We’ve all heard of the Kardashians and the Jenners (even if we’re trying really hard not to). Let’s face it, you’d have to have been living on Mars not to have heard the name of at least one of Kris Jenner’s sprogs. After all, the names of her six children are synonymous with the hit reality TV show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” which first aired on October 14, 2007. It's now well into its 13th season, making it one of the longest-running reality television series in the country.
The show has been slated by critics since the start due to an overemphasis on status, wealth, and shallow morality. Some critics have gone so far as to say the show’s penchant for a family “self-absorbed" and "desperate" for fame has created a program which is “downright despicable.” But love it or hate it, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” (KUWTK, for short) has proved itself to be a guilty pleasure for fans around the globe and has been a viable success for current Network E!.
Why do 3 million people tune in to watch these guys live their lives? We’re not sure, but it may have something to do with our voyeuristic desire to know the comings and goings of a rich American family complete with their “joyous, ugly, unsavoury, hilarious life.” And let’s be honest; “KUWTK” is not selling itself to intellectual over-40s; its main demographic are the 18-34-year-olds who seem to enjoy a little mindless “spongecake” in the evenings.
So for all those avid fans out there, let’s have a look at some pictures of the famous family, both good and bad!
16 Back In The Day (THE GOOD)
Last year, 36-year-old Kim Kardashian, daughter of Kris Jenner and Robert Kardashian, released a series of snapshots of her and her sisters on her website. Having tagged the photos with the words “It's still so hard to believe we're on our 12th season,” we congratulate her for sharing the sentiment of the entire world. But joking aside, these pictures weren’t half bad and show a clan of beauties who were destined for greatness.
It has to be said that while Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe have come on in leaps and bounds, the girls’ fashion sense still languishes in the downright ridiculous. Taken at the start of the KUWTK phenomena, Kim admitted, “Every time I'd go to the gym or go eat, every paparazzi would ask me questions and I would be like: 'Hey guys!' Like, I so wanted the attention.” Nowadays, Kim likes to preserve a little privacy and dignity… at least of whatever’s left.
15 Is That Really a Vape? (THE BAD)
Early in 2016, a Snapchat picture posted up by Kylie Jenner set fans’ tongues a-wagging. The pictures show the then 18-year-old smoking what seems to be a nicotine vaporizer. Harmless, you might think, should she wish to curb the dreadful habit of actual smoking, but when fans studied the pictures closer, they noticed smoke rings, which any avid vape-user will tell you is not possible.
So what was the concoction? We can only assume it was something more than boiled liquid, but what exactly, we wouldn’t like to say. Fans, however, accused her of smoking pot, which isn’t exactly beyond the realms of possibility when you consider a previous report about her saying she was “High as F***” on Snapchat. We don’t condone drug use in any way, shape, or form, and we also think someone with 8M viewers on Snapchat should be behaving more responsibly. But maybe that’s just us.
14 Silver Paint (THE BAD)
Not wishing to turn down the chance to re-enact the famous Goldfinger scene (the one where Shirley Eaton plays a gold-painted corpse), Kim Kardashian was again found on a magazine front cover. This time, the shoot was for W Magazine and featured the 36-year-old painted from the shoulders down in silver metallic paint.
All did not go well for Kim after the shoot, though, because she wasn’t told the pictures would be even more revealing than she had imagined. When the set hit newspaper stands, Kim received backlash and some unwanted attention and was often seen crying with shame. In her words, what W Magazine published was “serious p*rn,” and she wished she’d never agreed to the shoot. However, soon afterward, she opted to strip off without paint for Paper. So, go figure.
13 Khloé And Kim (THE GOOD)
Last year, German contemporary culture magazine “032c” snapped sisters Khloé and Kim at a shoot directed by Kim’s husband, singer Kanye West. The pictures were taken with the girls modeling fashion items by grungy wool house Yeezy. Along similar lines to Teller’s location for System, Khloé and Kim are seen frolicking together in sand (but this time, the clothes they wear are a little more fetching).
In fact, we think this shoot is one of the raunchiest ever, so we’d like to thank expert fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for capturing the essence of what makes these two Kardashian women so hot. 032c introduced this particular picture with the following caption: “The place somewhere outside of some city. This is the dirt of that limit. The pulverized stone crushed into microprocessors. This is the face of that limit. The scaffolding that holds up a network of desire.” There we are then.
12 Black Face (THE BAD)
It’s common knowledge these days that blackening up your face, no matter what the purpose, is a no-no. The American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s saw the swift demise of racial stereotyping from which actors like Al Jolson had made a living. That’s what makes Kylie Jenner’s decision to publish this picture, with the caption reading, “What I wish I looked like all the time” even stranger, especially when you’ll remember her sterling efforts to be accepted into black communities.
A clarification from Jenner came with an explanation that “this is a black light and neon lights people”, but such a throwaway remark didn’t silence her critics and stop a sizeable outpouring of bile on Twitter. Regardless of the reason for the look, we think you’d have to be plain barking stupid not to see how this would come across, especially in this day and age. Talking on Twitter after the event, American actress and singer Zendaya added a warning: “We all gotta stay aware of what image we project #lessons.”
11 Kendall Jenner (THE GOOD)
Kendall Jenner is the sultry and demure daughter of Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner) and Kris. Having starred in her family’s show since 2007, Jenner has carved a respectable career for herself in the world of modeling. She was signed by Wilhelmina Models in 2009 at the age of 14 and has since been shot for numerous publications including Teen Vogue, Vera Wang, and Chanel. Jenner also models on catwalks for various events and has her own cosmetic range.
However, last year the 20-year-old admitted in a British Mail Online article that she “loses her confidence when a bad snap of her is taken.” Although she gets paid millions of dollars for a shoot, it bothers her that she's under the spotlight all the time, wishing some of the more candid shots were forgotten about. “I make a weird face or turn the wrong way and, of course, that's the one they'll use!”
10 Mrs. Kardashian-West (THE BAD)
Arguably the most famous member of the family, Kim was little more than a well-to-do Los Angelean you might see on a Friday night walking out of Chateau Marmont's. Since then, her rise to fame and various ventures has made her No.42 on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. But there’s one specific moment in her career that she and the rest of the family would rather forget.
Eight months before KUWTK was released, Kim made an explicit sex-tape with Ray J, which she then sold to p*rn film distribution company Vivid Entertainment. According to founder Steven Hirsch, he considered the company to have been given the right to broadcast it in the public domain. The tape ended up being “the most popular we’ve ever done,” according to Hirsch and catapulted Kim into the spotlight, albeit for the wrong reasons. According to zine The Metro, the video has had over 93M views since it was first leaked.
9 Khloé Kardashian (THE GOOD)
Born in 1984, Khloé Alexandra Kardashian is now a businesswoman as well as a television personality. Together with her two elder sisters, Kourtney and Kim, Khloé is heavily involved in retail and fashion and since 2016 has hosted her own talk show called, “Kocktails with Khloé.” The sex tape Kim made was largely responsible as well for Khloé’s rise to fame, in-so-much as it garnered public attention just prior to the release of the first episode of KUWTK.
Since 2010, she’s starred in four TV productions as an actress and 17 as herself, the latest being “Revenge Body with Khloé Kardashian.” The good girl of the family hasn’t always been in the good books of the American legal system, though. In 2007, Khloé was charged with a DUI and a year later with assault, along with ten other people, for an offense that apparently took place in 2009. Naughty.
8 Worst Shoot Ever? (THE BAD)
Back in 2015, British newspaper The Mirror reported on a bizarre photoshoot of Kim. The pictures, taken by photographer Juergen Teller for System Magazine, showed her wearing an unflattering flesh-coloured outfit and black hold-ups, attempting unlikely positions in a gravel pit… yes, a real gravel pit, folks. Unlike many of her other hugely successful shoots (some of which almost did “break the internet”), this one feels like something a photography student would have done for his first-year exam. That’s not to say she doesn’t look hot, but she’s certainly not looking her best.
When you compare System’s set with something like 032c’s shoot for Yeezy (which we’ll come to next), there’s no contest. We think a good photographer needs to sell a model’s assets or at least sell what she’s wearing! Teller’s shoot gives the sense of looking at a hungover clubber trying to find her way out of a golf bunker the morning after.
7 Kim And Kris (THE BAD)
Remember Kim and her mother paying a visit to Munich in 2010? Dressed in traditional Bavarian maid outfits, which they could have gotten from a fancy dress shop, the two strolled into town intent on drinking beer and eating sausage. But instead, they ate pretzels and ice cream, and everyone suspects the beer was just for show; nevertheless, the two seemed to enjoy themselves immensely.
Anyway, it wasn’t really what they did that concerned fans; it was what they were wearing that raised the hard-to-please Bavarian eyebrow. Both sported a colorful yet gaudy dirndl, the traditional clothing of Alpine peasants; Kim even wore her hair in pigtails. But why? Was it all just a veiled mockery of South German ways? We’re not sure, but Kim’s post-prandial Tweet may give us a little clue: “I love Germany, it's Vonderful here! I love z apple strudel.” M’ok.
6 Paper Magazine (THE GOOD)
Fashion zine “Glamour,” earlier this year, opened with the line “It's a fact: Kim Kardashian is a bombshell with the confidence of a thousand women.” A subjective sentiment, perhaps, but one that's shared by many around the globe. But that doesn’t mean she's immune to criticism or bad publicity. Let’s face it: public “feedback” was especially worse for wear after her Mexico beach excursion with sister Kourtney, so much so that Kim felt the need to retaliate. “Yup I’ve recently seen perspective is a b****,” she tweeted. “I’ll work on taking good videos with better lighting & angles. F*** you.”
On the plus side, at least there are always her 2014 cover shots for New York magazine Paper, which she felt were “empowering” and do show her body off to its fullest beauty. The cover ran with the tagline “Break the internet, Kim Kardashian." She did, and on that occasion, for far better reasons.
5 The Black And White Number (THE BAD)
Back to Kim again who's renowned for her photophilic opinion of herself. Despite what people think of the Kardashian-Jenner blend show, we think Kim et al are doing what they can to ride the wave of fame and fortune that come from starring in a hit production. To date, Kim has founded television production company “Kimsaprincess Productions LLC,” which has released three successful workout videos starring the woman herself. She's also launched a fragrance and an e-commerce shoe-shopping website, “ShoeDazzle.”
What with owning “DASH” clothing boutiques along with Kourtney and Khloé, you would think the entrepreneur would herself have some decent fashion sense. But snapped in 2013, we think she must have gotten dressed in the dark, or perhaps, her stylist dressed her by telepathy. She got quite a bit of booing about the outfit she wore while pregnant, and according to the Mail Online “took heat from the tabloids and armchair fashion critics for her maternity look.”
4 Caitlyn Jenner (THE GOOD)
Former husband of Kris Jenner, Bruce Jenner revealed in an interview in 2015, he had “spent years cross-dressing and had undergone hormone replacement therapy.” He ended his 23-year marriage with Kris in the same year and subsequently underwent gender reassignment surgery, emerging as Caitlyn Jenner. Following this change, Caitlyn won “Glamour” magazine's Woman of the Year award, although this turned out to be a divisive accolade.
Feeling liberated after her surgery, Caitlyn wrote a memoir called “The Secrets of my Life” in which she admitted her relationship with step-daughter Khloé remains “fractured.” According to the 67-year-old New Yorker, the relationship “has not fully recovered since her transition.” What’s more, her sons Burt, Brandon, and Brody, by all accounts, had a hard time when it came to that “Vanity Fair” cover photo. Regardless of the problems she has undoubtedly encountered, Caitlyn’s final surgery took place at the start of this year.
3 Bruce And Kris Jenner (THE GOOD)
OK, so Bruce and Kris Jenner were married from 1991 to 2014, which encompassed some of the worst fashion statements since the bejeweled codpiece of 1666. Throughout that time, Kris devoted her life to her husband and children, and, in the process, brought up two, err, adorable children. But prior to her marrying Jenner, she also had four children -- the mainstay of the Kardashian clan -- by Robert Kardashian, who was a key figure in the defense of O.J. Simpson during the 1995 trial.
In 2014, Bruce and Kris divorced, citing irreconcilable differences. According to people.com, the pair had “spent the better part of a year dodging rumors that their relationship was on the rocks” and yet the article, contrary to some sources, didn't see Bruce’s gender realignment as the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” Caitlyn (was Bruce) a year later confirmed the reasons: “Twenty percent was gender and 80 percent was the way I was treated.”
2 Rob Kardashian (THE GOOD)
An American television personality and businessman in his own right, Rob Kardashian graduated from the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business two years after the start of KUWTK. Rob has also appeared in various other TV shows, including “The Choice” and “Dancing with the Stars,” but his overriding passion is for venture enterprise, having worked with PerfectSkin, Rival Spot, the BG5, and launching his own sock line titled Arthur George in 2012.
Rob keeps a low profile and is suspected of having some difficulties connected to his diabetes. His mum, Kris, has admitted he's struggling with “personal issues,” although exactly what these are, she wouldn’t say. His relationship with model Blac Chyna saw the arrival of their daughter Dream Renée Kardashian in November 2016, but one month later, the couple announced their split. Several rumors have been bouncing around since of reconciliation, but nothing’s confirmed.
1 Scott Disick (THE BAD)
Although Kourtney Kardashian and TV personality Scott Disick endured an on-off relationship for almost a decade, they finally split in 2015, according to E! News. The couple had three children together -- Mason, Penelope, and Reign -- but never tied the knot. Speaking on the Ellen DeGeneres show last year, Kourtney spoke fondly of him but was adamant: “Well, we're not together," she said. “I feel like every day is different, but we're totally getting along. Like, we have three beautiful kids together... But, you know, he's family. He'll always be.”
So it all sounds amicable, at least for the children’s sake. But Disick does have his problems, so we wonder whether 38-year-old Kourtney is courting danger by keeping the self-confessed womanizer and alcoholic close at hand. As if to make a point, in a bizarre turn of events, zine Life & Style quoted Disick earlier this year as saying Kourtney was the drug addict and he was the better parent. Come on, guys... think about the children?!
Sources: wonderwall.com, en.wikipedia.org, dailymail.co.uk