Kim Kardashian West is making money moves.
Many will argue with me about this touchy subject, and that’s OK. I welcome all opinions. The 37-year-old mom, activist, and mogul was once (kind of) just like us. Former stylist and cleaner of closets — yes, she organized the closets of many-a-celeb, including Cindy Crawford, Brandy, Paris Hilton, and Serena Williams — has made a full cocoon-to-butterfly transformation over the past 15 years. Although her wardrobe has changed for the better (thanks to her high fashion hubby), in Kim, we've witnessed more than your average celebrity evolution.
As the daughter of high profile attorney Robert Kardashian (who was O.J. Simpson's lawyer), Kim has been well-connected since childhood, but a string of luck is what propelled her into super-stardom in her 20s. From a gig as Hilton’s "assistant" to a sex-tape cameo (to this I say, almost everyone’s done it — relaxxx) with ex-boyfriend Ray J, to reality stardom, she's done it all. In 2018, Kim is a very different person: an activist, mom, and CEO. There's no doubt her life, for better or worse, has been on display for all to see.
Despite hitting plenty of hurdles throughout the years, she’s come out on top. She's a feminist icon (show me one time Kim was out of control in public or made headlines for drugs or drinking — I’ll wait...) who’s learned to navigate the millennial playing field like it’s her job — which, it kind of is. As for those hurdles, I don’t need to recap Kim’s mistakes. They’re similar to many of our own, but when we’re dealing with messy divorces and social media gaffes, fewer people are there to watch us fall. So let’s talk about the good why don’t we? Believe it or not, there’s a lot of it.
First off, family values. I respect a family that keeps it together and supports one another, whether in a new business venture, a birth, or a failure. I don't have sisters — I have one brother and we’re very close, but it’s refreshing to see siblings (especially sisters) form such a cohesive unit on TV and beyond. The Kardashian/Jenner clan has done a great job of showing that no matter what is going on, family comes first. And though Kim is the Kween of social media oversharing, she’s kept her three beautiful kids and her marriage to Kanye West pretty private.
The queen of social is the queen of the selfie, too. Or was. The author of Selfish (a coffee table book of selfies, of course) recently said she doesn’t enjoy taking selfies anymore, because she wants to be more present at home and in the lives of her children. I'd argue that's the mark of someone who's “selfish” in the right way — exercising the freedom and power you've earned to decide what’s good for you at every new stage of your life. And it’s that power, I believe, or a rare level of decisiveness, that’s enabled Kim to impact fashion and social media. In June, she was the first to be awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Influencer Award. With 113 million followers and counting, Kim joked in her acceptance speech that she was surprised to have won a fashion award despite being naked most of the time. She followed up with an earnest comment that she didn’t always fit into sample sizes: “He (Olivier Rousteing of Balmain) made clothes to fit my curves," she said, "and others followed. That’s really amazing to me."
It’s really amazing for the rest of the world's curvy girls, too. Curvy is sexy, and it didn’t always seem that way before stars like Kim made it OK to have a little more junk in the trunk. Big shot designers from Diane von Furstenberg (who is also CFDA chairman) to Gilles Mendel have given Kim shiny stamps of approval, and let's be honest, the fashion industry hasn't always been an inclusive one.
I love "Mom Kim" and die for "Fashion Kim," but "Activist Kim" might be my favorite. The White House is not a place I would've imagined she’d visit to advocate for non-violent prisoners, but in May, that’s exactly what Kim did. She made the effort and took her influence to a whole new level. She’s admitted that criminal justice reform wasn’t exactly on her mind when she began communicating with Alice Marie Johnson (a non-violent drug offender who’d served 21 years of her life sentence in Alabama before Kim took an interest in her case) months ago. I really wasn’t thinking about politics,” she said in an LA Times interview. “I was on Twitter and I saw something that touched my heart and I felt like I wanted to do what I could and do the right thing to try to save someone’s life.” Deeply affected by Johnson’s predicament, she took it upon herself to visit Trump and ask for Johnson’s clemency, which was granted. She plans to continue advocating for others like Johnson who are still behind bars. She hopes to find more success in what I’d call a very "unselfish" endeavor.
In addition to all of this, there’s the innovative Kimoji app, the KKW Beauty line, KKW Fragrance line, and more. I honestly don’t know how she finds the time or space, but Kim’s world keeps turning while most of us are fast asleep.
It’s hard to knock a woman who’s reaping the benefits of everything she’s worked so hard to achieve because, whether you like it or not, that's feminism defined.
For now, maybe I'll just shut up and keep trying to keep up.