Was I the only one devastated by the announcement of Kris and Bruce Jenner’s split this week? I really believed that after 22+ years together, Kris and Bruce’s was a marriage destined for survival. If Kris and Bruce can’t make it after over a decade together, I don’t know what hope remains for the rest of the Kardashian family.
Kris and Bruce have weathered all of their children’s trials and tribulations and public missteps together. From Kim’s sex tape and 72 day marriage, Khloe’s DUI and Rob’s uncontrollable weight gain — you’d think through their children they’d seen it all, and it only served to make them stronger.
Kris and Bruce’s marriage also functioned as a modern-day business partnership, which saw them effectively brand their family into a reluctant household name.
But who would have thought that behind this façade of a united front was a raging private turmoil? Who knew that behind the cameras they too had drama of their own; battling demons and fighting to save their own marriage?
Those that follow Keeping up with the Kardashians argue that the split was predictable— fated even. Week after week, viewers saw visible warning signs — Kris’ routine verbal bullying and emasculation of Bruce; his inexplicable, YOLO motivated purchase of an entire separate house for himself. A Bruce and Kris divorce was imminent, inevitable, only a matter of time.
What I find more shocking than the split itself, though, is the aftermath that played out in the family’s reactions this week.
Bruce has characteristically downplayed — if not outright denied — the occurrence of the entire divorce. Kris too hurriedly denied the possibility of animosity, and even felt it necessary to drive home the message with a photo of herself strategically hanging out with Bruce and his two sons.
Her children have written ambiguous, unrelated posts on their own social media accounts — Khloe continues to tweet bizarre, non-descript love quotations (context: she is reportedly fighting to save her own marriage to NBA star Lamar Odom at the moment,) Kourtney’s written about the importance of strong women, and Kim’s recent tweets have been frantic inquiries about Halloween. But perhaps young Kylie’s reaction is the best example of the glorious, shameless hypocrisy her family has come to exhibit towards public interest in their lives:
“I don’t think I’ve ever been more over paparazzi and everyone judging me on every damn thing.”
For a family who seeks to inform an audience with its domestic drama, this is a confusing and unwarranted complaint. Why has the family continued to renew their reality show, yet condemned an influx of public fascination with their lives?
I don’t know if this question has a simple answer. The Kardashians are complex creatures whose impulses and motives cannot be immediately understood by the public. Maybe — just maybe — they are growing tired of acting as an unwavering presence in our lives, and this is the beginning of the end of the Kardashian dynasty. But let’s be real — I highly doubt it.
Jessica Fishbein, Online Contributor
Image: We Heart It/Instagram (@ali_michael)