On Sunday night, Oct. 4, Cosmopolitan unveiled the cover of their November 2015 issue: For the first time in four years, six of the most influential members of the Kardashian-Jenner family were photographed together (looking radiant AF, I might add). When it comes to this group, there's always a bit of kontroversy — and this time, people were pissed that Cosmo labeled the Kardashians as "America's First Family." America's real First Family, of course, is the Obamas — a fact that many took to Twitter to point out — but, in terms of celebrity, there's no denying that that title goes to the Kardashian-Jenner krew. And with their powerful influence, A-list brand, and blended, Brady Bunch-style family, the Kardashians are the public face of what looks like a very modern American family.
Let me start off by saying that I can understand the backlash: Since the Obama family reigns supreme in terms of the "First Family" title, the Kardashians being labeled as such kind of dethrones the Presidential kin (and trumps all of their triumphs) — even though the label is just an editorial decision and not an actual title that people are going to start using. Still, I would be remiss not to include that many people believe that this boils down to a race issue, with some feeling that the Obamas are overshadowed due to race.
That all being said, I think Cosmo's decision to label the Kardashian-Jenner family as "America's First" wasn't such a wrong move. Not only did it start a discussion (all that buzz certainly can't hurt sales), stir up a little Kardashian-related ~kontroversy~, and actually make people wonder if the iconic publication was trolling, the Kardashians are actually representative of a lot of American families out there — they are the very (very) public face of America's modern family. Sure, we're not all dripping with money, married to Kanye West, or posting selfie after selfie of our expensive haircuts, but we are a country with interracial marriages, biracial children, trans parents, trans exes, divorces, separations, etc. The Kardashian-Jenners are dealing with real issues that Americans face, and they are doing so in the public eye.
Should Cosmo have specified that the Kardashian-Jenners are the First Family of Hollywood? Maybe. But I also don't think that because a magazine gives them that label, it discredits the Obamas or bumps them from the title. The country is well aware that the president's family will forever be officially known as America's First Family, and giving the Kardashian-Jenners a tongue-in-cheek label like that hardly dethrones the real First Family. Helen Holmes over at Jezebel even interpreted the "first" reference to tie into the ridiculousness of Internet culture, with the desire to be "first" or comment "first" to be the most important aspect of life. (I should also point out that the comments on Kendall and Kylie Jenner's Instagram photos are overwhelmingly filled with "first"s.)
It's also crucial to note that the family isn't appearing on the cover just for their own narcissism and vanity, another Kardashian family photo to add to the growing kollection. Though I'm not going to deny that those are two qualities upon which the entire Kardashian empire was basically built, each Kardashian-Jenner on the Cosmo cover (Kosmo kover?) has turned herself into her own immensely powerful brand. Just look at the newly minted 18-year-old Kylie Jenner, who has just surpassed big sister Kim as the most influential Kardashian (and that's coming from someone whose insanely successful app's net worth is approximately $85 million). This is not only a family who "just" represents the melting pot of American culture, they also exude power and influence — both as a family unit and individually.
So, are the Kardashians really "America's First Family"? Though the official title will forever belong to the presidential kin, in this moment, in celebrity culture, that label perfectly describes the Kardashian-Jenner family.