Coming up on Keeping Up With the Kardashians: Kourtney takes Capitol Hill.

On Tuesday, the reality star participated in various Congressional briefings about outdated cosmetic regulations. One hearing was closed to the public (including the media), but nothing was off limits to Kardashian’s television crew. By total coincidence, her visit coincided with the launch of her new line of makeup.


The eldest Kardashian sister began her day at the Russell Senate Office Building, participating in a Q&A session with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in front of Senate staffers. The nonprofit recently endorsed legislation by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) which would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more power to review chemicals in cosmetics. Kardashian was there to give the issue more publicity; the FDA’s own rules governing the cosmetic industry haven’t been touched in 80 years. Ever mindful of a bit of TV drama, Kardashian was 20 minutes late to the event — so the EWG official had to stall.

“I do feel like it’s time for Congress to do its job,” Kardashian told staffers. “I think it would be nice if there were, you know, laws to regulate so that people running these business, these companies can have some standards of what to use. I think it’s like a guess[ing] game.” She also managed to squeeze in a plug for the release of her eyeshadow palettes and lip colors that launches on Tuesday at 6PM EST. [Ed. note at 6:05 PM EST: almost the entire line is already sold out.]

Later, she ventured to the House for an event hosted by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the FDA. The event was closed to media, but reporters were told not to worry, as they’ll get to see the briefing in an upcoming episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. C.J. Young, a spokesman for the committee, confirmed to ThinkProgress that the event was filmed by the reality star’s crew.

House E&C cosmetics reform briefing (feat. Kourtey Kardashian) is closed press & no info will be sent out BUT my colleague @bawang is told that some of it will probably be included in an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. So we have that.

— Ariel Cohen (@ArielCohen37) April 24, 2018

With the launch of Kardashian’s makeup line — a heavily marketed collaboration with her youngest sister Kylie — the timing of this sudden interest in activism is most curious.


Besides her killer selfie game and a preternatural ability to make eating a salad an event worth filming, the reality TV stars are also titans of the makeup industry. Kylie Jenner, the youngest Kardashian-Jenner, managed to launch Kylie Cosmetics and turn it into a multi-million dollar makeup brand, raking in over $420 million in its first 18 months. It’s projected to earn $1 billion by 2020. Kim Kardashian, next in line after Kourtney, launched her own brand KKW Beauty and sold out within minutes of her launch last year.

Another Kardashian superpower: marketing. Kris Jenner (along with executive producer/TV personality/walking beige paint swatch Ryan Seacrest) have built an empire atop the success of what could be considered perhaps the greatest PR coup of all time. Back in the early aughts, after a sex tape between Kim Kardashian and her then-boyfriend — recording artist and reality TV star Ray J — leaked, Jenner had the whole thing “handled.” Running on little more than public intrigue into the wealthy and celebrity-adjacent family, the reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians was born.

Other notable stunts include intricately woven love triangles, infamous pregnancy announcements, and internet-breaking magazine covers.      

All this to say, the Kardashians’ history of carefully calculated leaks, intensely curated content, and, well, sheer success at doing both, makes their not guilty plea on one count of Capital Hill Publicity Stunt in the First Degree hard to swallow. And let’s not forget the family’s forays into electoral politics. When asked by a TMZ camera guy on the Hill if the public might expect the family to wade deeper into politics, Kourtney Kardashian gave no response, followed by a hair flip.

What a refreshing change that would be: the country being run by another gaggle of reality television stars, but ones who are actually smart and successful businesspeople!

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