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Published 21 September 2012 12:11, Updated 24 September 2012 06:47
Reality star scarlet Kim Kardashian might be famous for all the wrong reasons, but be under no illusion – she (and undoubtedly her mother Kris Jenner) are branding geniuses. Much like her socialite nemesis, Paris Hilton, her love of fake tans, botox and teacup pups is merely a front for a very ambitious and overly-confident business woman.
The Kardashian family’s fame — along with various spin-off reality shows, underwear and swimwear lines, perfume (you name it really, they’ve done it) – spurs from Kim’s infamous sex tape with her then boyfriend, which was mysteriously leaked onto the internet. What followed was a mass of mind-numbing, albeit easily-digested, reality shows that have attracted tens of millions of followers world wide.
Forbes Magazine estimates the 31 year-old made about $US18 million last year (not including her family’s earnings). The magazine rates her as the 7th most influential celebrity in the world.
Last year her wedding (and subsequent 72 day marriage) to US sportsman Kris Humphries attracted more than 10 million television viewers and a whopping $US30 million deal with TV network E!. Her fragrance earned $6 million in retail sales and she worked with her sisters and Australian businessman, Bruno Schiavi, on a new clothing range.
Psychologists at the University of Berkley in California say that women who are overly confident and gifted in self-promotion, such as Kim Kardashian, tend to excel over their more competent peers. Their research shows that these people are often promoted over those who may be more competent than themselves, as their bosses mistake their confidence for real talent.
“Confident people are more likely to attract social attention than less confident people; they are more interesting to watch and listen to,” Berkley’s Professor Cameron Anderson says. “So Kim Kardashian’s success could be in part due to the fact that human beings are fascinated by confident individuals, even when their confidence is unjustified.”
Confidence or not, Kim Kardashian, for all her gaffes – yesterday during her visit to Melbourne she said she would like to be Jesus for a day – is still a master of branding. All journalists interviewing her were told they must mention the dietary supplement she was plugging in order to secure an interview (I won’t mention it in this piece) and she answered all questions with the cutesy, charming absent-mindedness that she has built her career upon. Whether that’s the real Kim we will never know. After all, it’s all part of the branding.