Kim Kardashian West is one of the most popular celebrities of her generation, but she’s not the first or only woman to experience massive levels of fame. For Interview magazine’s September issue, the mom of two “channels another mother whose every move captivated the American imagination: First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.”
For the cover shoot, Kardashian West wears Kennedy’s signature bouffant, long gloves, pearls, and fashionable styles to transform into the former First Lady, and at first glance, she’s almost unrecognizable. Her 4-year-old daughter North West also makes her debut appearance on the cover of a magazine alongside her mom and poses in a collared dress with her hair tied up in buns.
In the candid interview, the reality star opens up about how she protects her children from the spotlight. “We have strict rules about the kids [on Keeping Up with the Kardashians]. Some seasons they’re not on at all. Some seasons they’re on a little bit, just to show a bit of personality, although there are never storylines about them. But then there’s social media, on which I’ve always been really open. When I’m out and people call North’s name, that’s when it’s weird for me. She lives such a normal life, believe it or not, at home,” she says.
Kardashian West is equally conscious about raising mixed-race children (she and husband Kanye West are also parents to 1-year-old Saint West). “Kanye always has his family around and people who look like my daughter—that’s important to me. She’s obsessed with her curly hair, and if she finds someone who has the same hair, she runs to them and is like, ‘You have curly hair like me?’ And we get to talk about it," she says. "We also talk about it with my niece Penelope, because she and North look really different, but they’re best friends and they’re together all the time.”
“We want to raise our kids to be really aware. I think that’s all you can do. The more you talk about things and keep them out in the open, the more they won’t be taboo. Kids are already so open. They say anything. So if you educate them, they feel like they have this knowledge and then they feel empowered,” she adds.
The Kardashian-Jenner clan has had their fair share of scandals in the past 12 months, from Kendall’s Pepsi ad controversy to Rob’s very public breakup, and Kim describes herself as the “ringleader” in dealing with difficult situations. “If I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now, or if this doesn’t work out one day, I could so be a publicist. I feel like that’s my job for the family sometimes, at least the crisis part of it,” she said, agreeing to a description of herself as her family’s Olivia Pope.
But it seems unlikely that Kardashian West would need to look for a job in PR anytime soon. With an estimated income of over $45 a year, according to Forbes, the “girl with no talent” is doing pretty well for herself.
“I used to say, ‘I love being underestimated.’ But now when I hear, ‘They’re so not talented,’—10 years into it—I’m kind of like, ‘OK, give a girl a little respect.’ If I’m so not talented, if I do nothing, then how is my career my reality?” she asks.
“I don’t mind being underestimated because it does fuel me. But after a while, I do feel like, ‘C’mon, you can recognize a little bit,’” she adds. “You can say a lot of things about me, but you cannot say I don’t work hard. I don’t sing. I don’t dance. I don’t act. But I am not lazy.”
See more images from the shoot above.