With the 2012 Summer Olympics set to start next month, it's hard to believe how hot Bruce Jenner was when he won a gold medal in the decathlon competition in the 1976 Montreal games. In the 36 years since he was dubbed the world's greatest athlete, the reality TV dad has gone from being a hunky champion to a household chump.
These days, the father figure to the Kardashian kids is treated like a second class citizen in his own home, alternately belittled and ignored not only by his stepchildren -- Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob -- but also his self-absorbed wife, Kris. Despite being fit and healthy at 62, Jenner has become a pale ghost of the man he was more than a quarter century ago.
Jenner's invisibility on the popular reality TV show, "Keeping up with the Kardashians," was recently observed by Esquire magazine, "All of the photographs (and all of the memorabilia) are of the children," wrote Chris Jones. "His gold medal is nowhere to be found. For the most part, Bruce Jenner, Olympian, has been banished to the garage."
Of all the physical and emotional changes he has gone through since his glory days, it could be Jenner's two face lifts and frequent plastic surgeries that fans comment on most. Since his golden triumph more than a quarter century ago -- when his name became a household word and his face appeared on the iconic Wheaties box -- Jenner has gone from a good looking young man to someone who looks like he was manufactured in a Mattel factory. But unlike a handsome Ken doll, the helipilot hobbyist has emerged as a surreal looking person whose resemblance to a middle-aged human male is sketchy.
As one blogger noted, "Bruce has just gone buck wild on his face. His plastic surgeon must be doing these procedures blind folded."
But even if he looked like a cross between George Clooney and Jon Hamm, Jenner would still be treated like chopped liver in the luxurious Spanish-style home he shares with his wife, two teenage daughters and revolving door of step-children and offspring from other marriages.
Most recently it was the sole Kardashian brother, Rob, who dissed the 80's "CHiPs" actor. While looking for a house to buy, he swatted away Jenner's multiple offers to help him as if the older man were a pesky housefly. At dinner he even complained that all his friends have fathers who mentor them on big financial decisions, patently ignoring the fact his step-pop had persistently tried to help him.
Meanwhile, in an earlier episode this season, Jenner poignantly proved how little he is noticed or appreciated by his family. After his wife scolded him like a naughty boy for eating potato chips on her new couch, Jenner ran away from home to step-daughter Khloe's mini-mansion, but no one noticed he'd gone missing.
Unlike his momager wife Kris -- the heart of the Kardashian-Jenner family -- the one-time Olympic hero had become a human appendix.
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