Happy birthday, Kim! The reality star and modern icon turns 37 today, and in honor of the momentous occasion, we’ve compiled the many ways Kardashian West has changed the world in her 10-year reign.
Love her or hate her, her contribution to pop culture is undeniable.
Scroll down below for a full analysis.
OK, obviously Kim Kardashian West didn’t invent the selfie. Self-portrait painters have been experimenting with the form for hundreds of years, but it wasn’t until the Kardashian era that self-focused photography became mainstream.
In her bestselling book, Selfish, Kardashian West does something surprisingly progressive and publishes nude photos of herself that were previously leaked online by hackers. Not only is she reclaiming her photography for her own, she’s reclaiming her body, stripping hackers of any power by beating them at their own game. If that doesn’t make Kim a feminist icon, I don’t know what does.
She Redefined What It Means to Be a Celebrity
Kardashian West and her whole family built an empire out of something that’s always trafficked well in Hollywood: sex.
Within a short span Kim went from a girl whose sex tape had been leaked to a bona fide star who sits front row at Fashion Week, lands magazine covers, and gets hundreds of millions of follows on social media, and helms her own media empire.
Despite any criticisms leveled against her, Kim proved that the term “reality star” could transcend the implied subset of fame.
VIDEO: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are in "Full-On Nesting Mode"
She Took Self-Awareness to New Heights
After Kimojis launched, there was no going back.
She Restored Hope in the American Dream
Strange as it is, Kim is the perfect example of the magic we’ve long counted on America to produce. She went from being Paris Hilton’s assistant and Brandy’s brother’s girlfriend to one of the most famous women in the world. How’d she do it? Tenacity, of course. In the 10 years since she rose to fame, she and her mom and sisters (although mostly her mom, let’s be honest) have done everything in their power to stay relevant and hold the national interest (whether that means an unexpected pregnancy or, well, this)—and they have.
She Helped Strip Fertility Issues of Shame
Kim has been incredibly open about her struggles with fertility over the years and given women the power to do so as well. Alternative maternity options like surrogacy and IVF have been unfairly demonized in the public eye, discouraging discussion of fertility issues among women. With the voice of someone as famous as Kim paving the way, the feelings of shame associated with failure to naturally conceive are slowly diminishing.
She’s Encouraged a New Wave of Body Positivity
Kim’s refusal to apologize for her body despite constant criticism and endless slut-shaming is empowering in a way few stars of her magnitude have managed. From nude selfies to nude photo shoots—she won’t ever imply they're something she (nor anyone) should feel bad about.