations, and… my outfits” with each scene showing her taking a selfie. Seeing her social media statistics, this commercial is an effectively comedic way to coerce people into switching wireless providers in order to “save the data” to continue following her every move on social media.

This reminded me of chapter two in Jill Walker Rettberg’s “Seeing Ourselves Through Technology,” where she defines a “neoliberal subject.” A neoliberal subject, in Silicon Valley social media-developers terms, is one who “‘attends to fashions, is focused on self-improvement, and purchases goods and services to achieve “self-realization.” He or she is comfortable integrating market logics into many aspects of life, including education, parenting, and relationships. In other words, the ideal neoliberal citizen is an entrepreneur’.” If a neoliberal subject were to win a “best and most” category in their high school yearbook, they would win “most likely to succeed in social media, most likely to gain followers on Twitter and most likely to have their Facebook posts filtered into your newsfeed.” In this respect, Kim Kardashian-West qualifies as a neoliberal subject.

Still, with all that being said, I still hate Kim Kardashian-West. I’m just so sick of seeing her on my social media feeds; but hey, the exact reason why I hate her is what makes her successful.

7 thoughts on “Yet Another Kim Kardashian Post

  1. nklepper

    I think this is the exact mentality that makes celebrities famous, or rather, infamous. Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus share similar views for publicity circumstances: whether their name is mentioned in a positive or negative way, at least their name is garnering attention. With a combination of new hair cuts, daring outfit choices, bold songs and inappropriate behavior, Miley Cyrus has become a household name. In this case, any reference to her will promote her brand, even if it is a negative connotation. Like you said, even your hate can promote a business, person or product because of the sheer fact you are referring to it, kind of like reverse psychology.

  2. emdesur

    I like how you related this idea of a neo-liberal subject achieving self-realization to this video of Kim Kardashian. As annoying as she is, I think this advertisement is entertaining because Kim realizes that people find her selfies annoying and she is making fun of herself.

  3. ShanyaNorman

    The Kardashian family definitely annoys me too because they have made so much money for not doing anything especially important or noteworthy to society, other than broadcasting their lives on TV. Yet, for some reason, I do feel like I have somewhat fallen into the millions who are fascinated with their lives, because I do watch their reality show, follow the younger sisters on Twitter, and all that. I’m not sure why, because I basically talk trash about them while watching their show or think some of their posts are stupid, etc. However, because of this, I do agree that Kim and her family have taken advantage of social media in the most successful way. Even people who hate them still know about their lives, their kids, who they date/marry, Kim’s scandalous #breaktheInternet phenomenon, and more. Kim and her family are classic neoliberal subjects, and judging by this commercial, they know and take pride in that fact because it’s what’s made them all famous multi-millionaires.

  4. prisahdev

    This commercial was pretty amusing–but in the fact that she is blatantly making fun of herself for being so vain. It is so true about how her and her family though is the epitome of neoliberal subjects, and I thought it was a really good comparison. Funny how Kim can relate to so many blog posts eh?

  5. abwrubel

    I think a lot of what is being discussed here has to do with Trolling. There’s no way these celebrities, Kim Kardashian especially, are ignorant of their popularized personas, in fact I think they’re hyper aware of what this persona is. In this sense, Kim’s hyper awareness allows her to play into her popularized role in order to draw attention to herself, as an economic entity. There’s no way the Kardashians is a family composed of unintelligent individuals, they’re all business people and have an incredibly specific and detailed understanding and ability to create and curate an image of themselves that they know will attract a wide audience and attention.

  6. ErikaFriesenN

    I think you definitely nailed it with this post. Celebrities, generally speaking, are neoliberal subjects which is generally why they get our attention. Whether it be negative or positive attention I believe that this inherently makes them popular. The Kardashian family in general, is not my favorite ‘celeb’ family but they know how to manipulate social media in order to work in their favor. This being said the use of selfies curate an image that is consistent with their social media. This was a really good point to bring up. Kim and her selfies will always be criticized but at least they will be talked about, the ideal goal.

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