I think the media, the Internet, the Emmy voters, the State Department paper-pusher in charge of ambassador appointments, and the global academic community -- especially those catty cultural anthropology grad students -- have been too quick to dismiss the Kardashians. When I hear the claims that they manufacture drama for the sake of the cameras and that they're less a family than a commercial enterprise, I'm all like, "Jealous much???" I mean, who among us wouldn't want to toe carpets red and plush, to slap our name/imprint on jewelry and floor waxes and depilatories, to tweet thoughts as deep as the ocean is… deep? And oh, how they give of themselves, charitably and commercially and topically! Simply put, the Kardashians are like us, but richer, shinier, fabulouser and just plain better.
Those who cannot accept that reality, pathetically, often choose to vent by casting aspersions on America's First Family (no offense, Malia and Sasha). Case in point: "Getting Ready with Kendall & Kylie Jenner," an Internet featurette presented by Gillette Venus. Playa-hataz might argue that encouraging two sheltered dipshits to indulge their style-maven ambitions is borderline irresponsible. Snobby marketing jerkheads might wonder why Gillette couldn't have achieved the same brand boost by forgoing the celebri-teen route and having a comely, normal teen chirp, "Here's a razor! It can be used for razoring things! Aspirational!" But I'd argue instead that we owe next-gen teen sisters Kylie and Kendall Jenner, the clip's two steely, benevolent protagonists, a great deal of gratitude. It's not every modern teen, you know, who selflessly conveys super-cool fashion advice to anyone who will listen -- to dorks, even.
The clip's conceptual underpinning is brilliant in its simplicity: Faced with the prospect of having to wear a blasé t-shirt/jean shorts combo in public, Kendall and Kylie venture deep into their small municipality of a closet for accessories -- hats, necklaces, etc. -- to jazz it up. As they do so, they make kissy-faces at the camera, jump on each other's backs and otherwise act like the titans of industry that they are. Their witty, informed banter affirms our sneaking suspicion that the kids are, indeed, alright (K1: "Cheetah adds a little flavor-flav"; K2: "I was just about to say the same thing, that is so weird").
And what Kylie (14 years old) and Kendall (16) cannot themselves articulate, the video's producers deftly communicate in thought-bubble pop-ups that appear every 15 seconds or so. Without those bubbles, we'd be left to wonder whether Kendall's selection of a horseshoe-accessorized belt speaks to a deeper, darker truth about her past (it does, as per the bubble: "Kendall actually used to ride horses as a kid"). Other pop-ups hint at family discord ("Kylie goes for simpler accessories… Kendall has to have shades in summer"), an ability to convey contractually mandated brand messaging ("jean shorts let you show off gorgeously smooth legs!," "whatever your style, use Venus Embrace for smooth legs!") and the willingness to challenge style conventions ("a cute hat is great if you're having a bad hair day, or attempting to conceal a festering head wound," "a little animal print goes a long way, unless you're an animal and the animal print clashes with your own print, because you're an animal").
As if Kendall and Kylie haven't already given us enough, the clip extends a full 49 seconds beyond the gals' official sign-off, courtesy of a mini-mini-mini "Time Out with Kendall & Kylie" junior-featurette. In it, we are treated to a rare glimpse of the girls in introspectivisness mode. Kendall soberly assesses the diminishing stylishness of gaucho pants, while Kylie acknowledges -- for the first time, as far as I'm aware -- that she usually puts on her jeans before her boots. These to-the-camera confessionals contrast starkly with the bubblier accessorizing that precedes them, forcing us to question our own values, biases and habit of lacing up our sneakers before donning underpanties.
In conclusion, whether you love the Kardashians (raising hand!!!) or believe their ubiquity and shameless consumption doesn't do us any favors in the appeasing-would-be-jihadists department (booo!!!), "Getting Ready with Kendall & Kylie Jenner" is the preeminent one-off video clip for those who would seek to add accessory flair to a simple jean shorts/t-shirt pairing. Less a brand-boosting video than a glorious tribute to the human spirit, "Getting Ready" makes Martin Luther King's "Mountaintop" speech sound like a rhino vomiting.