From contouring and flower walls to toddler-sized Balmain blazers and belfies, here’s what we have the Kardashians to thank for...
Love them or hate them, everyone has heard of the Kardashians and the chances are that their hit show Keeping Up With The Kardashians will have brought at least something into your life over the years. Yes really - whether it’s contouring, selfie culture or even more important progress like trans awareness.
The E! show is about to turn ten years old, with the very first episode airing in October 2007 – we feel old too. And while we don’t exactly feel our brain cells multiplying while watching it, KUWTK has been the guilty pleasure we needed to get us through break ups, nights in and a lot of hungover weekends over the past decade.
The Kardashians weren’t on our radar when the show first aired – with Kylie Jenner being just 10-years-old at the time – yes, again, we feel ancient. But now, ten years later, the family has become a household name, dominating social media and becoming leading influencers in the beauty, fashion and TV industries.
Ahead of the KUWTK 10th anniversary special this Sunday, we’re looking back at everything the Kardashians have brought into our lives over the years – be it a good or bad thing…
1. Contouring Kim Kardashian started the contouring phenomenon, with perfectly sculpted skin becoming the family’s signature look. In fact, ‘How to contour like Kim Kardashian’ is one of Google’s top searches, with a heavily contoured face becoming the leading beauty trend and earning Kim big bucks selling her KKW Beauty Kits.
2. Selfies While the Kardashians may not have invented selfies, they undoubtedly elevated the trend to global scale. Their selfie skills are second to none, but it’s actually their controversial uploads that make people associate them with the phenomenon - from the snap of Kim’s bloodied face after a ‘vampire facial’ to her nude selfie – covering her privates with a censor bar.
3. Belfies Lest we forget the belfie trend – something the Kardashians are entirely responsible for. ‘Belfies’ or ‘bottom selfies’ were started as a way of flaunting their curves – with Kim completely redefining society’s perception of the ideal female body (it’s arguably just as impossible to achieve though). Kim and her belfie trend led people to not only embrace curvy bums but to aim for them, with underwater bum selfies making particular waves. In fact, several hotels and beach clubs across the globe have actually invested in pools with transparent sides, just to allow people to make the most of belfie opportunities.
4. Spray-on sports luxe chic The Kardashians are the queens of sports luxe, with their clothes being so skin tight that they could genuinely have been sprayed on. While it must have been a difficult look to resurrect, they have definitely accomplished it with legions of A-listers from Karlie Kloss to Hailey Baldwin now worshipping the trend.
5. Flower walls You’d be forgiven for thinking that Beyoncé was responsible for the flower wall trend (see recent baby announcements 1 and 2), but it was actually the Kardashians who put flower walls on the map. Back in the day, Kanye showed up boyfriends everywhere, by bucking the bouquet trend and building Kim an enormous wall of white roses and orchids for Valentine’s Day instead. The gift went down so well that it has actually become the couple’s signature, with the two erecting a similar wall for their wedding day, making the perfect Instagram backdrop.
6. Openness about botox While celebrities tend to keep tight-lipped when it comes to cosmetic surgery, the Kardashians yet again bucked the trend, opening up about everything from botox and facial fillers to bum implants and as a result, removing the stigma around them.
‘My face was so fucked I had to go and get this whole thing dissolved,’ Khloe explained in a KUWTK episode about her facial fillers going wrong. ‘It was a bummer and now I’m afraid to do it again. And I’m almost like, I swear things are still in my face.’
7. Co-ordinated family ensembles Before the Kardashians came along, matching family outfits were reserved for strange cults and the Von Trapp family. It was only these girls who made it socially acceptable, never missing an opportunity to co-ordinate their looks. For the most extreme examples, see Kris Jenner’s 60th birthday bash when the entire clan wore matching Great Gatsby costumes and Kanye West’s Yeezy fashion show, seeing the Kardashian-Jenners arrive in head-to-toe white and feathers. We’ll let you decide whether or not that was a good call.
8. Toddler-sized Balmain blazers While we can’t credit the Kardashians with the curveball celebrity name trend (North and Saint are strong contenders though), something they did bring to our attention is tiny tot couture, with even the youngest family members dripping in designer labels. North West may only be four-years-old but she is already the proud owner of a designer wardrobe, boasting Balmain blazers, Oscar de la Renta gowns, Charlotte Olympia kitty flats and many-a fur coat. Did we mention she also has several Hermés handbags and an Alexander Wang leather jacket? Again, she’s four.
9. Trans awareness on a global scale Something that the Kardashian-Jenners really have had an affect on is global trans awareness, after 67-year-old Bruce Jenner transitioned, becoming Caitlyn. The fame and influence of the family catapulted the issue into the public eye, not only raising awareness on a global scale but also opening people’s minds to the concept – especially given the public support from his daughters.
‘I don’t know what life would be like if you always felt like you weren’t yourself,’ explained Kim. ‘As long as he is happy and he wants to live his life, however he wants to live it, that just makes me happy – and I support him 100%.’
‘We share a part of the journey we have been on in hopes of helping others in similar situations, or simply to help make the world a less judgmental place,’ agreed Kourtney. ‘Let’s work together to be kind.’
10. Family squads If Keeping Up With The Kardashians has taught us anything over the past decade, it’s that it’s ok to have your family members as your best friends, with Kris Jenner explaining of the show, ‘I am living my dream because I get to work with my kids and watch them find their happiness’.
What would we do without them?
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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