The first time the public learned of the existence of Kris Jenner (San Diego, California, 1955) was tangentially in the midst of a scandal that galvanized the United States, during what was called the OJ Simpson case . In June 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were found murdered at the former's home in Los Angeles. Suspicion immediately fell on her husband, famous American football player and popular media star OJ Simpson. Bob Kardashian , a prestigious lawyer and great friend of the accused, was one of those in charge of defending him in a trial that would arouse unprecedented media interest. Kris Jenner, la creadora del reality más famoso del siglo, se jubila

It so happened that Bob's ex-wife, Kris Jenner - already married to decathlon Olympian Caitlyn Jenner , then Bruce - had been intimate with Nicole Brown . In fact, she considered herself her best friend, and the two women had met for lunch the day after Nicole's body was found. Years before, the two marriages, the Kardashians and the Simpsons, had spent a lot of time together, shared parties and confessions, before the former ended up divorcing and the story of the latter ended so tragically.

As a result of these twists of fate, Kris Jenner was convinced that OJ was guilty of her friend's murder while Bob Kardashian was in charge of getting a jury to find him not guilty. Their children, friends from games and travels, were in the middle, with their loyalties separated and involved in a case that was ubiquitous in the media. Kris Jenner, la creadora del reality más famoso del siglo, se jubila

“ It was difficult because we were definitely on opposite sides of a very public murder trial ,” Kris would confess to Interview. "It was devastating for me and my family." The funny thing is that the case was one of the omega points of the American culture's obsession with celebrities. OJ's live TV getaway and lengthy trial were themselves reality shows years before the term became mainstream. Kris herself would define it like this in her memoirs Kris Jenner… And All Things Kardashian: " It wasn't just a trial, it was a show ."

This whole crazy situation left its mark on Kris. In the company of Caitlyn (then Bruce), she attended the trial sessions almost daily and met on several occasions with the prosecutor Marcia Clark, who did not call her to the stand to testify but with whom she talked a lot about the exact nature of the crime. marriage between OJ and Nicole. It may be that her name did not get to star in big headlines related to the subject, such as that of Faye Resnik, another friend of Nicole who took the opportunity to publish a book telling her version of the events, but years later Kris herself would be in charge of turning another scandal very different in his particular goose that lays the golden eggs, causing the public to burn for consuming something that they did not know they were interested in. Paraphrasing her, her existence is not just a life, it's a show.

From airline stewardess to wife of the great lawyer

Kris Jenner went through several incarnations to reach the seemingly definitive form of planetary celebrity and marketing genius that she embodies today. Born Kristen Mary Houghton, she was an upper-middle-class Californian girl raised, by her own account, by her mother and her grandmother in a “matriarchy” that revolved around the clothing store they owned. Growing up, Kris worked for a year as a stewardess for American Airlines before marrying Robert Kardashian, a lawyer of Armenian origin, in 1978. There she became the classic wealthy and well-connected woman , dedicated to taking care of the home and raising her four children, whom, in a decision that would already show her talent for promotion, she baptized with names that began with K : Kourtney, Kim and Khloe . The only boy did not follow the rule: he inherited his father's name, Robert . Kris also fulfilled the cliché associated with semi-idle women who owned everything money could buy: “ I had a completely devoted husband and four children who I adored. Despite that, she was unhappy .” When Kris started an adulterous affair with Todd Waterman, her marriage to Kardashian broke down. The divorce would come in 1991, just a month before her wedding to Jenner.

Kris became Kris Jenner and took on her then-husband's career as a career project. Caitlyn, then Bruce, had already retired from the sport and her fame for her decathlon gold at the Montreal Olympics was slowly fading. It was Kris who decided to dust off the Olympic medal and put the prestige of her name to making money. She did with Jenner what she would do after her with her daughters: create a career for her and lead her to success . She put together a press kit and recorded some VHS tapes to introduce Caitlyn (then Bruce) to companies as a motivational speaker and brand imager. It worked. In the mid-1990s, Jenner was working as what we now call a coach, giving talks at companies like Coca-Cola.

Kris Jenner, la creadora del reality más famoso del siglo, se jubila

The Jenners also created sports equipment infomercials starring both of them, a kind of teleshopping in which they advertised treadmills as well as self-defense classes. The family fortune grew at the same time that its members increased. Together, the Jenners had two daughters whose names, of course, began with K: Kendall and Kylie . Proof that this couple seemed destined to be together is that Jenner had also called the children of her first marriage with names that began like hers at the time (Bruce), with a B. Their children were Burt, Brandon and Brody ( the exception was his daughter, Cassandra). Kris Jenner, la creadora del reality más famoso del siglo, se jubila

The fame that had always surrounded Kris ended up crystallizing in 2007, making her the mother of a rising celebrity. During the nineties, Kim Kardashian , her second daughter, had also been involved in the OJ Simpson case when he took refuge in his house in desperate flight from the police and, in the grip of a crisis, was about to commit suicide in his teenage room.

In the 2000s, Kim was a stylist loosely known as a friend-assistant-minion to Paris Hilton , then the most famous young woman in the world and the inventor, in part, of the concept of "famous for being famous" to which women owe so much. Kardashian. She had appeared as a supporting cast on the reality show The Simple Life, starring Paris and her then-friend Nicole Richie, and would soon begin to benefit from her friend's name. And just as a home porn video had catapulted Hilton's popularity, her own intimate tape was going to do the same for her.

In 2002, Kim had recorded herself having sex with her then-partner, rapper Ray-J (singer Brandy's brother) while on vacation in Mexico. Five years later, the tape was acquired by a pornographic production company and put into circulation. There were rumors that the mother of the protagonist, Kris, had leaked it, something that they always denied, but there is no doubt that they knew how to see an opportunity where others would have only seen a reason for shame. Kim abandoned her idea of ​​suing the producer and preferred to reach an agreement to share her profits and, since everyone was going to be able to see her having sex, at least charge a good amount for it. Kris Jenner, la creadora del reality más famoso del siglo, se jubila

As she herself would tell, Kris Jenner had been thinking about setting up a reality show around her family for some time, in the style in which the Osbournes had done it, and she knew how to take advantage of the fame acquired by her daughter (involuntarily) to sell the idea and move it forward. She proposed to what would be one of her producers, Ryan Seacrest, and to the E! (from Entertainment), and thus was born in 2007 Keeping up with the Kardashians , (in Spain Las Kardashian, which has been seen in Cosmo and is currently available, in part, on Netflix). The format would end up being one of the greatest sources of entertainment in the 21st century.

Of course, there had already been reality shows that revolved around famous people and presented a luxurious – or at least well-off – lifestyle that was aspirational. The Osbourne show was based on the fame of Ozzy, singer of the group Black Sabbath; Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica followed the newlywed life of singer Jessica Simpson; The simple life, the reality show by Paris and Nicole, had a very specific premise, that of a fish out of water (putting some rich girls in the middle of a farm to do all kinds of physical work). But Las Kardashian lacked these things, beyond the fact that Kim's name sounded a little more because of the porn video issue. According to Kris, her initial purpose with the reality show was to promote her stores , both the one she had with Kourtney – a children's clothing store called Smooch – and the one Kourtney and Kim had on her account, Dash.

“When we made the deal with E!, I thought, Wow, we're going to shoot this show in our stores! And when you have a retail store, the only thing you like to do is attract customers ”, she related to Interview. Those businesses have long since fallen by the wayside, because it turned out that the business for the Kardashians was not to promote any establishment or product, but themselves. Kris Jenner, la creadora del reality más famoso del siglo, se jubila

“I started looking at our careers like pieces on a chessboard,” Kris Jenner wrote in her memoir. “I was very calculating. My business decisions and strategies were very intentional, defined and planned to the last degree. Where should this guy be and how can he get there? The reasons for the success of the Kardashian show have been explained in a thousand ways; As Amanda Scheiner McClain wrote in her essay Keeping Up the Kardashian Brand: Celebrity, Materialism, and Sexuality, one of the keys was that the show worked like a classic sitcom, along the lines of The Bill Cosby Hour or Growing Problems: a couple of storylines per episode, plenty of jokes, and an ending where the family members learn a lesson and hug each other, all peppered in this case with multiple sexual references, explicit language, alcohol, and an increasingly bombastic appearance from the boys. protagonists.

// The Kardashians leave TV but leave new canons of beauty as a legacy

The key to his conquest of the world is that one of the stars of the show was both the brains behind and also the mother of the rest of the cast. Kris Jenner acts as the manager of all her children , even during a season she was her son-in-law, the basketball player Lamar Odom, and therefore, receives ten percent of her earnings. Some media estimate the fortune that she has built thanks to this at 60 million dollars (not counting everything that she has each of her daughters separately). She has even coined her own term to define her role, “momager”, a mixture of manager, mother. And, above all, celebrity itself. Kris Jenner, la creadora del reality más famoso del siglo, se jubila

It was she who made a round of calls to her acquaintances when her daughter De Ella Kendall de Ella, at age 14, told her that she wanted to be a model , in a movement that combined the work of her mother and representative of her inextricably. She was also behind the launches of the first makeup lines for her daughters and is, of course, the one negotiating the reality show contract – about to end – with channel E! She is also involved in much more controversial initiatives, such as a line of vitamins and slimming supplements that she had made a profit of 45 million dollars just two years after launching, in 2009.

There is no shortage of voices criticizing Kris Jenner as a Machiavellian mind that has made her daughters' fortunes as much as she has exploited them by depriving them of any privacy – Kendall and Kylie were children when the program began. A good example of how schizophrenic her multiple role is sometimes is the description that her son Rob Kardashian has on his Instagram account: “ Rob Kardashian does not post on this account. The account is handled by Jenner Communications .” It is remembered how Kris focused on her favorite daughter, Kim, the most attractive and in whom she saw more business possibilities, the stone on which she built her church, leaving aside the eldest, Kourtney, which made her grow with a feeling of grievance. The exaltation of materialism and consumerism in reality is a constant, although as the protagonists receive benefits from the products that appear, all that advertising - more or less covert - affects themselves.

The repercussions of Kris's work in pop culture, in the beauty canon , in the generalization of interracial relations and in the sexualization of women can be discussed ad infinitum; what few deny her is her talent for her business. There is also no doubt that she has exposed her private life as much as her daughters. We've seen her get divorced, fear the return of childhood bone cancer, witness ex-husband Bruce transition to become Caitlyn Jenner , or start a controversial romance with Corey Gamble, 26 years her junior.

About to reach retirement age – she will do so tomorrow, Thursday, when she turns 65 – and the end of reality already on the horizon after 14 years and 20 seasons, Kris Jenner faces her next incarnation without any desire to withdraw from the multimillion-dollar business that she, in the best tradition of matriarchy, literally gave birth, fed, helped grow and directs not from the shadows, but illuminated by the spotlights by her own decision . And what is fundamental, the public has not tired of her work nor does it stop demanding her presence. As Hadley Freeman wrote in The Guardian, “ the Trumps don't matter at the moment. The Kardashians are the true American family of the 21st century .”

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