It's pretty obvious that Kim Kardashian used Paris Hilton as a career model. In 2008, Paris Hilton could've taught a class on Reality Stardom 101. Side note, if that class ever actually exists, I'm burning my college diploma.
Anyway, earlier this year, according to the New York Post, Kathy Hilton was overheard telling friends at a party that Kim Kardashian copied Paris Hilton's entire life. Well, no kidding.
The only reason we know the word "Kardashian" today is because Kim often showed up arm-in-arm with Paris at red carpet events. From there, Kim basically copied every step Paris took. Let's take a look, shall we?
The Sex Tapes
Alright, I'm just gonna go right out and say it. The sex tapes. We all know it happened, and frankly, I'm tired of pretending these two didn't shoot to fame after their sex tapes were leaked. I'm not suggesting anything. I'll let their Wikipedia pages do that:
"Kardashian first rose to fame in February 2007 when she starred in a sex tape with R&B singer Ray J."
"Paris Hilton is known for her controversial participation in a sex tape in 2003…"
Yep, that's real.
From their sex tape scandals, both of them starred in their own reality shows. The Simple Life is probably the pioneer of bad, guilty reality TV. So yes, I watched every episode. Paris also starred in Paris Hilton's BFF and more recently, The World According to Paris. After Keeping Up with the Kardashians took off, Kim went on to Kourtney and Kim Take New York. They both worked really hard to make a name for themselves in reality television.
Club appearances were also important. Paris was known to rake in hundreds of thousands just for partying at a club. When the press got tired of her and turned the spotlight on Kim, Kardashian started making money from club appearances, too. Like Paris, she made a career out of being a professional reality star and party girl.
Building a Brand
Then there's the whole "branding" thing. For those unfamiliar, it's basically a euphemism for "selling yourself out." Paris Hilton dabbled in it with her own fragrance and clothing line. Hilton said of her products: "The girls all love my style. When they buy my products, they can be like me!"
Can she be any more full of herself? Yes, she sure can: "I feel very blessed that I have been very successful in every area... There is nothing else to do!"
Kim took branding to a whole new level, basically making her life one giant commercial. From Sketchers to QuickTrim, everything that comes out of Kim's mouth is basically a sales pitch.
Flaunting Their Riches
But one career lesson Kim learned from Paris was to try and be relatable. The more Paris flaunted her riches, the more the public grew tired of her. I mean, how many times did we see her shopping while she held wads of cash? People are intrigued by you until you just become some snobby stereotype. Then we just get bored.
For a while, the Kardashians did a decent job of trying to act like they were a normal family. Then we got bored. From Kim crying over her ridiculously expensive $75,000 earring to throwing a $10 million wedding, more and more people got sick of the Kardashians. And now, with all this wedding hoax business, the public is finding out that Kim Kardashian isn't even a reality star. Because there's nothing real about her.
Who is Next?
So, like Paris, the public and the media turned their backs after being oversaturated with their nonsense. So who could possibly be next? Might I suggest the cast of the Jersey Shore?
They're pretty much following Kim Kardashian's career to the T. Sure, they didn't have a sex tape, but they don't really need one. Each episode of the Jersey Shore is basically a sex tape.
All of the Jersey Shore cast members work really hard to brand themselves, even tossing around the phrase and comparing themselves to Kim Kardashian on occasion.
"I would like to get on [Kim's] level," Snooki told Chelsea Handler. "She's very successful, she's out there, and she's enjoying life."
At least three of them—Snooki, The Situation and JWoww—all have their own fragrances. There's also clothing lines, energy drinks, vodka, candy…you name it, Jersey Shore is all over it. And Vegas has basically become Club Jersey Shore, with Jwoww making weekend appearances and Pauly D having a residency there. Actually, the only cast member I can see not going the route of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian is Pauly D. He's the only one of them who has a talent that doesn’t involve being famous for being drunk.
We used to love the Jersey Shore characters because they were so off-the-wall and didn’t seem to give a sh-t about their images. They might have been trashy, but they were real and they were raw. But lately, it seems like they've been trying to class themselves up a little. Snooki is pretending "Snooki" is just an alter ego. JWoww isn't acting as much like a disgusting dude. They're still popular for now. But if they get too Hollywood and over-brand themselves, they're gonna go down the same road as the Kardashians.