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Kim Kardashian turns 40 – here’s a look at her rise to fame in pictures

Written by on 19/10/2020

Forty years ago, a reality TV queen was born.

Yes, Kim Kardashian celebrates the Big 4-0 on 21 October 2020 – and what better way to celebrate than with a trip down memory lane (especially as KUWTK is coming to an end next year and we may never see them again after that).

The artist formerly known as Paris Hilton‘s best friend and an ultimate noughties LA party girl, love her or loathe her she is now one of the most photographed stars in the world and an icon of modern celebrity.

Four children, countless hair changes, thousands of OMG outfits, half a law qualification, a few trips to the White House, much discussion about her bum and a broken internet later, here’s a nostalgic trip back through the annals of Kim K.

Kris Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian and Bruce Jenner (now Caitlin) in 2005
Image: Fresh-faced with sister Kourtney, momager Kris and Caitlyn Jenner (then Bruce) in 2005, two years before the world was Keeping Up with their biz
Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian in 2006
Image: Another family shot, this time in skin-tight satin and bouncy hair with Kourtney and little sister Khloe (centre)
Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton during "Entourage" Los Angeles Premiere - Red Carpet at Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California, United States 2006
Image: Noughties BFFs, Kim Kardashian was once Paris Hilton’s wardrobe assistant, learning everything she knew from the Simple Life star. Hilton ran so Kardashian could walk…
Socialite/actress Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian attend the Octoberfest to promote the new canned sparkling wine "Rich Prosecco" at the Munich Octoberfest on September 25, 2006 in Munich, Germany
Image: And why were they attending Germany’s Oktoberfest beer festival dressed in (sort of) traditional costume in 2006? Promoting a new sparkling wine, of course
Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan in 2006
Image: Of course, any noughties celebrity gang wasn’t complete without Lindsay Lohan
Kim Kardashian and Ray J in 2006
Image: Like Hilton, Kardashian had a sex tape leaked, filmed with Ray J, her boyfriend at the time, in 2007
Kim Kardashian and Nick Cannon during William Rast Presents "Street Sexy" Spring Summer 07 - Arrivals at Social Hollywood in Los Angeles, California 2006
Image: Kardashian also dated Nick Cannon – who went on to marry (and divorce) Mariah Carey
Ryan Seacrest, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Kris Jenner and Bruce Jenner pose for a photo at the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" viewing party at Chapter 8 Restaurant on October 16, 2007 in Agoura Hills, California
Image: In 2007, a reality empire was born. This one’s from the Keeping Up With The Kardashians launch party, now with half-sisters Kylie and Kendall Jenner in tow – don’t they look sweet?
Music recording artist Kanye West, left, and socialite Kim Kardashian attend the grand opening of Intermix on September 25, 2007 in Los Angeles, California
Image: Kimye would not become a thing until 2012, but the pair had known each other for a long time beforehand. Here they are pictured together at an event five years earlier
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 17: Khloe Kardasian, Kylie Jenner, Kris Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, and Kendall Jenner attend the Kardashian Kollection Launch Party at The Colony on August 17, 2011 in Hollywood, California
Image: With enough leopard print to be mistaken for a safari, Kim and the fam attended the Kardashian Kollection clothing line launch party in Hollywood in 2011
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries watch Prince perform during his Welcome 2 America tour at Madison Square Garden on 7 February 2011 in New York City
Image: Kim tied the knot with NBA player Kris Humphries (her second husband after music producer Damon Thomas in 2000), in 2011. The marriage famously lasted just 72 days
Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian at the Grammys in 2015
Image: Complicated, but in short: here’s Kim and Kanye with Taylor Swift in happier times in 2015 – six years after the rapper interrupted the singer at the VMAs, a year before Kim leaked the infamous recording of Swift and West and branded her a snake
Kim Kardashian attends the Costume Institute Gala for the "PUNK: Chaos to Couture" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2013 in New York City
Image: Kim chose to cover up in florals for the Met Gala in 2013, when she was pregnant with her first child, North
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the Balmain show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2015/2016 on March 5, 2015 in Paris, France.
Image: As well as her outfits, the star has also experimented with different hair looks over the years – including this bleached white transformation in 2015
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attends the China: Through The Looking Glass Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City
Image: After getting together with Kanye, Kim underwent a bit of a style evolution. Out with the strappy tops, feathered hair, stretch dresses and knee-high boots, in with the full-on glamour and outfits showing off her famous figure
Kanye West married Kim Kardashian in 2014
Image: First we had the Beckhams in head-to-toe leather, then Britney and Justin braved double denim – here’s Kimye giving us matching sequins in 2016 (although despite the scary contact lenses, not sure Kanye went to quite as much effort here)
Kim Kardashian West at her first-ever KKW Beauty and Fragrance pop-up opening at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles on June 20th, 2018
Image: As well as being a TV reality star, Kim has also launched a beauty business – this picture was taken at her first KKW Beauty and Fragrance pop-up opening in LA in 2018
Kim Kardashian seen on February 17, 2019 in Los Angeles
Image: As any woman knows, the two questions you ask your mates before a big night out are: what you wearing? And: are you taking a coat? Needless to say there was probably no chance of anyone else turning up in the same outfit as Kim K on this occasion
Kim Kardashian West attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Image: Of all the many wow-factor outfits, this Thierry Mugler dress, covered in crystals resembling water droplets and worn to the Met Gala in 2019, has to be one of the most memorable – not least for the conundrum of how she managed to go to the toilet…
Kim Kardashian and Kylie and Kendall Jenner at the Met Gala in 2019
Image: Here’s a better look, with added Kylie and Kendall Jenner, just because
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West seen out on the 2019 MET Gala day on May 6, 2019 in New York City
Image: She then slipped into something a little more casual
 WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 13: Kim Kardashian West speaks during an East Room event on “second chance hiring” June 13, 2019 at the White House in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump held the event to highlight the achievements on Second Chance hiring and workforce development
Image: In recent years, Kim has been using her platform to raise awareness for prison reform in the US, and is also studying law. Here she is at the White House in 2019. Well, if a former Apprentice presenter can do it…
(L-R): Kris Jenner and Kourtney, Khloe and Kim Kardashian at the People's Choice Awards in LA in 2019
Image: (L-R): Kris Jenner and Kourtney, Khloe and Kim Kardashian at the People’s Choice Awards in LA in 2019
Kim Kardashian
Image: Full-on latex isn’t the easiest look to pull off, but who cares about practicality when you’re Kim Kardashian? If you’re going to try this at home, stay off the talc
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Image: And never let it be said the star won’t put comfort over style when it’s parky
Kim Kardashian christmas card
Image: Merry Khristmas! Here’s Kimye and the kids – North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm – cosied up in some luxe loungewear on the family card for 2019. Come on, guys, you could have zhooshed it up with a bit of tinsel or an elf or something
(L to R) Khloe Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian West and Kylie Jenner
Image: The Kardashians announced this year that their 2021 series will be their last. Who will we Keep Up with now?
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: Kim Kardashian West attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF20/WireImage)
Image: And finally, Kim Kardashian as we know and love her in 2020. Happy birthday, Kim!

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