From a Home Movie to a Reality Star: Kim Kardashian

There’s rarely a day that goes by that Kim Kardashian isn’t in the news. She’s one of the most famous women in the world, and everyone knows her name. It’s actually hard to remember a time when no one knew her name because she became an overnight sensation after the premiere of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Kim Kardashian attends the 2022 Baby2Baby Gala
Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

From the moment she (and her family) showed up on our TV screens in 2007, Kim has been the person everyone is talking about. From starring in a home movie to being a reality TV star, a mother of four, a businesswoman, and a laywer, this is how Kim Kardashian became the woman she is today.

A Big Mixed Family

Kimberly Noel Kardashian was born in October 1980 to Robert and Kris Kardashian. As most of us know, her parents had three other children, Kourtney, Khloe, and Rob, before they divorced in 1991. Long story short, Kris cheated on Robert, but they eventually learned to be friends and co-parent.

Kardashian Family
Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Shortly after Kim’s parents divorced, her mom married Caitlyn Jenner (then Bruce), and they had two more children, Kendall and Kylie. Kim was never lonely at home and had plenty of friends at school. Despite the split, Kim had a childhood full of love, and her parents gave her everything she wanted.

A Strict School

Although Kim doesn’t seem like the Catholic school type of girl today, she attended Marymount High School as a teen. The Catholic all-girls school had strict rules regarding the dress code, which Kim usually broke because her skirt was too short. Although her skirt was short, she followed the other rules.

Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kris Jenner and Julianne Barbar
Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Another rule was that there was no makeup allowed. She always went bare-faced to class, which must be easy when you look like Kim. Despite the rules, Kim loved her school and is still friends with many of her classmates. She also liked the religious environment because she grew up in a religious home.

Celebrating Like a Celebrity

Although the Kardashians weren’t household names until 2007, Kim’s parents had many famous friends. Going to school in LA also gave her easy access to celebrity kids like TJ Jackson, Michael Jackson’s nephew. When Kim turned 14, her boyfriend suggested they go to his uncle’s Neverland Ranch.

Kimberly Kardashian, actor Paris Hilton and sister designer Nicky Hilton
Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Unlike most teens, Kim’s birthday party was over the top. She said it was the most “magical place on earth” and fondly remembers her 14th birthday. Although TJ’s uncle wasn’t present for the party, it was still a lot cooler than going to the skating rink or having cake in someone’s backyard.

She Had to Pay for It

Kim might have come from a wealthy family, but her dad made sure she knew the value of a dollar. When she was 16, she got a car for her birthday. However, she totaled it shortly after, so her dad agreed to buy her a new car under one condition.

ortrait Sesssion with Kim Kardashian
Photo by Chris Polk/FilmMagic

Robert only bought Kim the car when she agreed to be responsible for paying all the bills and expenses. As a result, she had to get a job to cover the costs. Her first job was working at Body, a local clothing store in Encino, California, where she worked for four years.

She Went Behind Their Backs

Working at the local boutique was a great experience for Kim because it introduced her to fashion. She showed how driven she was because she helped open a second location in Calabasas. However, when she was 19, Kim left the store because she had eloped.

Kim Kardashian
Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage

Kim was dating music producer Damon Thomas, and the two quickly decided to get married in Las Vegas. Her parents didn’t find out about it until after, and they were certainly unhappy. She was still young, and her parents knew she wasn’t emotionally ready to be married.

She Kept Hustling

Although she left her job at the clothing store, Kim’s continued working at her father’s office. She said her parents didn’t give her any money, so she had to work for everything she wanted. She bought and sold things on eBay when she got her paychecks.

Kim Kardashian during Kim Kardashian Hosts TAO
Photo by Denise Truscello / Getty Images

Her dad taught her the importance of saving money, so she worked hard to make more money than she wanted to spend. From the time she was 16, Kim always had a job because her dad made her sign a contract that she would pay for her expenses.

Her Father Was Her Idol

Kim looked up to her father so much because he was her biggest influence. When he passed away from cancer in 2003, the loss was devastating. She said, “We always thought my dad was the smartest person in the world,” even when he joined OJ Simpson’s “dream team” defense.

Robert Kardashian and his daughter Kim Kardashian
Robert Kardashian and his daughter Kim Kardashian. Jim Heimann Collection/Getty Images

She revealed that she took her dad’s side when he defended Simpson because “he really believed in his friend.” Although her mom was best friends with Nicole Brown Simpson, Kim thought her dad was always right. He even inspired her to become a lawyer later in life.

She Got a Divorce

When Kim married Thomas, she was ten years younger than him. She later revealed that she was high on ecstasy when they eloped. Kim admitted she was naïve and became dependent on him, but the marriage fell apart around 2003.

Actress Kim Kardashian
Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic

Kim claimed he became controlling and possessive. She said, “Damon decided what we would do and when we would do it.” He made her stop working and wanted to know where she was at all times. He also became physical, so Kim filed for divorce in 2003.

Getting Back to Work

Once she separated from Thomas, Kim started to get her life back. She started working as a personal stylist to singer and actress Brandy, who was also Ray J’s sister. Kim and Ray J began dating before her divorce was finalized, and he introduced her to his sister.

Kim Kardashian (C) with her mother Kris (L) and sister Kourtney
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Brandy helped Kim get other styling opportunities, but things took a turn the following year. In 2004, Sonja Norwood (Brandy and Ray J’s mom and manager) claimed she authorized Kim to make “one and only one” purchase on her credit card, but Kim and her sisters spent over $120,000.

Her Relationship Helped Her

Norwood also alleged that Kim and her sisters made many charges on her card in 2006 and 2007 at their boutique. By that time, Kim was no longer employed by Brandy. Norwood said Brandy and Ray J asked her not to pursue criminal charges against Kim due to Ray J’s relationship with Kim.

Kim Kardashian attends the opening of The New Fuse Nightclub
Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage

Kim’s relationship saved her from facing legal issues, but Norwood claimed she confronted Kim about the charges, and Kim apologized. Norwood also alleged that Kim promised to repay the debt. By 2008, no money had been paid back, so Norwood filed a lawsuit, which was privately settled.

Friends in High Places

Kim had been friends with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie since she was a teenager, so in 2006, she started working for Hilton as a stylist. She appeared in several episodes of The Simple Life and was often photographed with the socialite, attending events and parties.

Kim Kardashian, Caroline D'Amore and Paris Hilton
Photo by John Sciulli/WireImage

Hilton helped Kim get other jobs as a closet organizer for Cindy Crawford and Rob Lowe. She was determined to make a name for herself, which was clear to everyone in the business. Sheeraz Hasan, a PR strategist who worked with Hilton, met Kim and saw she was very driven.

Let’s Talk About the Home Movie

When Kim was dating Ray J, the two made a poor decision to film a sex tape when they started dating in 2003. The tape remained a secret until 2007, when it was leaked by Vivid Entertainment and distributed as Kim Kardashian, Superstar.

Ray J and Kim Kardashian
Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Kim was mortified and sued Vivid Entertainment. However, she later dropped the lawsuit and settled for a reported $5 million, allegedly allowing the company to distribute the video. Although it was embarrassing, that particular home movie put her on a path to fame.

Say Hello to the Kardashians

Family friend Ryan Secrest wanted to recreate the success of MTV’s The Osbournes, so he began searching for a family to participate in a show. When he spoke to Kris Jenner, she invited cameras into her home to do a test video while they had a family barbecue.

The Kardashians
Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images

The cameraman called Secrest from their house and said they found the perfect family because the Kardashians were golden. Kim was the most easily convinced to do the show, but people criticized her and her family for using the sex tape to promote their reality show.

A Household Name

When Keeping Up With the Kardashians premiered, Kim became an instant star. She had been on the rise for a few years while hanging out with Paris Hilton, but the show made her a standalone name. Two months after the premiere, she then posed for Playboy in December 2007.

Kim Kardashian poses at the Playboy celebration
Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images

Remember the “you’re doing amazing, sweetie” quote? At that moment, everyone realized Kim and her family weren’t going off the air anytime soon. Although many criticized her for posing nude after the sex tape, Kim appreciated the publicity. She even had a Google alert for her name.

Bigger Opportunities

As we saw on KUWTK, suddenly, Kim was flooded with one opportunity after the other. In 2008, she made her film debut with a small role in Disaster Movie. She also appeared on Season 7 of Dancing With the Stars, where she was eliminated third.

Carmen Electra for Disaster Movie photocall
Photo by Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

In those early days of her success, Kim wasn’t picky about the opportunities presented to her. She took any job that could get her name out there with the help of her momager. From filming a workout DVD to endorsing food for Carl’s Jr., Kim hustled her way to the top.

Working With Her Sisters

Kim and her sisters have worked on many projects together, including their clothing boutique DASH, a clothing line at Sears, a makeup line, and an autobiography. The three teamed up to write Kardashian Konfidential, which was released in November 2010.

Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian and Kanye West
Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage

Besides working with her sisters, she also branched out into music. Kim recorded the song “Jam (Turn It Up)” in December 2010 and filmed the music video directed by Hype Williams with the help of Kanye West. It was around this time that Kim and Kanye sparked a genuine friendship.

For a Good Cause

Let’s be real; no one thought Kim would be the next big pop star when she released her song. She explained, “There’s no album in the works or anything – just one song we did for Kourtney and Kim Take New York. Half of the proceeds were given to a cancer foundation.”

Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Milla Jovovich, Kim Kardashian
Photo by Mike Coppola/FilmMagic

Kim said it was all for fun and a good cause. She wanted to support the foundation because her father had passed away from cancer. Although she didn’t take it too seriously, a writer for the Daily News said the song was a “dead-brained piece of generic dance music.”

Making Money Moves

Some might have thought Kim was a sell-out for taking any and every opportunity to make money, but she clearly did something right. In 2010, Kim produced a show, guest starred on 90210, appeared on The Apprentice, and got a wax figure at .

Kim Kardashian attends Kim Kardashian's wax figure unveiling
Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

Kim kept herself busy, and by the end of 2010, the International Business Times reported that she earned about $6 million in one year. It earned her a spot as one of the highest-earning Hollywood-based reality stars. Kim proved to her haters that nothing could stop her.

Another Whirlwind Romance

After meeting in New York in late 2010, NBA star Kris Humphries proposed to Kim. The two dated long-distance for seven months before he popped the question on KUWTK. Humphries set up rose petals that spelled out “Will you marry me?” on her bedroom floor.

Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian
Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Humphries wanted the proposal to be intimate and quiet. He explained that their love was simple, and he didn’t want distractions and too much craziness going on around them. After the news of their engagement broke, people thought Kim was pregnant, but she denied the rumors.

A Major Regret

Besides her sex tape, marrying Humphries was one of Kim’s biggest regrets. In August 2011, the pair tied the knot in a lavish ceremony broadcasted in a four-hour E! special. However, after 72 days, Kim filed for divorce because she wasn’t happy.

Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian
Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Many thought the marriage was a publicity stunt (including Humphries) because it didn’t last very long. Kim said, “I had hoped this marriage was forever, but sometimes things don’t work out as planned.” Meanwhile, Humphries said he loved her and wanted to make it work.

She Almost Didn’t Do It

We are sure Kim wishes she hadn’t gone through with her marriage to Humphries because of all the issues that came with it. She said it wasn’t for publicity because she would have chosen someone more famous if that were the case. Still, she almost didn’t marry Humphries.

NBA player Kris Humphries and TV personality Kim Kardashian
Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images

Kim’s mom tried to talk her out of the marriage because she could see Kim was unhappy. During the KUWTK reunion, Kris said she talked to Kim the night before the wedding and offered her a way out. But Kim didn’t want to be known as a runaway bride, so she married Humphries.

She Moved On

While dealing with the fallout of her failed marriage and the legal battle with Humphries, Kim was comforted by an old friend. Kanye West had been friends with Kim for years, and he told her the marriage wasn’t meant to be. Therefore, he was waiting to pick up the pieces when it ended.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Photo by Michel Dufour/WireImage

The same month Kim filed for divorce, Kanye flew her out to Paris Fashion Week so she could watch his show. She went and stayed with him, and they realized they had feelings for each other. Kim said she fell madly in love with him and wished she had realized this sooner.

They Moved Quickly

As many people know, Kim and Kanye were hot and heavy from the start. After years of being flirty friends, they couldn’t hide their feelings. Their relationship moved quickly, but her family loved Kanye because he had always been there for Kim throughout the years.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Within a year of dating, Kim and Kanye announced they were expecting their first child. In 2020, Kanye revealed that he and Kim considered aborting the pregnancy, but they decided against it. In June 2013, the couple welcomed their first daughter North into the world.

She Sent Fake Pictures to Her Friends

When North was born, every media outlet wanted to be the first to post pictures of the couple’s first child. Kim was also suspicious of her friends for selling stories at the time, so she put them to the test.

Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian and her baby North West
Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images

She sent her friends different fake pictures of North to see who would share them with the press. Kim was right about one of her friends, who shared a picture with a tabloid. She knew exactly who sent the picture and cut them out of her life because she couldn’t trust them.

The Most Epic Engagement

If you are a fan of KUWTK, you probably saw the episode where Kanye proposed to Kim. He pulled out all the stops to make the engagement special and over the top. He rented out the San Francisco Giants baseball stadium, had her closest friends and family fly in, and surprised her with an orchestra.

Kim Kardashian West
Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images

Kim thought they were celebrating her 33rd birthday, but she was shocked when Kanye popped the question with an $8 million diamond ring. The couple later got married in May 2014 in Europe. They had their rehearsal dinner in France and flew the guests to Florence for the ceremony.

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

By 2014, Kim had ventured into pretty much every market. However, she had yet to conquer the gaming world until she created the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game with Glu Mobile. Players had to work hard to go from a D-lister to a Hollywood star.

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game with Glu Mobile

Unsurprisingly, the game was an instant hit. It earned $1.6 million in the first five days and became the fifth highest-earning game in the App Store within a month. Kim’s friends and family got to be part of the game, and Kim proved she could do anything.

Breaking the Internet

The world may never forget the time Kim nearly “broke the internet” when she posed for the cover of Paper magazine in 2014. Jean-Paul Goude photographed Kim as she bared her behind and popped champagne. Although some criticized her, her stunt broke some impressive records.

Kim Kardashian Paper magazine
Source: Twitter

When the images were released, Paper’s website received 15.9 million views in one day compared to their average daily 25,000 views. Many people commented on social media, with a Time magazine writer calling her butt an “empty promise.” She didn’t care because she looked stunning.

She’s Not Cheap

As one of the most popular women in the world, it’s no surprise that Kim has a massive following on Instagram. Due to her influence, many brands wanted to work with Kim because they knew people would buy anything she promoted. However, she is not cheap.

Kim Kardashian visits the SKKN
Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for SKKN BY KIM

In November 2016, CBC Marketplace reported that Kim made at least $300,000 for each sponsored Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook post. She endorsed things like teeth whiteners, waist trainers, Coca-Cola, and well-known charities. Now she makes upwards of $750,000 per post.

A Big Mistake

In 2017, Kim started building her brands, including KKW Frangrance and KKW Beauty. The brands were highly successful, so Kim decided to venture into another business that she was incredibly passionate about: shapewear. She customized her shapewear and wanted other women to have better options.

A SKIMS giant poster with Kim Kardashian West
Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

In June 2019, she announced her line of shapewear called Kimono. Immediately, the internet went off on her for disrespecting Japanese culture and ignoring the importance of Kimonos. Following the backlash, Kim changed the name to Skims and apologized. It turned out to be a huge success.

The Worst Moment of Her Life

In 2016, Kim attended Paris Fashion week with her husband and family. While her sisters went out to the club one evening, Kim was robbed at gunpoint in her hotel room. It was an incredibly traumatic experience because she truly thought she would be killed at that moment.

A french police car is seen outside Kim Kardashian's Luxury Apartment
Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

Although her jewelry was stolen, Kim made it out alive. She opened up about the horrific event multiple times, explaining that she still struggles with anxiety and trauma. It changed many aspects of her life, like what she wears and how she shares things on social media.

It Took a While to Recover

In 2020, David Letterman interviewed Kim about the robbery, and she spoke about the aftermath of the robbery. Kim’s life was changed forever, and the first year after the incident was emotional and stressful. She said she didn’t want to leave her house.

Kim Kardashian Robbed At Luxury Apartment
Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

Kim told Letterman, “I didn’t even want to go to a restaurant because I thought someone would know I’m at this restaurant. They’ll take a picture. They’ll know my house is open and my kids are there. I was scared of everything. I can’t sleep at night unless security guards surround my house.”

Finding Her Passion

Around 2017, Kim became more vocal about her activism. She shared statistics about gun violence and prison reform. It became a passion for her and inspired her to become a lawyer. Kim was extremely passionate about making a difference and knew it would make her father proud.

North West, Lala Anthony, Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian
Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images

She started working with a law firm specializing in prison reform and decided to study for the bar exam in 2019. However, her busy schedule didn’t allow her to go to law school, so Kim started preparing for the baby bar.

Struggling Marriage

Although Kim kept things in her marriage quiet, it wasn’t hard to see the couple had issues. They started spending more time apart during the pandemic because Kanye moved to their home in Montana. Things worsened when Kanye decided to run for president.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Photo by Gotham/GC Images

He said hurtful things about Kim and tweeted lies about her and her family. Kim kept quiet but released a statement about Kanye’s mental health and wanting to deal with things privately for the sake of their children. But everyone could see that she had had enough.

Filing for Divorce

Rumors swirled about Kim and Kanye, and they were confirmed when Kim filed for divorce in February 2021. She had already stopped wearing her wedding band, but she hoped they could remain civil to co-parent their children. Things seemed calm until Kim moved on in October 2021.

Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Kanye started attacking Kim on social media and delayed the divorce process. However, a judge declared Kim legally single in March 2022. Things have been anything but smooth in their divorce, but Kim has tried to be respectful for their children.

She Passed!

In the midst of her crumbling marriage and tough divorce, Kim found the time and energy to continue studying for the baby bar. Between business commitments and taking care of her four children, Kim took the exam three times and failed.

Kim Kardashian West
Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

Unfortunately, people are only allowed to take the exam four times. Kim had already failed three times but was determined to pass the fourth time. She put all her energy into studying and finally passed in December 2021 on her fourth try. It was tough, but she did it.

She’s a Billionaire

As of 2022, Kim is worth a reported $1.8 billion. She has made millions from her many ventures and businesses because she has “monetized fame better than any other,” according to Forbes. Although she rebranded KKW Beauty and Fragrances this year, Skims is worth $3.2 billion.

Kim Kardashian West
Photo by Mike Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times

Kim has done everything in her power to monetize her fame through social media and business deals. Some might say she has no talents, but she is incredibly business savvy. Although she didn’t receive alimony from her first two marriages, Kanye has to pay $200,000 a month.

Let’s Get Glam

If there’s one thing we know about Kim, it’s that she is all about the glam. Even if she isn’t going over the top with her look, Kim’s hair and makeup always look perfect. Many episodes of KUWTK featured Kim getting her hair and makeup done.

Kim Kardashian attends the Los Angeles
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ABA

In 2015, she revealed her morning glam sessions take about an hour and a half. She has since scaled down on her beauty routine, saying, “It takes about 15 minutes for me to do my own makeup, and if I had my hair done the day before, I can get read quickly on my own.”

She Doesn’t Post in Real Time

Since her robbery, Kim stopped posting about what she was doing in real-time. She used to share her comings and goings to give followers a look at her life outside the show. However, her perspective changed because the robbers used her social media to follow her for two years.

Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Kim has since changed her social media methods. She still wants her followers to get an inside look at her life but won’t post until she has left a location. Kim revealed that she usually waits 30 minutes or more to post about what she is doing.

Not an Alcohol Fan

When it comes to drinking and partying, Kim has never been a fan of either. She may have a glass of champagne on a holiday or a few shots of tequila for her birthday, but you won’t see Kim getting sloppy and drunk. She also goes to sleep pretty early.

Kim Kardashian
Photo by Arturo Holmes/FilmMagic

Kim said she goes to bed when her kids go to bed because she gets up at 4 or 5 am to work out before her kids wake up for school. Kim likes to stick to a schedule and doesn’t care if she seems boring. That’s what makes her happy and who are we to judge?

She Reads Her Contracts

Although her momager, Kris, has always been in charge of Kim’s deals and contracts, Kim now has more control. Since she started studying law, Kim has revealed that she reads all her contracts. It gives her more of a hand in her businesses.

Kim Kardashian West
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/MG18/Getty Images

Kris still makes ten percent, but Kim has more control. She understands all the terms and conditions that go into contracts and has negotiated a few deals by herself. Kim said it was liberating because she had never understood anything in her contracts before.

She Has Insecurities

Most people would think someone like Kim wouldn’t have insecurities because she has never been afraid to show off her body. However, Kim is like everyone else and feels self-conscious at times. She admitted that she only goes to the beach when it’s overcast because it hides her cellulite.

Kim Kardashian poses with the Amazon Innovation Award
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Being in the public eye is hard because everyone picks her apart. Kim has been body shamed by the tabloids several times. When she gained weight during her first pregnancy, the press commented on her weight, which motivated her to lose weight.

She Hates Her Hands

In addition to her body, Kim also admitted that she doesn’t like her hands. In 2017, she told Elle that she couldn’t stand unkempt, messy nails. She said, “I have a nail file and cuticle cutter with me at all times.” She admitted that she feels dirty if her nails don’t look perfect.

im Kardashian and North West
Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images

In a video with YouTuber Patrick Starrr, Kim said she hates her hands. She shared that her biggest regret was when she got engaged and had short nails. Kim thought the pictures would have looked much better if she had long nails.

She Loves Elizabeth Taylor

Kim might be a huge celebrity, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a fan of other celebrities. She loved Elizabeth Taylor and spent $65,000 on Taylor’s jewelry after the star died. Kim nearly bought Taylor’s home, but that was a little too overboard.

Kim Kardashian raises a toast for Elizabeth Taylor Foundation
Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic

She also has a strange routine when putting on her jewelry. Kim hates the feeling of cold jewelry in the morning, so she blowdries everything before putting it on. She said it warms up the metal, which makes it more comfortable to wear in the morning.

Has She Had Plastic Surgery?

It would be an understatement to say many people have questioned if Kim has had plastic surgery. It is one of the most talked about things, but Kim has always denied having any work done. She went as far as having her butt x-rayed to prove she didn’t have butt implants.

Kim Kardashian
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Kim admitted to having botox in the past, but she sticks to lasers and non-invasive treatments to keep herself looking young. She also has an expensive beauty regimen which costs about $4,500. Kim has also shared videos of herself getting laser and facial treatments.