Kris Jenner. Photo via Wikipedia.
I do watch the Kardashian show on TV and inevitably get hassled for admitting it.
Most of us can understand the appeal of the kids pretty easily, right? Typical trashy Hollywood celebuzz reality stuff is entertaining.
But less often analyzed is the brand appeal of mom Kris Jenner. She is often reduced to the role of "mastermind" and not in a good way. This is the stereotype of the controlling mother who has no life of her own and thus somehow manipulates everybody else, living vicariously (and profiting financially) by pulling their figurative strings.
I think women like Kris as a brand in and of herself. Not all women. But women of a certain age, who have been there and done that and learned a few lessons along the way. Specifically, it's about confidence:
1. Kris puts her children first. She is always there with them and for them. She is not perfect but she cares and she tries. She focuses always on protecting their interests.
2. Kris lives life to the fullest, traveling, enjoying great cuisine, getting out there. Whatever she does, she does in a big way.
3. Kris has great, bold, dramatic style. She has huge black and white floor tiles, a grand staircase, black toilet paper to match the bathroom. She dresses to kill.
4. Kris refuses to get, feel or act old. She smiles, laughs, and lives intensely. She sometimes acts age-inappropriate. But we understand her. She's like a 20 year old trapped in a 59 year old body.
5. Kris is a passionate subject who pursues romance - not an object who is acted on. She challenges the stereotype that women are inherently victims and gives lie to the false Madonna-whore sterotype that has been foisted on women since forever. She is empowered.
6. Kris faces reality. When she is incontinent she deals with it, however unpleasant. When Kim is getting fat she tells her so. When her son in law (sort of) Scott treats her daughter Kourtney badly she says so. When her marriage is failing she admits it and separates.
7. Kris stays friends with her ex. She and Bruce did not get along as husband and wife. But she wants him as part of her family. She does not act silly and ice him out.
8. Kris has no qualms about financial savvy. Many women do. She opens a business, hires an assistant, retains professional help of every kind. Again, she is not a victim.
9. Kris is independent. She loves and is connected to family and friends but also knows how and when to do her own thing. She follows the inner drummer.
10. Kris knows how to fail and move on. She tells the kids "own it" rather than walk in shame - and means every word.
Kris Jenner has a brand empire. It translates into lots of things she hasn't even exploited yet:
* self-help books and shows (like Oprah), architecture (we love her home - partner with a builder)
* Housewares (think Martha Stewart)
* Travel (create a club for fun-loving Boomers!)
* A lifestyle clothing brand for older women (like Chico's but with pizzazz)
A born moneymaker, just for being herself, working hard and joyfully but making it seem effortless. To me, that spells brand success.
* All opinions my own.