Kim Kardashian-West is, if nothing else, a woman of the public. But the celebrity-turned businesswoman of the Internet Age isn’t just industrious, she’s also exceptionally beautiful — a trait that has indisputably helped her further her career and bolster her success.
On Tuesday night in San Francisco, Kardashian-West sat to speak with retired judge and San Jose Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell to give a unique interview in a public forum setting. The event was for the Commonwealth Club’s Innovation Lab, as part of a series called Inforum, which in the past has invited speakers such as Rachel Maddow, Jack Dorsey, Dan Savage and Hillary Clinton in an effort to further public discussion about society and major issues that face it.
During her one-hour interview session, Kardashian-West spoke about her personal life and the media circus that surrounds her family.
“My career is based on openness and honesty,” she said. It was an appropriate opening to a relatively candid interview about her relationships and past.
Interviewer Cordell dove right in, asking bluntly, “Do your selfies objectify you?”
“Yes,” she responded. But her following answer was one of the most though-provoking of the night. “I’ve taken them. I’m proud of them. There’s power in that. There’s a control. Even if I’m objectifying myself, I’m OK with that.”
It was a slow reckoning for Kardashian, who often drew attention for her looks while growing up, a plight only made more difficult when as a preteen her body began to change before her older sister’s.
“This may be kind of embarrassing for [Kourtney],” she said, but when Kim was younger, she developed earlier than her sister. At age 11, she added, “I would sit in the bath tub and pray that I would stop developing.”
Eventually, as she grew up, she learned to own it.
Her late father Robert Kardashian wrote her a letter for her high school graduation telling her to “be confident and secure” in who she was, and by the time she was a young adult, Kardashian was gaining prominence in the public eye. She had at least one major career setback, but became more comfortable in her own skin. She picked up a reality television show, became a major media personality, and eventually went on to #BreakTheInternet.
“He’d kill me for the magazine stuff, but I think he’d look past it,” she says of her father Robert, referring to photo shoots like the one she did for “PAPER”. “He’d be proud of us.”
As the conversation went on, Cordell didn’t shy away from asking about a newer man in her life: husband Kanye West. After poising a question to Kim about what exactly she loves about the rapper, Kardashian responded candidly.
“I love most the way he loves, the way he creates, the way he thinks,” Kardashian said. “He’s such a good person and I love how he just stands up for whatever he believes in wholeheartedly and never backs down without a care for how it comes across.
“He’s taught me to just be me.”
After over 40 minutes of discussion, Cordell touched on a delicate topic: Caitlyn Jenner. Kardashian has largely remained reserved on the topic of Jenner’s recent transition, but offered a few words about where she and the family currently stand.
“Unless you’re actually going through it, you’ll never 100 percent understand it. Caitlyn is so grateful for all of that … Everyone has a different emotional transition to find their own way to support it. Caitlyn has helped me learn to be less judgmental of others,” she mused, but acknowledged that it has been a family effort.
“It’s not just about Caitlyn. Our family also goes through a lot,” she said. “I’m happy people have been so open and compassionate to this change.”