“I expect she has to slave in the gym to keep that posterior in shape”; the statement made recently by Dr Helen Wright, the headmistress who uses Kim Kardashian as one the causes for “the decent of western civilisation”. Although I agree with the reasoning and sentiment of such a statement, for those of us who don’t have to google her name in order to discover the ‘brand’ behind such decent, then I put it to you that it is us whom are the reason for such a possible decent.
Within British society I track the beginnings of decent, based on my aged(less) view on the world, back to 1992-93 and the birth of the Premiership Football League. Gasp!! No!! Bullshit!! I hear you say. Well I imagine thats what you would say if people actually read this. I digress. So for a society still under Tory rule and only 3 years after Thatcher, Britain was a place that wanted to be free and go places. For the followers of the national game however it meant stay here and put on the handcuffs. Sky took the rights to live televised football which meant fans had to shell out for Sky TV, its monthly subscription and the extra cash for the sports channel(s). Now at this stage in the game, I believe that people were outraged and unwilling to pay such a high price. Well they did. Over the next ten years sky then introduced more sports channels showing Premier League games and then introduced a pay-per-view service on top of its subscription fees. Money money money. All of which was paid out and is still being paid out.
And what about the reasons behind OK, More, Closer etc. The most popular magazines in the country are about celebrities. And yet the people who complain about the celebrity culture are the same people who are helping it to stay alive, they want more and more.
The point of the two examples being that society allows it to happen. Now there is no way we are going to change the culture we are in by not watching Sky anymore (well if only to give Murdoch a kick in the dogs) or stop buying these magazines, because that would simply take too long to achieve. But what about changing the way in which we view such things. So getting back to the original point, it is not the celebrity that we watch, admire, lust after, tweet that is to blame for society, it is us. We are focusing on the wrong part of the celebrity. Simon Kelner says just this in todays i, “in a society that praises talent above hard work, perhaps Kim Kardashian can, in a certain light, be seen as a rather admirable role model”. This backs up a certain amount of admiration that is afforded to Ms Kardashian by Dr. Wright regarding how much determination it must take to stay in shape (yes Grace Dent her curves are amazing) and be able to deal with all the misgivings that comes with the celebrity territory. The lifestyle and the money comes at a great price.
If we switch from admiring the role of celebrity to accepting that these people put up with a lot of negative issues in order to do what they do, would that help us as a society become free of such admiration? And, I don’t know, in some sense allow us to feel better about our own lives and our own achievements. Would it slow down the decent of western civilisation? Mind you soon we wont be able to afford to have Sky or but OK! magazine.