The Kardashian Cataclysm: How Pakistani celebrities can challenge stereotypes - by Shaza Tehseen


Prancing actors advertising an unhealthy sports drink. Bathing actresses selling a soap you would not usually buy. A singer endorsing a telecom company which rarely contributes to charitable sectors. Famous television anchors luring consumers to build their dreams in new housing schemes. A hunky actor who posts a selfie every day looking exactly the same with professional hairstyling and designer clothing, and borrowed quotes or self-mongering philosophies as captions. A young, beautiful girl who makes comical clips of colloquial themes acquiring sky-rocketing publicity at the age of 16. The camera rolls. A famous demi-god dances and slithers like a snake on the stage while some shake their booty and pretend they are from the ghetto. Celebrities get cheques. Likes and views go in hundreds of thousands of clicks. The audience drools. What happens next? A generic consumer of media gets addicted to nonsense. So the moral of the paragraph is this: anyone can become an entertainment celebrity in Pakistan on the visual platforms of Facebook and Instagram by being everything but themselves.


How did celebrities get hooked on social media platforms instead of mainstream media for self-promotion ? Why do most celebrities overlook the investment in their fame versus the viral consequences of an untimely scandal, inappropriate image or a frivolous comment? Who laid the foundation of celebrity culture being on everyone's fingertips and less dependent on paparazzi? The infamous Kardashians are to be awarded in my opinion. We see the digital imprint of how the ‘Kardashians’ became role models for many celebrities who shook the ethos of media boundaries even in the international cultural setting.

They profited from the time when social media platforms began rising from the ashes of MTV and other cable networks. It was the time when pop culture became a dangerous blend of ‘hate them or love them’ a sentiment which continued for more than a decade as the disjointed family members became the ‘most watched show’ of the 2007 era onwards.