Kim Kardashian is among the most famous women in the world, but to Michelle Rivera, the pint-sized fashionista is also a role model she can relate to who promotes healthy beauty standards. “I personally identify with her,” Rivera, a 21-year-old student, said. “She’s the face for women with curves, a darker complexion and dark hair. ... She made the media believe there’s a different kind of beauty."
Rivera and dozens of other Kardashian fans crowded around the Fifth Avenue Barnes & Noble in New York Tuesday, patiently waiting in line for the signing of “Selfish,” a book of selfies Kardashian has taken over the past eight years. When a black Escalade pulled up alongside the crowd, people moved toward the front of the bookstore, hoping to get a glimpse of the TV star. Photographers and fans had only a few moments to take pictures before she sashayed inside.
The event was still further proof of Kardashian's prominence in the fashion and beauty industry. She has more than 30 million followers on Twitter and Instagram, is the face of a slew of products -- ranging from beauty and clothing items to a mobile app -- and may soon become an LGBT advocate after her stepfather, former Olympian athlete Bruce Jenner, recently revealed he's transitioning to womanhood.
Fans of Kardashian, 34, love her for bucking conventional beauty standards. One New Yorker, Sarah Eaton, 23, said, “She’s not really skinny. She has a normal body and is comfortable and confident with herself. She doesn’t have anything to hide.”
In less than a minute, 500 limited edition, signed copies of "Selfish" sold out on Glit.com on April 17. The book now retails for $12.46 on Amazon, but eager fans forked out over $60 for their copies that day.
But why would anyone want to buy the book when she posts selfies online almost daily? “I wanted a real, published tangible item,” Taline Agamy, 19, of Waterbury, Connecticut, said with an excited giggle. “I love having her memorabilia.” Others were won over by the book's previously unshared, exclusive pictures of Kardashian and the fun anecdotes the mother of 2-year-old North includes, like what she was doing when each photo was taken.
Not everyone is a Kardashian fan, of course. Passersby annoyed with the congested sidewalk yelled at Kardashian’s fans. “Losers,” one person said. “Get a life,” another shouted as he walked by.
The disdain for Kardashian is something Cindy Leka, 20, who originally hails for Italy and wore a lace jumpsuit to the signing, shrugged off. “She’s really beautiful, and she knows how to dress. If people don’t like her, they can’t deny she’s on point,” Leka said.
Corina Pindar slicked her black eyeliner into a perfect cat eye to meet Kardashian. “Her come-up is serious,” she said, referring to the reality TV star's quick rise to fame.
Michelle Cardona, 19, waited in line for hours to meet Kardashian. “She doesn’t give a s--- about anything people say,” Cardona said about the starlet. “She’s bigger than first lady Michelle Obama.”
When Jenner announced last month he would indeed transition to transgender, millions of fans waited for her reaction. It turned out Kardashian was the most supportive stepdaughter of her sisters.
I signed some extra books this morning!!!! pic.twitter.com/1usDJ7TrRG
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 5, 2015
Eaton, whose turquoise earning dangled in the breeze as she waited outside the bookstore Tuesday, said Kardashian’s approval will aid acceptance of the transgender community. “It shows they can be more open and confident. If Kim Kardashian is cool with it, so should we,” Eaton said.
As for whether Kardashian will help Jenner learn how to take the perfect selfie, many of her fans said she already has. “I think she’ll come up with a whole new book,” Melina Langadakis, 15, said about Jenner’s possible future selfies. “She’ll become Bruce’s fashion manager.”
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