Love her or hate her, there is no denying that Kim Kardashian is a modern-day icon. She has broken the Internet on more than one occasion, been a trendsetter with her hair color, fashion statements and even her physique, and has sparked national debates over everything from her wearing Marilyn Monroe’s famous Happy Birthday, Mr. President dress to the Met Gala to her wanting to be a lawyer like her late father Robert Kardashian. After 20 hit seasons of the E! reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, she along with her sisters Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie as well as the family matriarch Kris Jenner are back in front of the cameras for their new Hulu series that highlights their busy work endeavors as much as their hectic home life.
She has been featured on hundreds of magazines internationally including Vogue, Harper’s BAZAAR, Paper and Vanity Fair, and now, she is a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover star. “Every time I would see magazines like this, especially in the 90s when I was growing up, it’s always these perfect, tall, thin women. I just have never been that,” the SKIMS founder, who shot her cover in the Dominican Republic shares. “I vividly remember Tyra Banks on the cover and women with curves. I remember thinking that was so cool, but I still didn’t think that – I thought you had to be a professional model and a runway model. I don’t want to date myself or sound old but in my 40s, I never thought in a million years that I would be shooting one myself.”
With all of the attention on and off camera, the 41-year-old billionaire continuously reinvents the wheel and remains one of the most sought-after women in the world. (Her Instagram alone has 310 million followers –that’s not far off from the population of the United States!) Watch the video above or keep reading for the KKW Beauty founder’s take on everything from what she keeps secret from her siblings to how she is raising her four adorable kids (North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm) with ex Kanye West, and why she is now shifting the focus on others.
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Calm in the Chaos
“It was hectic all the time [growing up] with six kids in the house, but like a fun chaos. I had the best childhood ever, so it’s really fun to see now that that’s the daily routine in my house with all the hecticness and getting everyone ready for school and getting everyone in the car. It’s a really crazy, hectic life that I somewhat feel really calm in. Me and my family, we pretty much all live in the same gated community… Those nights when you are up late and your babies are sick and you don’t know what to do and you have that family support, it’s the best thing ever. Then it’s also so fun that all my sisters have kids the same ages, so we are all kind of going through it at the same time.”
“I’d say the most rewarding part is unless you are a parent, you really don’t get how challenging it is. There are nights where you just are like I don’t want to do this; I don’t want to adult anymore. This is really hard. Every kid is crying and no one will go to bed.
Secrets among Sisters
“If I’m ever working on a project, I never talk about it until it’s launching that day. I literally don’t even tell my sisters I’m working on an amazing project until they see it because I never want to disappoint or be a talker if something doesn’t happen. I always keep everything quiet until it’s out and ready. I knew that I had started law school, and I was shooting my Vogue cover. I was like I could either say it and announce it, and once I do for this cover, I’m f*cked if I don’t follow through, and I was like I’m going to do it publicly and say it because that will be my push.”
Social Media Influence
“First social media platform I joined was MySpace. I loved it. MySpace was everything. I think the next platform after MySpace was Twitter. I remember we were filming Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Ryan Seacrest was the producer. He told my mom that I should get on. I didn’t really know what it was about. I got on and realized I could talk to people all over the world and someone would respond at any time. That’s when I realized quickly that it could be the most amazing, free focus group. If I couldn’t figure out what product I wanted to launch with or a color on a specific thing or needed advice, I could get back an answer immediately and get such an accurate answer, so I started to use it for that. Then I think the consumer started to feel they were a part of the brand… Then we evolved to Instagram, and I know everyone is evolving to TikTok. TikTok’s a lot. I love it, but it’s very young.”
The Robert Kardashian Way
“He said if you’re going to do [something], you have to do the best job at it, even if it’s not your dream job, you have to do your best. That always kind of stuck with me that if I’m going to work somewhere, have fun and be my best at it and do it.”
Making dad proud
"I think my dad would get such a kick out of me going to law school. He absolutely would have made fun of me for not passing [the bar] on the first try… I think he would have been the best study buddy going over my flashcards with me. He would have such a kick out of our show and just our lives. I would have asked him for advice on everything like I always did. He would have been so proud and loved the fact that I went to law school, and I at least passed one of the bars.”
Never giving up
“When I failed the test, I was like okay I don’t think I can do this. Then I failed again, and I had already filmed it for the show, so I’m like f*ck I’m such a failure. I studied my ass off, and I would work every single second I had. When the kids would go to bed, I’d be watching lectures. I’d be on Zooms. I was like I just can’t give up now. I was just so pissed that I took all that time away from my kids. I studied for like four weeks straight, sent my kids out of town, and I would visit them once a week. I was like I didn’t just spend all this time away from my kids… The last test I took, I was just a few points away from passing, so I was like are they f*cking with me at this point. I was like how am I a few points off. I had to try one last time, and I thought to myself if I don’t pass, it was the last chance I had. I would have had to take over a whole year, and I was like I don’t think I have it in me. I passed with 100 points to spare, higher than the passing score. I literally just started crying, and I was like I f*cking did it! It was literally the best feeling ever.”
Using her platform for others
“I think Alice Johnson’s story was so powerful and such a movement because for the first-time people saw this grandmother’s face and were able to put a face with justice reform. I thought she literally is locked up for life without the possibility of parole, and she wouldn’t harm a fly literally… but yet she has the same sentence as Charles Manson. It just didn’t really make sense to me, and I think people in America had to see her face and had to hear her story. The First Step Act, we were able to get signed by the president [Trump] because he saw Alice Johnson. I also just think in life with age and life experiences, life stops being so much about you. You get to a place where if you can, you just want to help other people, and it’s so satisfying that I’m able to do that and also gratifying that I’ve – even though it’s really time consuming, and I get sad being away from the kids and late nights studying – I know that it’s for the better of other people and that makes me keep going. My life was very much about me... That’s how I lived my life and then when you get to a certain place, you’re just like okay, what can I do to help other people. I’m good, and I’ve gotten done what I wanted to get done and now it’s how can I serve and what can I do. That is what fulfills me.”
“I’ve always said my goal in life is I want to raise kind human beings. And I know with the world that we live in that gets tested a lot. There are sometimes where I’m like I don’t want to take the high road anymore, but as hard as it is, I just would always want to lead by example. That’s always my goal is to have my kids, I just always want them to be kind people.”