Kim Kardashian filed for divorce this past Friday, and it came as a surprise to no one. There have been whispers and yells about the marriage being over for months. While some of the reports have differed in some details, most sourcing points to Kanye West’s failed presidential run last year as Kim’s breaking point, followed by his emotional outburst at a rally in South Carolina where he told the crowd and the world that he and Kim considered aborting their now seven-year-old first born, North West. Then Kanye dragged his wife and mother-in-law on Twitter, subsequently apologizing. What stood out during all of that was Kim’s very real, graceful, and loving statement on Kanye’s bipolar disorder and the impact it has on those who love him.
I just want to get this out of the way now because Twitter was set ablaze when this divorce announcement happened. So many people claiming that they don’t care (then why say anything), they’re rich (ok….), and most bizarre and egregious, that she’s had plastic surgery (so has he…and TF does that have to do with their marriage?). I understand how polarizing both Kim and Kanye are, both separately and together. Even their Wikipedia calls their union a historic blizzard of celebrity. And that is exactly why this is the end of an era.
There are those out there who’d been rooting for them, and for more reasons than their fame and talent. They truly seemed like they were in deeply love with each other, both having failed high-profile relationships in the past (Kanye with his fiancé Alexis Phifer and Amber Rose, Kim with that horrific Kris Humphries experience we all want to forget and longterm Reggie Bush relationship).
When Kim and Kanye got married in Italy in 2014, they already had North and she participated in the wedding. And they had been friends (some of their exes and friends actually say lovers) for years. Kanye had a very weird Kanye-esque self-serving appearance on Kourtney and Kim Take New York way back in 2009 and they were flirting hard. And of course, we can’t forget Kanye’s appearance on The Breakfast Club, where he randomly confirmed underage Kylie and Tyga’s relationship and lied about having to take 30 showers after Amber Rose to get with Kim. I’ve always felt like Kanye used Kim’s money and whiteness as a shield against slut-shaming, which is classist and racist. But it also doesn’t negate the fact he was deeply in love with her.
The merging of their aesthetics was also a big part of the public performance of their relationship. When North was a baby before their wedding, they appeared on a 2014 Vogue cover together (Kim’s dream - now she’s had more, alone). Of course, Kanye made it about being an interracial couple but it really showed how he gave her credibility in fashion and elevated her to the forefront of the fashion world. Even she cited Kanye when talking about her first time at the MET Gala (pregnant with North in the controversial and much-debated flower-couch Givenchy dress); now she’s arguably the top guest every year. And I will personally never forget when Kanye came on Keeping Up With the Kardashians with his stylist to get rid of Kim’s entire wardrobe, replacing it with a few black and nude pieces, much to Khloe Kardashian and my horror. Turns out, Kim has never dressed better than during her time with Kanye, and their kids look like an army of neutral-toned wearing little models. No one wears any colour in that family and I’m here for it.
But it’s also clear that Kim respects Kanye in a way that at times seemed too much, and she appeared to indulge his dreams, and Kanye did the same for her. They just had a vow renewal ceremony in 2019 taped for Keeping Up (although Kanye’s appearances on the show have been few and far between in the past couple years) so while there’s a lot of miserable noise online about how no one should care about their divorce, there are a lot of people who are extending empathy toward Kim, talking about how she’s done a lot for him and clearly loves him.
One of my favourite moments of them is Kanye’s 2019 Closed on Sunday video, which had appearances from Kim and all four of their kids, Kourtney Kardashian and her kids, and Kris Jenner. So, while this seems unrealistic now in hindsight, as much as we’ve been leading up to this news, before 2020, of all the couples who wouldn’t survive the pandemic, the little money I have was not riding on them…but it’s happening. It is indeed over. And now I’m getting bothered that people are already talking about who Kim is going to date next, and if either of them are dating now. Sure, I’ve been thinking Van Jones for years, but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate right now!
Along with feeling for Kim, it’s pretty impossible to ignore questions about Kanye’s future, in terms of his personal wellness, not music or artistry. He truly seemed to love having a family, as problematic as this family can be, in the Kardashians and Kris Jenner always called him her son. They were clearly soulmates to the people around them. Kanye suffers from bipolar disorder, but even if he didn’t, we all need a village…and I hope he has one.