Barbara Walters Uncovers Secret to Kardashian Success (HINT: It’s Not Talent)

kardashian empireMy favorite moment in Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People of 2011 special was when she posed this tantalizing puzzle to the Kardashian ladies: "You don't really act. You don't sing. You don't dance. You don't have any -- forgive me -- any talent." So why are they so big?

It's a question a lot of us ask -- what the HELL is behind the Kardashian empire? Why are we so captivated by this family of women who DON'T EVEN DO ANYTHING? It's just mind-boggling. Have you ever tried to explain to someone what the Kardashians are famous for? "They're on a reality TV show. And folks just can't get enough of it. They're famous for living in a fishbowl." It's just a crazy idea. And check out how Kim Kardashian replied to Barbara Walters.


Kim says, "I think it's more of a challenge for you to go on a reality show and get people to fall in love with you for being you, so there's definitely a lot more pressure I think to being famous for being 'ourselves.'" As nutty and "meta" as this sounds, I think she may be right. I mean, it's no small feat to dazzle an audience with more traditional talents: Acting, singing, dancing -- all of these require an enormous commitment to practice and refinement before you can have any hope of breaking into fame.

But to be famous for doing nothing -- that takes some kind of genius. There is a talent to that, definitely. I don't know what it is, but I think it's maybe even the signature talent of the 21st century. The Kardashians, especially Kim, manage to combine the right formula of charisma, beauty, glamor, drama, humor, and insanity. And they even make it look easy.

Khloe also told Barbara, "But we're still entertaining people." Maybe we should just call them entertainers? When you think about it, they're writers, producers, directors, even actors. And just because I find them inane and hopelessly vapid doesn't mean I can't also find them devilishly brilliant. Count me among the people who agree that the Kardashians are among the year's most fascinating people. 

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Do you agree that the Kardashians deserve to be among the year's most fascinating people?


Image via ABC

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