Recently on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, we got an inside look at how the family really feels about Caitlyn Jenner's tell-all memoir, The Secrets of My Life, which came out today. Kris Jenner is deeply offended by how significantly she’s written off in the book. This is more than just a snub. After 24 years of marriage, Kris claimed she feels robbed of her own history.
"I read it, and basically the only nice thing she had to say was that I was great socially at a party one time," Kris says on KUWTK. Kim comes to her mother’s defense, remarking on how Kris' absence from the memoir “doesn’t make sense.”
So, what’s the deal? In The Secrets of My Life, Caitlyn actually explains the Kris-sized hole in the memoir. And honestly, we can’t blame her reasoning.
“The Kardashian side feels slighted by their noticeable absence,” Jenner writes in the memoir. “They are right to feel slighted. They were slighted on purpose because of research showing that any time a Kardashian is on television, many in the public tend to think it is a publicity stunt to make money… After all of the time it took to get here, I needed to make clear that this was real, this is my life and not some publicity stunt.”
Perhaps for the first time in Kardashian history, the distinction between “show” and “life” has been drawn in the sand. After years of intimately keeping up with the Kardashians, Jenner knows better than anyone that all of the family’s intimate moments are milked for drama on the reality show. Even Kim’s traumatic robbery in Paris becomes the subject of an entire episode. Viewers, then, are prone to interpreting the Kardashians' life events as episode fodder — and that's not the point of The Secrets of My Life.
In the book, Jenner bares each phase of her difficult journey toward self-actualization. She describes her childhood habit of sneaking into her mother's room and trying on her clothes and lipstick. She writes of coming out to her first wife, Chrystie, and how Linda Thompson catching her in drag finished her second marriage. Of Thompson's reaction, Jenner writes, "In that room I felt she was revolted by me. I know she did not mean to, but her reaction was my greatest fear realized.” With honest recollections like these, Jenner clearly isn't shying away from providing an in-depth account of her life — but she's making sure it's a story told on her terms.
Most importantly, if The Secrets of My Life is perceived as being a publicity stunt, that will prevent Jenner’s message, and history, from being taken seriously.
Imagine, too, how the family would respond to Jenner’s real thoughts on the Kardashians being published in the memoir. While composing the book, along with the help of Friday Night Lights writer Buzz Bissinger, Jenner had two choices: tell all about the Kardashians, or tell nothing. By keeping mum, Jenner deprives the Kardashians the fuel with which their media empire runs, and remains the author of her own story.
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