Kim Kardashian Bares All
Our editor-in-chief Mel Ottenberg called up the most famous woman in the nation to find out what’s behind the American Dream.
MEL OTTENBERG: Hi Kim. How’s it going?
KIM KARDASHIAN: Good, I’m just dyeing my hair blonde again. I’m getting my roots done.
OTTENBERG: Fantastic. So, Kim, do blondes have more fun? Are we keeping the blonde?
KARDASHIAN: I am keeping it for a little bit. I feel like in the fall I’ll go dark, just because I don’t want to damage my hair. But, I do think blondes have more fun. I just feel different.
OTTENBERG: I love it. What is your secret these days? You’re really, truly glowing.
KARDASHIAN: Oh my god, thank you.
OTTENBERG: No problem.
KARDASHIAN: Honestly, I really take care of myself. I work out, and I eat as plant-based as possible. I’m not perfect, but it’s a lifestyle. I feel really good in my own skin these days, so maybe that comes through.
OTTENBERG: Oh yeah. It comes through. I mean, I had so much fun with you on our cover shoot, you looked so great, and you are really glowing. So, on that health kick note, what did you have for breakfast this morning?
KARDASHIAN: I guess it’s called an acai bowl? I call it a little smoothie bowl. Just with some fresh coconut and fresh fruit like bananas, peaches, mangoes, and I put protein in it and granola. And then a hot tea with almond milk.
KARDASHIAN: I love a tea in the morning.
OTTENBERG: I love a tea as well. I’ve had three today. Alright, Kim, so it’s 11 a.m. in Calabasas, and you’re getting your hair done. What’s Kim’s day like before and after doing your American Dream Interview story over Zoom?
KARDASHIAN: Well, I woke up and I worked out, and then I dropped my kids off at day camp. I’m shooting a little content for SKKN this morning, and I figured out how to do some voiceovers on Reels. Then, I’m going to record an episode of my podcast. I’m doing a true crime podcast on Spotify.
OTTENBERG: Wait, are you a true crime junkie like me?
KARDASHIAN: Oh my god, yeah. I’m obsessed. I had to stop watching Dateline and all the shows when I was studying in law school.
OTTENBERG: Because then it felt like work.
KARDASHIAN: Yeah. And then I have a two-hour study session, and then I have to go do voiceovers for the new Paw Patrol movie.
KARDASHIAN: And that’s as far as I’ve looked at my schedule.
OTTENBERG: Okay. As a true crime junkie can I ask you what this podcast is about?
KARDASHIAN: It’s called The System. The first season is about a really crazy case where a guy got the death sentence for a triple homicide that happened in Ohio. There are so many twists and turns with how it was handled—or mishandled—and we take the listener along for a journey in search of the truth.
OTTENBERG: Wow. We’ll get to some other stuff that I think connects with that in a minute. But, I had another question that I really wanted to ask you. Let’s pretend for a second that you’re not famous and you’ve got the day off. What are you doing?
KARDASHIAN: Well, I’m going to dinner with my sisters tonight, so I’d probably do that anyway. I think I’d always be working out. None of that has really changed. Me and my sisters would always work out together. I would be a mom. I’d still want to work, though. I’d probably have a big vintage resale business or something.
OTTENBERG: I like it. So, Kim, we’ve known each other for a while, and it’s been really amazing to watch you take yourself to another level over the past few years. Your star keeps rising. Do you have anything left to prove?
KARDASHIAN: I think I’ll always feel like I have something to prove. Even if it’s just to myself. My next big thing is just finishing law school because I’m halfway there. It’s really time consuming. I have to study two hours every day with my professor. I don’t have a day off from that.
OTTENBERG: Has studying law affected how you absorb what’s going on in America right now?
KARDASHIAN: Absolutely. I’m studying civil procedure and criminal procedure right now, so just understanding the process of how Roe v. Wade got overturned—it’s fascinating and scary.
OTTENBERG: Absolutely. We can all agree it’s a really scary time in America. Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court and now same-sex marriage is in jeopardy too.
KARDASHIAN: Just seeing how far our country has progressed, to then see it regress—it’s really scary to think that gay marriage is in jeopardy. If a court can decide what a woman does with her body, then it also puts having children through surrogacy, and things that I have been through, in jeopardy. I always believed people should live their lives exactly how they want to, so it’s really scary to see all of this happening.
OTTENBERG: Any thoughts on how to fight back?
KARDASHIAN: Never stop speaking your truth, and never stop fighting for what you believe in. I think it’s so important to use your voice and speak out, and I do think that it’s effective.
OTTENBERG: Yes. What you’ve done to get people who were unjustly convicted of crimes out of prison is so admirable. Where did that come from?
KARDASHIAN: Thank you. I just saw something on social media that I didn’t feel like was fair, and I didn’t understand it. A woman that didn’t do anything violent, never had a ticket in her life, she answered the phone as a mule for a drug case and got the same sentence as Charles Manson. When I saw that, I was like, “I don’t get it. How did this happen? Did she need a better attorney?” I really didn’t know, so I educated myself about it.
KARDASHIAN: I thought, “Okay, I can handle [pardoning] low-level drug offenses, that I can resonate with.” But if someone was killed—I didn’t know I could get behind it until I was brought to a women’s prison. Their stories were all very similar. They all committed a crime for their boyfriend, or for their husband. I mean, I probably did some dumb shit at some point and I was maybe just a few decisions off of being in a similar situation, any of us could be. Once I saw how broken the system is, I couldn’t stop. I have to help as many people as I can. These people are thrown away and put in prison and no one cares. It’s so heartbreaking.
OTTENBERG: One more serious question. And thank you for sharing that, because it’s really fascinating.
KARDASHIAN: Of course, yeah.
OTTENBERG: Global warming. It is actually insane. There are fires in the south of France, the tarmac is melting in England. Do you feel like you do anything to combat and prevent that? I don’t think I do that much, to be honest, and I’m curious what your thoughts are?
KARDASHIAN: I believe in climate change, and I believe that anything can help. But I also believe in being realistic and I think sometimes there’s so much to worry about on this planet, and it can be really scary to live your life with anxiety. I have super climate change–involved friends, and I love learning from them. I do what I can, but you have to pick and choose what really works for you in your life.
KARDASHIAN: No one’s going to be 100 percent perfect.
OTTENBERG: Absolutely. So, back to fashion, which is how we know each other. It’s incredible to watch how you’ve gone from the girl they didn’t want in fashion to the woman they need in fashion. You won the Met Gala two years in a row—says me, says everyone—you walked the Balenciaga show, you starred in their campaign. Like, wow. Kim.
KARDASHIAN: There’s so many people that I look at and I’m like, “Oh my god. I love how they dress.” Or, “I love that. That’s so fresh.” I get it. And then for me, I can find things that could be so simple, and that a lot of people, a lot of girls, can connect to—and that is very sellable. The things I wear seem realistic. There’s an easy way to find a similar item or a solution to wear something similar, and I think that may be what resonates. It feels attainable.
OTTENBERG: Yeah, I get it. These last two Met Gala things that I’m referencing, even if they’re really insane and hard to get, like Marilyn’s dress, or the totally covered look, they’re also relatable.
KARDASHIAN: Being totally covered is not what I was talking about.
OTTENBERG: But you wore a t-shirt. That’s what I thought was so sick about it. It is attainable. It works.
OTTENBERG: You managed to wear that, and it didn’t wear you. I still don’t know how you did it but you did.
KARDASHIAN: That was a scary moment for me. I was like, “I don’t get it. Why am I covering my face for the Met?” And then I was talked into it, and was like, “It’s a costume ball. You have to go with the full vision, and the full vision was to be covered from head to toe and still be recognizable as a silhouette of myself.” So, there was a lot behind it, and the one thing I love is trusting my team. I’ve gotten really good at that. It takes off so much pressure.
OTTENBERG: Also, the audacity of believing your team saying that was the right move even when you’re not sure is really really cool. It paid off.
KARDASHIAN: I trust myself in the sense of, I know what looks good, and I know what makes me feel really uncomfortable. But, every once in a while, someone will be like, “Trust me. This looks good.” Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t, and you just have to roll with it. It’s not that serious. I care a lot, but I also can’t let it consume me. Sometimes there’s bad angles, bad lighting. You can’t control it all.
OTTENBERG: I think that’s the fun thing about your forties, too, you just don’t give a fuck as much.
OTTENBERG: So, you’ve been mega-famous for forever, but when did you know that you really arrived in high society?
KARDASHIAN: In high society? Hmm.
OTTENBERG: I’m just so curious.
KARDASHIAN: I mean, when I was with Kanye, and he was introducing me to a lot of people, I think that definitely got a lot of people to have a different level of respect. I’ve also seen a shift more recently—going to law school, just doing what I want and becoming my own person and people seeing that and respecting that. There’s levels to it.
OTTENBERG: On that note, do you ever get starstruck?
KARDASHIAN: Oh my god. You know what’s so crazy? I used to, and I’m really good at hiding it, but I don’t anymore. Is that sad?
OTTENBERG: No, I don’t think it’s sad.
KARDASHIAN: Everyone is normal now.
OTTENBERG: I get it. Okay Kim, I’m curious. You were always like, “For a girl with no talent, I’ve come really far.” Let’s get it on the record. What is your talent?
KARDASHIAN: Yeah, people used to say that and I’m like, “Do I need to be a fucking circus animal?”
KARDASHIAN: I think it came from people saying, “What are you famous for?” And I’m like, “Well, we have a TV show.” But just because we’re not singing and dancing and acting on the show doesn’t mean that the fame didn’t come from that. But then, I would write that as a hashtag, not bad for a girl with no talent, because people used to be like, “Well, what do you do? What’s your talent?” And I’m like, “Didn’t know I needed one.” I mean, I can give you a million fucking talents. I can cook well, use my toes for anything. I could tell you the weirdest fucking shit on the planet. But I think my talent is marketing and the business behind selling products and knowing what the customer wants and making it feel attainable, but also a bit unattainable at the same time. I wouldn’t say that’s a talent. I think it’s a bit of magic and business savvy. Maybe it is talent, I don’t know.
OTTENBERG: Fuck yeah. Okay, so on that note, the first sentence of your Wikipedia page says, “Kim Kardashian is an American socialite, model, media personality, and businesswoman.” If you had to rewrite that today, what would it say?
KARDASHIAN: I don’t really care what people think of me or say about me. I mean, model, that’s funny. But, I would just say more of the business side, because that’s all I’ve really cared about. Hopefully one day it can say lawyer and mother. I think those are my most important roles, but I don’t really look at my Wikipedia page, so I don’t really care.
OTTENBERG: How about she’s a businesswoman, she’s an icon, she changed the world, she’s a lawyer, she’s a mother?
KARDASHIAN: I’ll let you say it. [Laughs]
OTTENBERG: I did.
KARDASHIAN: It’s so weird. I have a problem being super confident. I’ve always been more self-deprecating, and I get shy when it comes to, “Describe yourself. Talk about yourself.” Things like that.
OTTENBERG: Totally. Okay, everyone wants something from you. How do you deal with that?
KARDASHIAN: I do have a problem saying no to people, so I hate when people ask me for things. It’s like, “Hey, will you do this work thing, it’ll just be two seconds.” And I’m like, “It’s not that easy. I’m coming from Calabasas, which is an hour each way.” It takes about two hours in glam, so if someone asks me to do a five-minute cameo, it’s never just that. But, all my friends and family, no one ever really asks me for anything or needs anything. We’re all just cool.
OTTENBERG: I like it. Alright, so we had a conversation in your closet six years ago, and you told me what your goals were. So many of them have come true. You haven’t won the CFDA Fashion Icon Award yet, but you will. Do you have any new American dreams to share with us? We’re talking glamour here, with Chris [Appleton, Kardashian’s hair stylist] as my witness. Hi Chris.
CHRIS APPLETON: You just did one with the Marilyn dress.
KARDASHIAN: Yeah. I feel like the Marilyn dress was such a glamour goal.
OTTENBERG: Oh, so good.
KARDASHIAN: My glamour goals are just to look tight forever. [Laughs]
OTTENBERG: I dig it. So, do you have any plans to act again? You killed it on SNL. We loved you in Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor. What did you just do the voiceover for again?
KARDASHIAN: Paw Patrol.[Laughs] A Nickelodeon kid’s dog movie. Would I act? I would if something fun came about. Maybe a Marvel movie, that would be so fun to do. I’m not actively looking, but I think things just come when they’re supposed to.
OTTENBERG: Yeah. Come through, Hollywood. Okay, Kim, what do you want that you can’t have?
KARDASHIAN: Maybe a little bit more sleep. Maybe kids that I don’t have to fucking bribe with Pokémon cards. Just ridiculous things. I don’t know. Time?
OTTENBERG: Yes. Sleep and time. They’re beautiful. Okay. Men. I had some questions written down, but they seem boring now. Pete is really cute. We want to put him on the cover sometime. BDE.
OTTENBERG: It’s just a prompt, really.
KARDASHIAN: He’s a cutie. He’s literally such a good person, they don’t really make them like him anymore. I’m excited for what he has coming up.
OTTENBERG: Sick. Alright, Kim. A few more questions. They’re easy ones. What was it like wearing a jockstrap?
KARDASHIAN: Oh my god. I loved it. Working with Nadia Lee [Cohen]—we just vibe so well when we shoot together. She’s the first photographer that I’ve really gone full force with. The team was like, “No jockstrap.” And I’m like, “Come on. This is what I do.” I do best when I’m ignoring them and doing what I want. So, I’m glad we did it.
OTTENBERG: Thank you for going for it. As I told you, a jockstrap is just a frame for a great butt. And then, Kim, what would your autobiography be called?
KARDASHIAN: Oh my god. I have no idea.
OTTENBERG: I know, me neither. It’s literally an impossible question.
KARDASHIAN: Kim Possible. Just kidding.
OTTENBERG: [Laughs] Alright. Last question is, Kim, should I ask you any more questions?
KARDASHIAN: I mean, if you want to know any stupid stuff, yeah. Ask whatever you want.
OTTENBERG: Do you consider yourself an exhibitionist?
KARDASHIAN: Not really.
OTTENBERG: What makes you the most stressed out?
KARDASHIAN: I would say anything where I’m late. I hate being late. That’s the one thing where I’m just like, “Oh my god I need my CBD pen. I’m freaking the fuck out.”
OTTENBERG: Okay, the hottest fucking Kim Kardashian moment. What is she wearing?
KARDASHIAN: Oh, maybe a bikini. I don’t know which one, but there were some times when I was in Mexico—I always feel good in my bikini moments.
OTTENBERG: I love that for you. Okay, Kim, we did it. You’re the American Dream. You’re the best.
KARDASHIAN: Oh my god, you’re so sweet. You’re so welcome. Thank you.
OTTENBERG: I’m so psyched about the shoot. I mean, this is a hard time in the world. We have to be serious and aware of what’s going on, but we also have to fucking tear it up.
KARDASHIAN: Yeah. For sure. It’s so good. I’m so happy.
OTTENBERG: Well, good luck with your hair dye. I’ll see you guys soon, and thank you so much.
KARDASHIAN: Thank you.
Hair: Chris Appleton at The Wall Group
Makeup: Ariel Tejada at Prtnrs
Set Design: Mikey Avina
Production: Fabien Colas, Malcolm Duncan, and Carlota Ruiz De Velasco
Manicure: Diem Truong and Kim Truong using Dior Abricot Crème at Star Touch Agency
Tailor: Mandy Black
Photography Assistants: Andrew Goeser and David Lopez
Fashion Assistants: Charlie Burke and Isabelle Fields
Hair Assistant: Niki Wetsch
Season 2 of The Kardashians premieres September 22 on Hulu.