Time Magazine is Right… the Kardashian Kurse is Alive and Well!

This past week Time Magazine published a list of the 25 Most Influential Teens. I don’t follow Time Magazine and was unaware of the list until I saw this photo on Facebook…

Jenner & Malala 18

These are two girls who recently celebrated their 18th birthdays. And they couldn’t be more different.

On the left is Malala Yousafzai and on the right is Kylie Jenner. Here is why they made the list…

Malala

Secretly wrote a blog for the BBC as a young teen talking about her life in Pakistan under the Taliban and advocating education for girls. As a result, the Taliban tried to assassinate her. Malala survived a gunshot to the head in 2012 and went on to speak at the UN on her 16th birthday. She humbly rejected having the day named after her by saying, “Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights.”

At age 17, Malala was the youngest person ever awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Upon turning 18 she opened a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon. She gave a few hundred girls a chance to get a formal education despite being displaced from their homes due to violence. She gave them a safe place to learn at a time when they could not even find a safe place to live.

Malala school

Kylie

Along with her sister, Kendall, these Jenner girls were credited with “hosting red-carpet events, releasing clothing and nail-polish lines and modeling for famous designers.” Kylie is praised as an entrepreneur for launching her line of hair extensions. (I wonder who helped her with that???)

To celebrate turning 18, Kylie changed her face with plastic surgery and lip injections. Her birthday party was attended by A-list celebrities and was covered on all social media outlets and every gossip magazine and site. She was gifted with a $320,000 Ferrari from her boyfriend and was paid $200,000 just to show up to the venue.

kylie-birthday-9-435Tyga-Kylie-Jenner-Birthday-Ferrari-412x560

Ahem…

Where do I start???

Let me tell you, I’ve been stewing on this for almost a week. And not for the reasons you might think.

First, I am not a political person. It’s not that I don’t care – I actually care very deeply. But years ago I made a decision that has affected how I view these things that I cannot control. I became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and decided to let God handle this. You may say that’s a cop-out, but it is not. It is an active decision to acknowledge there is only one permanent answer to the greed and corruption this world exerts on girls like Malala and Kylie and our beloved teens in our very own families. I’m not going to preach to you here, but I will excuse myself from that discussion on grounds that I have dealt with it. And that is not up for debate.

However, that photo of the two 18 year olds has stuck with me all week because it goes so much deeper. Let’s look at it again…

Jenner & Malala 18

My first reaction was… “Shame on Time Magazine for even beginning to compare these two girls or their lifestyles! How is that in any way fair or relevant?”

But like I said, I’ve been stewing. And I think Time has got it right.

First of all, Time is a weekly NEWS magazine and both these girls exemplify teen news. In that respect, Time is reporting what goes on in the world. And the list was organized by age, not importance, so the order was rather determined by that.

But when I looked at the photo above I was totally struck by the difference.

Malala has an earnest, honest, straightforward gaze. She is sure of herself and what she is doing. She feels passionately about education for girls in war-torn, female-oppressed situations. She didn’t ask to be shot, but that incident brought her to the forefront of issues she feels strongly about. She has stepped up and used her situation to meet with world leaders and bring attention to a subject many of us never have to face. Her courage and persistence are noble and admirable.

Kylie has not grown up in a third world country but she might as well have. I had the odd thought that her life in a second or third generation of opulent wealth is every bit as crippling. Just like the 2nd and 3rd generation of welfare recipients who have no idea how to make an honest living due to handouts that have enabled them to have no marketable skills, Kylie has also been deprived of a normal life. Her only marketable skill is having cosmetic procedures to make her the height of current fashion. And this is not something she achieves on her own. It takes a brilliant marketing TEAM and an unfathomable amount of money (none of which she could afford or assemble by herself) to accomplish.

Bottom line? She isn’t good enough or pretty enough on her own – she needs expensive enhancements to be something she wasn’t and then sell herself for all she (and her family) is worth. Imagine how that must make her feel!

She is a slave to appearing as though her lips got stuck in a pool drain and wearing thousands of dollars worth of clothes and shoes that make her look like a sex object even though she is still a little girl. The vapid pose and vacuous look in the photo rob her of any appearance of intelligence she might really have.

Both of these girls are victims of their lifestyle and where they were born. And sadly, they DO influence millions of teens in the rest of the world.

I admire Malala. But she is not a real-life example for a western teenage girl. She is one in a million who is doing wonderful things, but no normal teen can aspire to Malala’s special circumstances, no matter how credible and noble.

I do NOT admire Kylie even though she encourages her “fans” to “be themselves.” How? By buying a piece of the Kardashian/Jenner empire? Nail polish? Hair extensions? Designer shoes? Cosmetic surgery if possible?

Kylie herself acknowledges that she deserves the Time Magazine “honor” when she says… “I know how influential I am over my fans and followers. I feel like everything I do, my hair color, my makeup, I always start these huge trends, and I don’t even realize what I’m capable of,” she shared. “I didn’t care what people had to say; I didn’t even read any of that stuff. People might have been upset because we were next to, like, young girls who started schools and crazy things. But we’re just different people! We’re influential in different ways, and that’s okay.”

Whoa! She compares “young girls who started schools” to “crazy things” ???? I may be giving her too much credit about possibly having a brain in her head.

Here’s Kylie before and after surgery…

Kylie before and after

I have a teenage grand daughter who sees these things. Is she supposed to think that by cloning herself into a plastic zombie like Kylie that the world of rich boyfriends who buy her a luxury sports car will open to her? What a crock! But that is what Kylie is selling. Or what her pimps are selling for her…

Kylie after

Are normal teens supposed to have legions of “fans” as though they are worthy of worship??

What a horrendous thought!

I am reminded of the bible example of when an angel appeared to the apostle John to give him the vision that inspired the book of Revelation. Rev 22: 8, 9 says… “Well I, John, was the one hearing and seeing these things. When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing me these things. But he tells me: “Be careful! Do not do that! I am only a fellow slave of you and of your brothers the prophets and of those observing the words of this scroll. Worship God.”

If even a true angel of God says “don’t worship me! Only God deserves that honor!” then who are these worldly celebrities today spouting off about their “fans?” And teenage ones at that!

And then there’s the KKK – the Kim Kardashian Kurse…

This woman has made a career of taking “selfies.” She spent 9 years photographing herself in all states of dress and undress and then published it as a book called “Selfish.” Appropriate title, I guess, for someone so arrogant and self-absorbed that she describes her collection of self-portraits as a “candid tribute to my fans.” That’s her talent? Glorifying herself as a shallow sex object? How pathetic. All the money in the world can’t buy or restore her dignity or self-esteem. She’s already sold it to the highest bidder for everyone to see.

Here’s the cover of the book, Selfish that my grand daughters will have to see and be distorted by…

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In contrast, here’s the cover of Teen Magazine from May 1963 back when I was looking for beauty and glamour…

Teen 1963

We’ve come a long way since then, doncha think?

Who knows how long this travesty will continue.

Here’s an idea… why don’t Kendall and Kylie Jenner hook up with Malala and get her a makeover? She is plenty beautiful as is, but the world loves glamour (and makeovers) – so give Malala a boost that will benefit her fund-raising efforts. Then finance another school for her and go pose at the grand opening – if you dare… At least some good would come of the Jenner-o-cide conspicuous consumption for someone in the world.

I’m being facetious, of course. It doesn’t seem that a Jenner or Kardashian has ever done anything for anyone other than themselves or a tax write-off…

Meanwhile, our own beautiful young, teen girls deserve better. Even though the Kardashians – and the Taliban – are both brutal parts of real life.

I hope we can protect our young ones from these gross distortions. Yes, I am on social media. This blog is social media. I reach out to others on social media. But I hope it is for greater good than the latest war story or the latest nail polish.

We need to educate our young girls about their real value and worth. It is not based on how they look or what they weigh. It is all about who they are… what they care about… how they embrace the world on real terms and with friends and family.

Young girls need to know that pictures of the Kardashian/Jenner females are EXPLOITATION for money and profit. They are not contributing to society in any way by exposing their bodies and their expensive, distorted lips in photos that make them look like insipid sex objects instead of real, intelligent people.

Our young girls need a sounding board after this kind of exposure. They need to work this out by talking about it without fear of being judged. This kind of media exploitation puts them in a corner with nowhere to go. How can they ask the embarrassing but crucial questions they have after seeing such things? They need parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents to listen to them.

Will it make your hair stand on end to hear what they might say? Possibly. But we can handle it. We can let them know we understand. We can let them know they are making their way through a maze we might never have had to face to this extent. We can assure them they are loved and beautiful beyond compare to us. We can be a safe haven from this vulgar trend that wants to mislead our children and feed them lies instead of truth.

Our young ones do not have to save the world.

Nor do they need to sell themselves to it.

Let’s help them find the balance they deserve.

Our teens do not need to win a Nobel Peace Prize or start a clothing or jewelry line or take 1000 selfies to prove their worthiness. They just need to be normal kids who are special in our own families. But as special as they are, they must respect others and be responsible citizens who acknowledge they are not more privileged than anyone else out there.

Forget celebrity.

Embrace family.

Worship only God.

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More Family Treasure

me and Josey

Me and my oldest grand daughter Josey – the original Princess!

The closest thing to my heart is family. And the older I get, the more that is true.

This wasn’t something I was expecting originally. When I was young and even a teenager, my goals were about education and being an artist. I didn’t particularly like kids although I did a lot of babysitting – but that was for money. Fifty cents an hour was pretty productive time spent for me in 1966!

Oh how I wanted to go to college! I would study art, move to France and paint masterpieces. I dreamed of it for years.

But that didn’t happen. While my friends all went off to various universities, I worked, lived at home and went to the local branch of OU. I took whatever classes I could afford but wasn’t very happy about it. Art education in those days was all about abstract defiance, not classical training in drawing and composition. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The schools that taught what I wanted to know were totally out of my reach.

By my junior year at OU I was commuting to the main campus in Athens, Ohio but also dating a fun guy who had no interest in college. I was head over heels for him and we got married. Soon I had to choose between him and school. He won, hands down.

Even though I had in the back of my mind that I would figure out a way to finish my degree, I enjoyed being married and having a great circle of friends to do things with all the time. None of those friends were college-minded, so soon the babies started coming along. I caught the “baby fever.”

By the time I was married a year I was three months pregnant. I was excited and not deterred a bit. I had known other classmates who had graduated with a baby in tow… I knew I could do it, too. Besides, I only had just over a year of school left. How hard could that be after what I had already done?

Enter… LIFE.

I remember, at my college orientation in the fall of 1969, filling out the paperwork declaring what I wanted to study and the projected graduation date. At age 17, I confidently wrote down “Bachelor of Fine Arts, June 1973.” I had no doubt it would happen.

But the fact was, in June 1973, I welcomed twin sons to our new family and my life was never the same.

First of all, I was totally SMITTEN. These were the most gorgeous babies ever born and they were mine.

All mine.

Bill & Brad, 1974

Bill & Brad, 1974

A whole new world opened up and me and my babes were the center of it. I became an Earth Mother – baking bread, making yogurt by the quart in the oven, putting in a garden, hanging cloth diapers on the line to dry. This was a life I never knew I wanted and I loved every minute of it.

Ellyn Oakwood Ave mirror 1977The only thing missing was a little girl so that was next on my list. To my great delight I got her in November 1975. I was so thrilled that I carried her around like a baby doll and changed her clothes a couple times per day. How could anyone have such a charmed life?

School went by the wayside and I couldn’t have cared less. Once in a while it would nag me a bit as it was an unfulfilled goal, but I knew the time would come again when I could go back to it. And I hadn’t given up art. I took occasional classes and painted when I could. I also knitted, crocheted, sewed, baked, gardened and began to study the Bible seriously. I took my children to the local Kingdom Hall and we made friends with other spiritually-minded families. My life was full and happy.

As the kids got older, my husband wanted me to go back to work. I knew he felt the burden of supporting the family on one income but I did everything I could to save money so I could stay home. The thought of leaving my children during the day was not something I could accept. I DID work part time as a waitress/bartender at private parties with my mother-in-law and it was a good cash income. I saved every dime for family expenses and extras like outings and small vacations. Still, that didn’t really satisfy my husband.

So… the idea of having more children was out of the question. And as much as I wanted more kids, I had to respect the fact that we lived on one main income and it wouldn’t stretch any farther. Still, I longed for babies. I would just have to long…

My husband regularly played the lottery, so I bargained with him. He always said what a nice house or car or jewelry he would buy me if he hit but I never wanted that. I wanted kids. He agreed that more children would be in the picture if the lottery came through.

Of course, that didn’t happen. And he fully expected that when our three kids were all in school I would go back to work full time. It was a very sore subject with us.

Bill, Ellyn, Brad, Lake Erie around 1978

Bill, Ellyn, Brad, Lake Erie around 1978

I took my daughter to her first day of school and accompanied her inside. When I left to walk back to the car it was raining. The tears streamed down my face to have her away from me for so much of the day. I held my face up to the rain and actually wished for my husband to hit the lottery. I wanted another baby (or two) even if I had to go to China to get them. In fact, two Asian babies would be ideal since my concept of a perfect family was 5 kids. Please, God, don’t let this be it. I love my family and they are everything to me. I am grateful for what I have, but I don’t feel like I am finished. Please….

It was not to be.

I did not go back to work full time but I did find more part time work. In addition to the private parties, I did artwork from home during the day. I painted signs, hand-lettered menus for local restaurants, painted murals in public buildings and private homes, did custom stencils and wallpaper designs and started my own portrait business. I worked almost every day and was able to do it while my kids were at school. My husband hated it. He would rather I worked for less in a factory on an hourly basis because he resented that I could work at my own convenience and still make money. I never understood why he wasn’t happy that I could make enough money from home to take us on vacations and buy the kids’ school jackets and designer sport shoes, but he never stopped hounding me and I never backed down. And I guess that was the beginning of the end.

In the final washout, it was good we only had three children. They were plenty to raise and they were plenty to disappoint when our family split. I was beyond devastated when my husband left for someone else after 23 years. My perfect family was destroyed and it nearly destroyed me. Little did I know he was doing me a favor…

That’s right. He did me a favor. In 1994. More than 20 years ago.

Since then, I’ve learned the true meaning of family.

True family… and true friends… stick with you always. And I mean ALWAYS.

My three kids are my life. Still. I wish I had a couple more, but it didn’t happen. I’ll always mourn a little bit for that, but what I have is priceless. Two sons and a daughter (and 6 grands) who think I hung the moon. Yeh, they know my faults and get on me sometimes when I get wacky, but they know me from way back. They know how I loved them then and now and they love me in the same way. They also love their dad and I am glad for that because I taught them well.

And here’s a twist in the works….

My very own blood family suffered a major tragedy this year. It was so bad that I cannot talk about it publicly out of respect for others. The sad fact is that, as a result, I have been cut off from immediate family I love very much. This has been so hurtful – in addition to the loss of two lives – that I’ve had to go into therapy over it.

Author Henri Nouwen writes, “When those you love deeply reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful.”

On top of that, I lost my former mother-in-law AND my spiritual mother this year as well. (And my own mother last year.) It has been a time of loss. That is devastating for a family person like me.

Yet, like I said, true family – and true friends – stick with you always.

This past weekend, my niece (from my former married family) had my whole family up to her house for a cookout. And they included ME! I have not been able to associate with this beloved former family of mine for 20 years now. I have no idea why they still consider me part of the family but I am so grateful they do.

I told my therapist about my own blood family rejecting me on ridiculous hearsay while my former married family and long-time friends continue to include me. I explained that I am the same person in each of these situations. My therapist advised that I accept the love shown to me when it comes from such reputable, long-time sources and rejoice in it. And that is what I am doing.

So here are some photos from last week’s get-together at my niece’s home (Amanda Daubenmire Morley).

This is me and my niece Jamie, who I have not seen for a good 20 years. She is gorgeous! I was thrilled to visit with her!

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Here’s my father-in-law with my two grandsons…

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Here’s my oldest grandson, AJ. He’s almost 17 and will be getting his driver’s license any day!

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Here’s my oldest grand daughter, Josey. She is the sweetest thing ever!

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Here’s my other grandson, Colin. He is so good with all the little kids!

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Here’s my sister-in-law, Becky and her grandson (Amanda’s baby) Mac. He is Macon William after my FIL Bill and I think he is the cutest baby I’ve ever seen. So pleasant and happy all the time!

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The patriarch… William Daubenmire, Sr. My FIL, Big Bill. He HATES being hard of hearing but never misses a chance to be with family and watch all the goings-on. We love him like crazy!

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Here’s Amanda’s family. I made knit hats for each of them as a gift in OSU colors since Amanda and Chris are die-hard fans…

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Isn’t Amanda beautiful??

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And here’s the shelterhouse (Pavillion) Amanda and Chris just built on their property that we lounged in for the afternoon…

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And my gorgeous great-niece, Meredith…

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My brother-in-law Mike and my son Bill on the sidelines…

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The guys posed in the woods…

Brad, Bill, AJ, Chris

Brad, Bill, AJ, Chris

And the rest of the family wandered on walks through the colorful foliage…

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What a wonderful day we had…

Oh how I love this family! Amanda’s children are really my great-niece and great-nephew, but I want to claim them as two more of my precious grands.

Thank you, Daubenmire Family (Amanda, Becky, Mike, Big Bill) for keeping me close to you. You will always be part of my heart as well.

I know that when I post things like this I tend to say too much. My kids would prefer that I keep these things to myself and play them down rather than post on social media. But for some reason, I just can’t do it. I don’t tell only good or funny stories. I tell the sad and bittersweet ones, too. They are part of life and life isn’t always happy.

Sadness is part of a well-rounded life. We all must shed some tears along the way. We all will be misunderstood in spite of our best intentions. I am not always tactful and as kind as I mean to be. But neither am I ever intentionally malicious.

This is my blog and my story. I share it with you as my experience when I speak from the heart. I know it will be valuable to others who go through a similar journey, so that is all it is. A shared experience.

And things eventually come around like they did this past weekend when I got to visit with treasured family that I’ve been apart from for years. What a gift!

Love to all.

And may Your Family be your treasure all through your life.

(And maybe someday I will still get that 4 year Fine Art degree!)

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