Why the Kardashians suddenly care about the planet

Why the Kardashians suddenly care about the planet

In the last few days, members of the Kardashian family - who are basically a cross between a family of '70s oil tycoons and a page 3 girl - have started posting how shocked they are at the Australian bushfires on social media.

Their Instagram stories have been full of cried of this thing called "climate change".

Many of their followers have pointed out it's odd how they've never mentioned climate change before. It's odd that they waited until the bushfires had been burning for four months before saying anything. It's odd that they should care about the climate at all, given that they fly across the world in multiple private jets.

Most importantly, it's odd that they should feel so helpless, as they have more than enough money to make a significant difference to the resources available to help the awful situation in Australia and to fight climate change all around the world.

No, the Kardashians - who have never been private about anything, and would monetise their every breath - haven't been secretly fighting climate change.

It's actually much more simple than that.

Brands will only sponsor you if you're relatable to their audeince.

If you don't care about the things big audiences care about, you won't get the job.

There used to be a time where audiences loved seeing people show off all the nice things they owned. That was the Kardashian business model. It's now going out of fashion.

People are getting annoyed with fast fashion, and instead they are liking influencers who respect the environment.

Greta Thunberg is basically the most successful influencer in the world right now. Sure that's not how she sees herself, but millions listen to what she says and brands would pay billions to have her say she approves of her products.

The Kardashians know that this is where their business needs to be. If they want to keep getting likes, they need to stop being pictured with private jets and start being pictured with recycling clothes. It'll happen soon.

This doesn't mean that they need to care. The world of social media has never been about what you really do. It's all about what you say you do.

This is why it doesn't matter that thousands of people have pointed out the irony in the Kardashians writing on Instagram that they are worried about climate change. You are commenting on them as a person, but they are only presenting themselves as a brand. You can reinvent a brand as many times as you like.

Influencers have always had to battle with sceptics. Most people think you look silly when you try to say that you "love pillows especially when they're from BigPillow.com get 20% off with my name". But there's always a small number of people who fall for it.

It's not just the Kardashians. Everybody who is in the business of attention seeking is starting to realise that their future requires them to be a little bit greener.

Take Jeremy Clarkson. I have a great respect for the amount of strategy which goes into his attention seeking.

We are talking about a man who built an entire career out of arguing that climate change is a hoax designed to stop us having fun, that vegans just haven't tried enough bacon and that cycling is a child's toy. Then he senses that the tide is turning, so he [in 2012] admits he's interested in nature, [in 2019] admits that his views are outdated, admits that he tried veganism and cycling and then [just a few weeks ago] promotes a show on the basis that climate change is real.

He totally gets it. If your entire career is built around saying things that are popular, then it's time that climate change is one of those things.

Celebrities will need to be careful to ensure this is done in a way which doesn't totally abandon your roots. For Clarkson, every statement is followed be a reminder that he still loves cars and, I suppose, the acknowledgement that he owes his luxurious career to them.

For the Kardashians, who have a much younger and less political fanbase (which is where the money is), they can afford to make a much more severe U-turn.

You're going to see a lot of this sort of maneuvering from famous people over the next few years.

It is good that these people are using their platforms to make some difference to the planet, but it would be better if it wasn't just some strategic business move being treated as a fashion statement.

I suppose it's like how billionaires were able to find all the money needed when everybody was talking about Notre Dame, but only because they knew it wouldn't really cost them a penny.

We hear lots of talk about how attention seekers will build a career out of disagreeing with the popular narrative. This is true, but it runs the risk of you being cut off from mainstream media and hated by most people.

It's much, much easier to keep changing what you think to reflect the popular narrative.

You don't get famous if you're not saying the right thing at the right time.


For actual advice on how you can help Australia, please see this page.


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I write about media, exploring, heavy machinery and lists. I produce radio with an attitude accurately described as "amusingly surly".

I can't tell you how many terrible ideas I have had. But it's a lot of terrible ideas.

PS. I am not a travel blogger. But I do travel and I do blog.

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