A quintessential example of 21st century famous-for-being-famous iconography, Kim Kardashian’s allure lies in her simultaneous balance of inaccessibility and total transparency. She is privileged, glamorous and occasionally bratty, but her candor and willingness to take risks has ultimately made her an irresistible public figure. From a daring W magazine cover photo to adoring support from designers like Marchesa and Vera Wang, Kardashian has become a figurehead for the changing face, shape and persona of beauty.
Kardashian bared her famous figure on the cover of W magazine’s November “Art Issue” with strategically placed messages over her bust, waist and hips that read, “It’s all about me, I mean you, I mean me.” The magazine’s sales jumped by 30% with this provocative cover, authenticating Kardashian as an even hotter commodity. On the topic of her body image, she admitted in the magazine: “I used to think I have to be this or that or skinny, and now, because of [Keeping Up With the Kardashians], everyone is embracing just me, which has given me such a confidence. Now, I’m like, ‘Why did I ever give that feeling the time of day?’”
In recent years we’ve seen a shift in the fashion industry’s attitudes toward body type and ethnic variety, but Kardashian has helped extend these traditional boundaries of beauty with her positive self-acceptance and commanding personality. Aware that she is bottom heavy, Kardashian embraces her sexuality and puts the whole package—and then some—out there. Her Armenian features, doll-like face, voluptuous endowments and non-runway 5’3″ stature make her both relatable as well as a model of diverse beauty.
Whether she’s clothed or baring it all on magazine stands, Kardashian is a trend topic to be watched in both fashion and social media platforms. With over six million followers on Twitter, she also boasts credentials as a business woman, exec producer, fashion designer, perfumista and, of course, reality star. Relishing the limelight by taking on whatever role she’s expected to play, Kardashian, a non-drinker, has no qualms about dancing on a table then sitting back down. She knows, whatever gets the press going, is good for business.
Likewise, her refreshing appearance at every red carpet event has not only catapulted her career from reality show diva to every designer’s dream girl, but her attendance, like an insurance policy, predicts the cameras will also be there. With cover girl status on Harper’s Bazaar and Glamour this year, we expect that much of what Kardashian says, does, buys and sells will continue to rule pop culture.