Even if you’re not one of the millions “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” every week, it’s hard to miss the global influence of pop culture sensation Kim Kardashian West. In honor of the reality television star, fashion icon and entrepreneur celebrating her 39th birthday today (October 21), we’ve rounded up some of the most important lessons Kardashian West has taught us through her many years in the spotlight.
1. Family first
As one of the infamous Kardashian-Jenner sisters, wife to renowned rapper Kanye West and mother to four kids under six years old, Kardashian West is a member of one of the biggest families in entertainment history. But, no matter how big (and how famous) this modern-day family grows, Kardashian West is always ready to support her loved ones both onscreen and off.
2. Be a trendsetter
Although Kardashian West “cried” when then-boyfriend Kanye West gave her closet a makeover back in 2012, and threw out 250 pairs of shoes, the fashionista’s memorable style evolution since then has her often touting the most sought-after looks each season, from chic haircuts and coveted accessories to newly discovered designers.
3. You don’t have to choose one “thing”
Kardashian West is a woman with many titles and many businesses, building an empire encompassing almost every industry — whether it’s beauty products, video games or the newly launched resale site Kardashian Kloset — with her unique vision and recognizable brand. She also launched a new makeup brand, #KKWXWINNIE, with model, and fellow Vogue Arabia cover star Winnie Harlow. It’s never too late to follow your passion or start a new career, as long as you remain authentic to yourself.
4. Welcome constructive feedback
trumAfter the initial name of Kardashian West’s shapewear line, Kimono, was criticized for being culturally insensitive, she stopped the product launch before it’s official release and renamed it SKIMS to emphasize the brand’s goal of inclusivity for all shapes, sizes and colors.
5. Use your reach positively
An avid tweeter of human rights’ campaigns, disaster relief fundraising opportunities and environmental issues, Kardashian West frequently reminds us about our power to speak up and enact change through our own platforms to positively impact the world — even if we don’t have billions of followers.
We need to treat people like human beings, like people who deserve to have a voice. Please support California’s #ACA6 to restore voting rights to people on parole.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) September 13, 2019
6. Set your own beauty standards
Known for her iconic curves that shattered beauty norms and launched an industry-wide movement towards more diverse standards, Kardashian West encourages body positivity in not only herself, but also her followers, showing us self-confidence is the first step to beauty. And not being afraid to take a selfie is a close second.
7. Defy expectations
No one is a stranger to stereotypes, including Kardashian West whose recent pledge to become a law student and fight for prison reform received more than a fair share of raised eyebrows. Yet, time and time again she rises above those preconceived notions and proves she doesn’t belong in a box, already finishing one year of law and freeing 17 wrongfully imprisoned inmates in 90 days, with no signs of slowing down.
8. Remember your heritage
An Armenian by descent, Kardashian West embraces every opportunity to recognize her ethnic background: professionally by aiming to increase trade and employment in Armenia with her own products as well as personally by highlighting the importance of culture to her family and baptizing her three youngest kids in her father’s homeland.
9. It’s ok to be vulnerable
With her life broadcast in the media for more than a decade, Kardashian West has been openly raw about personal problems many of us face, from health conditions to relationship issues, showing us that we are all strong enough to overcome even the toughest challenges if we are honest with ourselves and others.