Go up to ten people and ask them what they think of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Miley Cyrus, or any relevant uber famous person in pop culture. I would bet that most of these people will say something like “ugh, they’re terrible people”, “how are they famous?” “They’re all so stupid” and a myriad of complaints, some so vile I don’t think I could type them.
Now, I want you to use your powers of introspection. I’ll bet you see yourself as a smart person, probably above average in intelligence. I’ll bet you see yourself as a sharp cookie, your acerbic wit mystifying those around you. I’ll bet you see yourself as an attractive person. You size yourself up to strangers, thinking that you are hotter than them while stroking the contours of your face. Now then, why are these air-headed dolts getting TV shows, record deals, and millions of dollars while you are stuck in your studio apartment with leftover Little Ceasars?
I think our hatred of pop-stars and our resentment of pop-culture stems from the idea that famous people remind us of how painfully average we truly are. So in retaliation, we take solace in the fact that, while we may not be as beautiful, we must be smarter than they are. Let’s say there was a mix-up at the VMAs and, instead of Kanye West giving the Video Vanguard speech, it was you. One of humanity’s biggest fears is public speaking so forget the cameras that are recording and just imagine speaking to that crowd. Do you really think you would be able to give a poignant, eloquent speech? Sorry, but you would probably come off as a blabbering idiot. Kanye West is obviously not a dumb person; just not great at public speaking. Miley Cyrus, based on the charities and views she supports, has a solid grasp on societal issues in America. Ke$ha, known for her party-girl music, is an absurdly intelligent woman who just happens to enjoy making party music. The Kardashians are more a brand than they are a family. The fact that their name is relevant today is an indicator that they’re not dumb.
So what are we left with? I think there are two things we can do. We can either accept that pop stars and pop culture isn’t inherently stupid or we could ignore it and live blissfully in a jar with all the other sharp cookies. I choose to accept.