Sites speculate that Kim Kardashian dropped 65 thousand dollars on 3 bracelets that used to belong to Elizabeth Taylor. Elizabeth passed away earlier this year on March 29, 2011 at the age of 79. The auction of her jewelry received a total cost of $115 million! Sources say Kim idolized Elizabeth so it is not very surprising that she spent so much money on just three bracelets.
Kim Kardashian can be thought of as a “professional celebrity”. C. Wright Mills explains “one type of celebrity, is a professional of it, earning sizeable income not only from working in, but virtually living on, the mass media of communication and distraction” (p74). On her show Keeping up with the Kardasians, Kim is always ranting about certain things the media says and trying to prove them wrong. For example, on one episode, Kim was determined to prove to the public that her butt was real so she got an x-ray. She is completely consumed in this “celebrity” life full of gossip.
From my perspective, being a celebrity doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re always powerful. Let’s take Kim Kardashian for example. She’s attractive, has her own reality shows, and a clothing line. Basically her name is an empire. However, these past few months have been rough for Kardashian after problems with her 72-day NBA husband Kris Humphries became out of her power to fix. There were already rough patches in the beginning before the wedding such as Humphries being late for wedding plans, Kim having a hysterical breakdown after losing her earring, and Kim’s sister’s strongly disliking Humphries.
Things between the married couple only got worse in their new reality show Kim & Kourtney Take New York. After the first episode was aired, Humphries was already shown moving back to Minnesota to focus on his NBA career. By Halloween time this year Kardashian filed a divorce against Humphries due to “irreconcilable differences.” Humphries was shocked at the decision because it seemed as if the press knew about the divorce before he was even informed. He told sources, “I’m committed to this marriage and everything this covenant represents. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it work.” This clearly did not change Kardashian’s mind because she finalized the papers within the days ahead. Since the new show Kim & Kourtney Take New York foreshadows what will happen for the ex-couples relationship, it’s interesting to see how powerless Kim feels about having a family with Humphries. Kardashian constantly stresses how she’s now 30 and needs to start her life, (aka have kids with Humphries) but Humphries would rather take it slow. He even told Kardashian that by the time she has kids, no one is going to care about her. Imagine how powerless Kim felt after that jab.
Kim’s own mother Kris Jenner (in this past weekend’s episode) thought that she wasn’t ready for kids. Jenner expressed that even though her daughter has a successful career, does not mean that she’ll have the power to maintain her famous celebrity job along with taking care of a baby. She’s known as the most successful Kardashian sister, and with a baby on her hip, it will really slow down her celebrity image.
Here is a quick clip of Humphries & Kardashian in a dispute
#1: Kim Kardashian and the Celebrity Marriage Disaster…. Kim’s short lived marriage way one of the biggest highlights in celebrity gossip in 2011. Still a relatively recent disaster after they split from their 72 day marriage many said that if Kim “married for love” she would have tried to make it work. Honestly I think that because of Kims rise in fame over the past few years, her wedding was over dramatized and the divorce even more so. She is caught in the public eye and she has no way out. Imagine the gossip that would happen if your average person divorced after 72 days…. There would be none. I am not saying that marriage can be taken lightly but really it’s no one’s business what Kim does and does not do. The biggest PR tactic in this case would have been no broadcasted multimillion dollar wedding and no marriage falling apart on the latest episodes of KKTNY. But that’s what makes the Kardashians who they are, they share everything with the world, the gossip is the price you pay..
#2: Amy Winehouse 1983-2011…. Amy Winehouse passed away at a very young age of a drug over dose. It was incredibly unfortunate, such a beautiful and talented women. Although she was dead by the time gossip began the way she died cause much discrepancy. A suicide will always hit the news differently than an accidental or natural death. With that being said her family handled the situation with class and grace. The PR tactic for this one is perhaps you don’t commit suicide and in the case that it does happen, do all you can to COVER IT UP! On a more positive note, the recent release of Winehouse’s newest music has been a huge hit. It is awesome!
#3: Casey Anthony… after her two-year-old child Caylee who was reported missing in Orlando, Florida, in July 2008, and whose remains were found in a wooded area near her home in December 2008. Casey Marie Anthony was tried for the first degree murder of Caylee but was acquitted. She was, however, convicted of misdemeanor counts of lying to police officers. The drama surrounding this was incredible, everyone knew every detail. The day Casey was released from jail she feared for her life, as did her attorneys. With many agree followers Casey has tried to move on in life, but what a burden to carry. #1 PR tactic in this case is honesty. In this case there were a lot of lies and misconceptions. Lying only made this situation worse so sometime honesty is the best policy, but in PR that is surely not always the case!
3) In about 300 words, pick the top three disaster celebrity stories of the year and explain how public relations tactics could have helped the celebrity or celebrities come out better off if they had handled it right.
A Wedding Doomed from the Start
One of the most widely recognized celebrity disasters this year was the Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries wedding. After only being married for days, the marriage was ended. Newspapers and magazines went crazy writing about this event, as the wedding had been all anyone had been talking about! The dream wedding was aired on television, and audiences were consumed by it. When the divorce was announced, the public relations representatives for Kim did not do a good job of covering her story. The news was posted everywhere, but nowhere did they give a reason behind the divorce. Kim is now recognized as materialistic and it is expected that the wedding, as well as the divorce, are just a big publicity stunt. If there had been more reasoning and insight from Kim herself, she may have a better reputation as a result.
Lindsay Headed Back to Jail
Lindsay is back in the courtroom after she has failed to comply with her probation, and has not met her community service sentence. Lindsay, once a cute childhood star has turned on a downward spiral for years. The media is always talking about her weight problems, drug suspicions, and unprofessional behavior. Public relations representatives should promote Lindsay’s positive behaviors in order to regain a positive reputation. News about her jail time and court hearing should be kept private if there is any hope of her coming back from these rough few years.
One and a Half Men?
Charlie Sheen has become an image of drugs, and scandal among television stars today. Recently, he lost his role on the hit show, Two and a Half Men. What amazed me, is that after all of the negative attention being drawn toward him, he has become even more popular. Sheen’s public relations representatives have taken negative, and made it recognized among the masses. Instead of monitoring and controlling what the media said about Sheen, it seems as though this image has been encouraged in the public. What should have been done, is monitor and control his image. By showing positive initiatives Sheen is taking, instead of negative ones would have bettered his image overall, and may have saved his reputation.
3) Three disaster stories of 2011 were Kim Kardashian’s 72 day marriage, Lindsay Lohan in and out of jail, and Alec Baldwin playing games on American Airlines. When it comes to Kim Kardashian she has had her fair share of PR mishaps but when it comes to her recently failed marriage her PR team should have stepped up to help her out. She did write on her personal website that she was not in love with him anymore and became too caught up in the wedding planning. However her team should have advised her NOT to air her wedding on television making the pressure on her and Kris Humphries even larger and even a personal statement by Kim on television or in an interview would help instead of comments from “close family friends”. While Lindsay Lohan needs to completely start over, when it comes to PR. She has been to jail a couple of times, has not come out with a new movie in years, and recently had her spread in Playboy leaked. Her PR people should have told her that posing for Playboy would not help her image but only make the public think that she still is crazy and needs more help not only with her no existent career. Finally, there is Alec Baldwin who was recently kicked off an American Airlines flight for not shutting his phone off and continuing to play “Words with Friends”. The large issue is not that he was kicked off but that he said an apology that really did not admit to what he did wrong and then he proceeded to go on SNL and mock American Airlines. His PR people should have had him make a public apology to the airline and even though the SNL skit was all in good fun, it was still taken poorly for how he initially handled the incident.
“But their very use by advertising media and fashion industry revealed the ambiguity of their ‘social distinction.’” – C. Wright Mills
This quote embodies the success stories of two popular starlets of our era… Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. The funny thing is, Kim used to simply pick out clothes and dress up the wardrobe of her fellow starlet. This is how Kim Kardashian started out… helping celebrities with their wardrobes… but then, through working the celebrity scene and paparazzi… she somehow became a bigger success than those who had employed her. Say what you want about Kim K… but she’s certainly figured out how to work the celebrity system.
Kris Humphries has filed legal separation from Kim Kardashian and a nullification from their marraige. Filing as “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the separation and “fraud” for the reason behind the annulment, he’s choosing to erase the 72 day union from his past. When Kim first filed for divorce, she gave this statement to E! News:
“After careful consideration, I have decided to end my marriage. I hope everyone understands this was not an easy decision. I had hoped this marriage was forever, but sometimes things don’t work out as planned. We remain friends and wish each other the best.”
Sorry Kim, but I don’t think Kris wants to be friends anymore . . .
C. Wright Mills states, “an elite cannot acquire prestige without power; it cannot retain prestige without reputation. Its past power and success builds a reputation, on which it can coat for a while.”
Two reining elite queens of celebrity are Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. The two superstars have extremely similar careers but exceedingly different reputations. Paris having been around longer than Kim has damaged her reputation via scandals.
As Mills says, you can’t have prestige without reputation. The question is what kind of reputation generates the most power and prestige?
“In the world of celebrity, the hierarchy of publicity has replaced the hierarchy of decent and even of great wealth.” -C. Wright Mills (73)
Think publicity and more than likely you will think Kardashians. The Kardashians, yes every single one of them, have had more publicity than probably any other public figure in the last two years. They are everywhere-gracing the covers of magazines, staring in popular reality television shows, putting out clothing lines, and scents, you name it! They are an empire that just keeps growing. Kourtney has recently confirmed the news of another baby, just as the news of Kim’s divorce to basketball star dies down. They are full of publicity stunts, and you better believe that this is just the beginning. Younger step-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner are making their way into the limelight and I’m sure it won’t be long until they fall right into the footsteps of their older sisters, Kourtney, Khloe, and Kim! Their publicity is causing them to become the epitome of the word celebrity.