I just sat through the latest episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on E!, and I am horrified. Daughter Kendall Jenner – who has become an icon to so many teenage girls all over the world – calls mom Kris Jenner a “whore” and seems to think that it’s perfectly okay to force her mother to care for her Great Dane puppy with diarrhea.
Like so many viewers, I’ve watched the Kardashians off and on for years with a mixture of amusement and disgust. They’re definitely the GOLDEN family of reality television, but these nasty little girls Kris and Bruce Jenner have raised are literally teaching ‘tweens and teens all over the world that disrespecting your parents is cool. NOT. Aren’t there already enough bad examples in this world?
Basically, the episode was about Khloe Kardashian realizing that she’s been so repeatedly nasty to her mother in front of her younger sibs that she’s taught them to disrespect her as well. Khloe – being an adult now – tries to talk to Kendall about it and it’s clear that baby sis thinks she’s too cool for school and isn’t hearing the message.
Kendall can’t even take a lesson about not double-dipping your chips from her mother without being rude. Let’s face it kiddo – mom’s embarrassed by your table manners that she hasn’t taught you and she’s trying to get you to behave like a well-bred young lady. While it’s clearly too late for that, the fact that Kendall gets upset her mother had her puppy licensed (as required by law) without telling her really demonstrates what a spoiled, ungrateful brat she is.
If I had kids, I’d be blocking this show on my TV after tonight’s episode if only so that my own kids wouldn’t grow up believing that treating your parents disrespectfully and calling them dirty names is not an example of the way that children should be raised OR permitted to behave. On the flip side, none of the “Real Housewives” in any city should be letting their own children watch their shows the way they’ve all behaved on occasion.
Reality television stars have got to start realizing that their behavior – good or bad – has an impact on the viewing public. I’ve lambasted BravoTV’s “Real Housewives of New York” repeatedly in my Monsters and Critics blogs for showing Sonja Morgan and Ramona Singer sexually harassing service staff wherever they travel, and acting like that’s perfectly acceptable behavior. But really people, this is not the example that America needs at a time when “family values” are already seriously in question.
It’s time for celebrities – actors and reality television “talent” – to start owning their behavior and the impact it has on the viewing audience. Granted, if Sonja stops behaving like a dog in heat, some RHONY fans might start getting bored. But is that an excuse for teaching millions and millions of viewers that it’s acceptable to disrespect parents, waiters, boat captains and pretty much anybody else they come into contact with for the entertainment value? I think not.
I was a dedicated fan of “The Osbournes” and I NEVER saw Sharon Osbourne (or even Ozzy when he was paying attention) permit that sort of behavior from Kelly or Jack. I’m not saying they were never rude – I’m saying their parents didn’t tolerate it. Sure, they fought and acted like normal kids and weren’t always respectful, but I cannot remember a single occasion where either Kelly Osbourne or Jack Osbourne was rude or inappropriate with the paid help, no matter which country they were in. Sharon Osbourne would make a good example for other reality television moms – while Kris Jenner would be the WHAT NOT TO DO of a book on How-to-Raise-Your-Kids-on-Camera self-help book.
“Gene Simmons: Family Jewels” is another example of children being raised properly in a reality television environment with cameras all over the home. Like Kendall and Kiley Jenner and Kelly and Jack Osbourne, Nick and Sophie were raised by famous parents and participated in a successful reality show. But somehow the Simmons and the Osbournes didn’t create narcissistic monsters with foul mouths. All of them have turned out to be perfectly normal adults, not internationally-known bad examples.
I’m not saying every kid was perfect all of the time (both Osbourne kids had their own demons to overcome) – but I’ve never seen any of those kids talk like I saw Kendall refer to her own mother tonight on the Kardashians. And I’m sick to my stomach. Sure, she’s still young and maybe her sisters will help her clean up her act, but what of all the young ladies (and I use that term loosely) who are watching her thinking she’s the coolest thing since Tinder?
The example Kendall Jenner is setting is NOT okay. And after checking out her Twitter and other social media tonight, I can honestly say that the breadth of the damage she’s doing is far wider than anyone can even understand.
There are a number of shows that do nothing but show people behaving badly.
“Bad Girls Club” on Oxygen is a hideously good example. I mean, the name alone says it all. Take the most badly-behaved, rude and twisted young women the production company can find and let them loose on each other like hyenas in a mansion-based “Survivor” where physical combat is perfectly okay. And, if they’re awful enough, the reward is more TV shows showing how rude and tacky they can be.
Tanisha Thomas, currently a member of the cast of WEtv’s “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars” is a prime example of this bizarre career track based solely of a lack of basic manners and civility. She went from kicking ass on “Bad Girls Club” to several spinoffs of that show and eventually her own “Tanisha Gets Married” where she created a whole new brand of Bridezilla that wedding planners like me only have nightmares about. For real.
Now she’s demonstrating her own unique brand of ghetto-fabulousness on “Marriage Boot Camp” and it’s clear that not much has changed. She’s an adult and she’s on shows targeted at adults so I guess it’s her prerogative to do whatever makes her happy, including berating her husband Clive for going deaf on national television. But I laughed my butt off at WEtv’s bio of her on their website.
“She is currently in production for a new makeover show for Lifetime, where she has the opportunity to give women who have fallen on hard times the boost that they need for transforming their lives for the better. Tanisha loves that she is able to draw upon her life’s lessons to inspire women to being the best version of themselves possible.”
Really? REALLY??? If drinking and swearing and threatening people is inspiring to young women then America is in serious trouble.
So what’s to be done about it? It’s okay to joke about blocking certain shows from your kids, but unless you’re the multi-media household Nazi, kids today can access anything they want to watch via their phones, iPads and laptops. Blocking it on your home televisions is effective til they’re about six. If you’re lucky.
I think it’s time to hold some of the celebrities accountable for their actions and behavior, and the repercussions it’s causing worldwide. You can’t spank them and fix the problem – they have to “get it.” They need to watch themselves and understand how influential they are because of their visibility. And their parents need to give them the hardcore smackdown on camera when they behave like ungrateful little snots.
Let’s hope there’s some blowback from tonight’s episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” I think a public apology to mom would be a nice start – but why not do it in a press release format and Tweet it too?
If Kendall were to post all over social media about how embarrassed she is by her own rudeness and how guilty she feels about the things she said about and to her mother, maybe other teenage girls would think twice before calling their mothers whores. More importantly, she needs to stop giving the world of teenagers these bad examples to model their behavior after and show a little gratitude to the woman who gave birth to her, changed her diapers and is now picking up her puppy’s poop too.
Here she is sucking at reading: