Bruce Jenner, a 1976 Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, has been perpetually upstaged and outshone by his now ex-wife Kris Kardashian, his daughters, and his stepdaughters. Despite his immutable achievements as a sportsman and national hero, Jenner was, as a man, undoubtedly emasculated by the reality that his past talent and glory meant nothing against the vainglory of the women in his family.

It comes as no surprise that Bruce Jenner has taken the path of “gender transitioning.” Has Jenner equated being female with the fame, “respect,” and adoration he seems to desperately crave? Plastic surgery to capture (or caricature) his long-gone looks failed to generate anything but observers’ mirth. His eccentricity on Keeping Up with the Kardashians and in other appearances only gave him 1% of the pulling power of his step-daughter Kim.

So what other choice was there to make?

Jenner’s choice has been vindicated, however sickly, as he has reached a level of fame and recognition he never could have as a normal man in the Kardashian-Jenner family. The media are thronging to get a glimpse of him, his daughters and step-daughters, notably Kim, are paying more attention to him than they have in years, and the riches will start to flow more generously than before. For the first time in over two decades, he is the current focus.

A different world from his

I wonder when Kim, Kendall or Kylie, let alone Kris, will do this. But the next 40 years were not kind to Bruce Jenner.

Jenner’s youngest daughter Kylie, who turns 18 this August, recently purchased a $2.7 million home in Calabasas. Her meteoric rise, like her slightly older and still wealthier sister Kendall’s, has been ensured through their highly advantageous upbringing and proximity to their half-sister Kim.

It would be only natural for Jenner to compare this preposterous “achievement” of hers to his own childhood and early adulthood. Amongst other things, Jenner’s constant companions in his younger days were excruciating hard work, even with his athletic talents, twilight early morning rises each and every day, fatigue from never-ending training, the pressure of an entire nation, injury, and inevitable moments of self-doubt under the eyes of the globe.

Kylie, along with her sister and half-sisters, has been beyond privileged. She has suckled from the fame of half-sister Kim to take center stage in a family of overt narcissists. In the meantime, Bruce Jenner, his step-son Rob, and the memory of his step-children’s father, Robert Kardashian, have fallen by the wayside.

The curse of the male Kardashian-Jenners

In addition to the horrific esophageal cancer that took his life, one of Robert Kardashian’s final embarrassments was being cuckolded by his ever-had-a-real-job? wife Kris.

Rob Jr. has largely avoided the Kardashian family spotlight, not that it would earn him much, and still finds himself being backstabbed by his own flesh and blood. In a very recent interview with Today‘s Matt Lauer, Kim described her brother as “not comfortable in his own skin”.

Even when talking about her absent brother, the most controversial Kardashian is happy to spruik her own brand at the expense of his feelings and, given the context of her explanation, mental health. And so the Kardashian-Jenner emasculation that has plagued Bruce Jenner for years treads on, especially if Rob were to compare his own takings and fame with his much younger half-sisters, Kylie and Kendall.

Family wealth and fame cannot hide Rob from his struggle to understand why life is as unfair as it seems. A relatively good-looking man when not overweight, he could achieve great things in, hypothetically, acting, music, or writing, and still not attract an iota of the praise and cult-like following of his hyper-sexualized sisters and half-sisters. There is no mistake that the two Kardashian-Jenners with the most open appearance of mental illness are Bruce Jenner and Rob Kardashian.

The rot starts with one woman

Rob Kardashian’s erratic behavior, fluctuating weight and general absence can be seen as a response to the unwarranted fame and riches being given to his sisters and half-sisters.

Kris Jenner could be considered the progenitor of modern “vertical gold-digging.” Rather than the usual “horizontal gold-digging”, which Kris used to great effect when she married and then cuckolded Robert Kardashian during her affair with Bruce Jenner, the vertical variety involves sucking the fame and riches from your children when the spouse’s wanes.

This is exactly the skill Kris Jenner has exploited. Her control-freakery is so legendary that she’s intervening in her now ex-husband’s TV dealings, much to the chagrin of her children, who have also often been under her thumb, unwillingly.

Kris’ lack of achievements are epitomized in her only “normal” job being as a flight attendant in the 1970s. She became a professional housewife and socialite after her marriage and as she expelled four of Robert’s children. Her turn as a failed talk show host included milking the “exclusive first” baby photos of her granddaughter, North, on-air, at a time when son-in-law Kanye West clearly pitied her nose-diving situation enough to appear.

The Kardashian-Jenner matriarch is evidently at home raising and manipulating daughters to make millions from presenting a vacuous veneer covering an equally or more vacuous personality. Like a true parasite, she appears to rely on her daughters to keep her own cellulite-tainted star in orbit.

The Kardashian-Jenners show a society rapidly in decline

Aside from a tiny stint as a flight attendant before marrying-up to Robert Kardashian, what “honest” professions has Kris Jenner had?

Although the average viewer can never emulate the opulence of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, the attention it commands (read: its women command) exemplifies a society gripped by a cancer as degrading as the one that killed Robert Kardashian. Instead of being rewarded for contributing to society, the Kardashian-Jenner women are lauded for objectifying themselves, whoring themselves out, and placing ignorance and constant superficiality on the world’s highest pedestal.

Inasmuch as he has made what most ROK readers will regard as a reckless, bizarre, and mentally ill decision, I do feel sorry for Bruce Jenner. It is hard not to feel sorry for someone who had the world at his feet and then saw it stripped from him. Retirement is hard enough for former sporting champions, particularly those with an Olympic gold medal or NBA Championship MVP award.

When you add the surreal life of being the so-called “patriarch” of the Kardashian-Jenner family, depression, and gender identity issues seemingly come with the territory.

The true terror of the Bruce Jenner saga is that it does nothing to dissuade the countless women who want to copy the lifestyles, asses, or lip-puckerings of Kim, Kylie, or Kendall. It only exacerbates the circus of social destruction and vanity, and glorifies the shallowness viewers are attracted to in the first place.

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