Lauren Prado MFA Visual Studies Thesis 2019

Schemes, The American Dream, and The Kardashians

This paper explores the millennial social media obsession, worship of celebrity, mimesis, and the empire that is the Kardashian family. I begin by analyzing #lifestylesgoals, celeb copycatting as something intertwined with the Kardashian family, while outlining how social media platforms assert their control over our desires, and how this ultimately leads consumers to mimetic desire. I assert that copying your idols is commonplace and that this is one of the easiest ways to gain access, or a slice of their fame pie. In my body of work, the rugs I create are physical and tactically desirable copies of social media icons. Alongside this, I point to the hidden consumer culture theory discourses (scams) and the idealized American Dream mythology utilized by the Kardashian family in their presentation of self, their business strategies, and their overall success as celebrity entrepreneurs. Acknowledgement of my own personal complicity in this cultural phenomenon and my means of fangirling provides a framework in which I am aware of the collective fantasy that is built around celebrities, while I accept the fact that most Americans (including me) are not impervious to the myth.

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MFA in Visual Studies Thesis Works