Today’s guest post comes from Nadia Jones, who blogs at OnlineCollege.org about education, college, students, teachers, money-saving tips, and movie-related topics. She asks the question: Does technology play a role in making reality stars famous?
I’d say yes, because it’s hard to imagine these folks getting the same attention without the benefit of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and all the technological marvels of the Information Superhighway. Read on for Nadia’s thoughts on the topic…
You either love ’em or hate ’em, but ‘The Real Housewives‘ have taken America by storm. The series has even gone international, with housewife clans based in Toronto, Athens, and Israel. Even those who hate the characters, including my husband, can’t look away when the women of New York, Miami or [insert city of your choice] display themselves at their worst.
Perhaps the consistent following of the shows can be explained by the bizarre, outrageous drama of the housewives, their spouses and families. But how do you explain a fan base that remains loyal to individual housewives even when they’re off the air? What explains former New York Housewife Bethenny Frankel‘s face on the cover of Forbes magazine? Or Beverly Hills housewife Kyle Richards’ 151,000 twitter followers?
Let’s look beyond ‘The Real Housewives’ and discuss another reality star, Kim Kardashian. Until recently, her show wasn’t even aired internationally. But Kardashian and her sisters have over a million Twitter followers each, and they’re emulated for their style and poise throughout the world. How did this happen? Why have Americans and those abroad become obsessed with reality stars and their everyday activities?
Twitter, Facebook and personal blogs explain a lot about the fame and obsession behind reality stars. Social media has done more for Bethenny Frankel, Kyle Richards, and Camille Grammer than ever imaginable. Why? Because now their fans are able to ask Bethenny directly how she got that skinny, where Kyle Richards bought the dress she wore for cocktails in the latest episode, and what Lisa Vandercamp ate for dinner.
Their responses allow the housewives to not only shamelessly promote themselves, but also their brand names. Bethenny gets paid to show up at a party and promote both her own and other brands. The Kardashian sisters are paid absurd amounts of money to wear and promote high-end designers like Chanel and Prada. And the worst part? The part that drives me wild? They probably even get to keep those clothes.
The Real Housewives may already be rich, but thanks to social media, their short-lived fame translates to something more long term. Their ability to interact with fans and promote various brands makes them even richer and more influential outside their elitist urban circles.
So whenever my husband trashes Bethenny Frankel, I have to remind him to give her some credit. She took what she had, and boy oh boy, did she work it.