Photo: Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/WENN
Part I: The Setup
When I was asked to fly to Nashville on a private plane sponsored by HypeEnergy drinks to interview Kim Kardashian, three thoughts went through my head: Why is she still doing appearances for energy drinks? Doesn’t a Vogue cover preclude you from ever having to stand in front of a crowd holding up a can of over-caffeinated syrup that you clearly do not drink? And lastly, what was I going to wear?
But as a journalist, especially one who is a self-proclaimed pop culture junkie, it was a no brainer. I mean, it is Kim Kardashian, arguably one of the most famous women in the world.
As I was standing in front of my closet the morning of my impending meeting with arguably one of the most photographed women in the world, I kept thinking W.W.K.K.W (what would Kim Kardashian wear)? Or better yet, what would Kanye West want Kim to wear. Obviously, I went with all black because lately the star has been sticking to monochrome ensembles that are a far cry from her bright Vegas-appearance bodycon dresses of the Kim B.Y. (Before Yeezus).
Wearing black Express jeans, a black top from the Kate Young x Target collaboration and a black leather jacket, I was ready. After a bus ride, waiting at a small airport in New Jersey, and loading onto the chartered plane with about 30 other journalists, we were on our way to Tennessee.
However, nothing can prepare you for the cult of Kim Kardashian.
When we landed in Nashville, we were loaded onto another bus and put in another room to wait ( waiting would become a theme of the trip). Then we were told we could go to the stage.
As we walked down the block, the music got louder and louder, and I could not believe my eyes. A main road in downtown Nashville, right across from the Johnny Cash Museum, was blocked off completely, and a stage with DJ booth and Formula 1 racecar was front and center. But it was the masses and masses of people waiting for Kim that really took my breath away. Wait. Wasn’t it a Tuesday at 3 p.m.? Do people not work? Is school out for the summer?
Soon chants of “We want Kim” filled the air.
We stood on the stage and waited some more.
Part II: The Encounter
Kim Kardashian West does not walk, she floats. When she alighted from her SUV with black out windows and three burly bodyguards in tow, she was instantly surrounded by chaos.
Photographers pushed and shoved to get the best picture, people began screaming and crying in the crowd, and an emcee urged the fans to make even more noise for Kim Kardashian West.
And yet she just floated. She took selfies with crying babies as if she was a presidential candidate, she signed copies of her book “Selfish” and she shook hands with sobbing pre-teens who will probably not wash their hands for a very long time. She was completely unfazed by the chaos that surrounded her. It was just another day for Kardashian West, the rock star.
Now, when it came to us, the media minions who are used to chaos in the newsroom, this event was a mess. There was no organized press line, there was no clear order for interviews, and it seemed no one really knew what was going on. All we were told was that she was to be addressed as Mrs. West, which I assume was an order from her “people” and not Kim herself.
It was the “Hunger Games,” as a fellow reporter put it, and we were all volunteering as tribute at the altar of Kim Kardashian… or Mrs. West.
Now, a lot of people have differing opinions when it comes to Kardashian West and whether she really deserves all the fame and fortune. Vines replay that moment when Barbara Walters tells the Kardashians they have no talent on an endless loop. There has not been such a divisive figure in pop culture since Tom Cruise jumped on that yellow couch.
I admit that I have on occasion felt guilty about my marathon sessions of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” or my endless knowledge about the Kardashian Klan, like Scott Disick’s actual birth date or the fact that Kylie Jenner just changed her Instagram handle to match her over-aged rapper boyfriend’s IG name. It is a national obsession, and one of the reasons why this week the Kardashians are the center of attention, from Kim’s pregnancy announcement to the introduction of Caitlyn Jenner, instead of ISIS or the drought that has killed over 2,000 people in India. People care about the Kardashians, whether we like it or not.
Due to this overexposure, many think they know Kardashian West. However, up close and personal she is nothing like the persona we see on television or in magazines. She may look exactly the same as she does in media because her makeup is so flawless she looks like she is airbrushed. She is an anime character come to life with oversized eyes, a small, perfect nose and plump lips. Her eyelashes go for miles, and despite being larger than life, and wearing five-inch heels, she was actually really tiny. She was not afraid to show off her already changing pregnancy body, with her small baby bump in display in a skin-tight latex dress that seemed painted on.
She is also soft spoken. When you speak to her, she looks you directly in the eye. Despite the noise that surrounded us, when I got my time to speak with the reality star, it was as if we were the only two people in the room. She was open, answered all my questions, and being the media pro that she is, while her answers were short, they were to the point and provided the sound bites reporters need to write an alluring headline.
My story is here if you want to read it.
Part III: The Departure
After speaking with her, I felt relieved. Not only because my editor was not going to kill me for coming back with nothing, which 15 minutes earlier I thought was for sure going to happen, but because she wasn’t the talentless diva every one makes her out to be.
She wasn’t demanding. She wasn’t mean, and she definitely wasn’t dumb.
She was nice, and if I had doubts before, I definitely did not after meeting her. She is worthy of the fame. She can’t sing, she can’t act and she definitely can’t dance, but there is no denying her star power.
As she stepped back into her black SUV, ‘90s pop star turned DJ Craig David took the stage and serenaded a crowd that slowly began to dissipate since their idol had left the building (in the words of another famous Nashville icon).
Hurricane Kim had come and gone.
As I boarded the plane back to New York City, I had less than two minutes of audio on my iPhone and Craig David stuck in my head, but I had just spoken with one of the most famous people in the world and was flying home in a private plane.
That’s something right?