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Her millions-strong popularity and inescapable media presence have made her grist for think pieces galore.
She is variously seen as a feminist-entrepreneur-pop-culture-icon or a late-stage symptom of our society's myriad ills: narcissism, opportunism, unbridled ambition, unchecked capitalism.
As she puts it, "There's nothing we can do that's not documented, so why not look your best, and amazing?
" To mere mortals who occasionally visit the grocery store in yoga pants, her willpower and self-discipline are a marvel.
Of course, she has cannily leveraged that fame to build, with her sisters, a beauty-industrial complex, which includes a clothing line, a makeup line, a line of tanning products and seven perfumes.
(A collection of hair care implements and styling products will debut in the spring.) Her mobile app, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, in which players climb their way to A-List status under Kardashian's tutelage, has earned over million since its debut in June.
But the longer I steep myself in the ambience of her pleasantly languid manner and hologram-perfect looks, the more facile this charge begins to seem.
Her black hair is thicker than any you have ever seen, her lips fuller, her giant Bambi-eyes larger, their whites whiter, and the lashes that frame them longer. She is like a beautiful anime character come to life. As soon as she arrives at the hostess podium of the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills, where we meet for our interview, a young fan who appears to be in her late teens or early twenties accosts her. With its enveloping green leather booths and twinkling white garden lights, the Polo Lounge is a setting that lends itself to intimacy.
If some of this is the result of artificial enhancement -- does anyone else have eyelashes that resemble miniature feather dusters? Kardashian, who is wearing a monochromatic champagne-colored ensemble (Margiela bodysuit, ChloÃ© silk pants, Lanvin silk coat), gives off a cozy vibe herself.
If you know nothing else about Kim Kardashian, you know that she is very, very famous. At press time, she has 25 million Twitter followers, about a million less than Oprah Winfrey and nearly 5 million more than CNN Breaking News.
Her Instagram account, where she is a prolific purveyor of selfies, is the site's third most popular.
You can't walk through a supermarket without glimpsing her on a multitude of tabloids whose headlines holler about her relationships, her parenting style and the vicissitudes of her ample curves.