A Closer Read of Kim Kardashian’s Elaborate Mystique Costume

I’ve written before about the semiology apparent in most Kardashian content (and handbag collections), but the family tends to bring their symbolic best on Halloween.

Kendall Jenner raised eyebrows by dressing up as a “Sexy Woody” from Toy Story. Could this be a nod to her reality show’s home network? After all, Hulu’s majority shares are owned by Disney, and in a recent Kardashians episode, Kim commented that the KarJenners are “really part of the Disney fam.” Later on, Kenny also revived a meme by dressing as the cucumber she struggled to cut in Season 1 of The Kardashians. The KarJenners are nothing if not self-referential!

 In tongue-in-cheek keeping with their rock ’n’ roll reputation (last year they were Sid and Nancy), Kourtney and Travis went as Chucky and Tiffany. Those two are a package deal, and they love a side of kitsch. Another KarJenner costume seemed to reference coupledom, even though it was technically a solo look: Following a fair amount of public speculation this past year about the status of her relationship with longtime partner, Travis Scott, Kylie Jenner dressed up as the Bride of Frankenstein. Later, she emulated another goth glamazon, Elvira.

The West children honored the nostalgia culture that characterizes social media and dressed up as—as Kim put it on Instagram—“the icons: Aaliyah, Sade, Snoop, and Eazy-E.”

Kim, who dressed up as Aaliyah for Halloween in 2017 to a not-exactly-enthusiastic public reception, is fond of the word “icon.” On last week’s episode of The Kardashians, we learned that she christened the Victoria’s Secret Angels “the iconic girls” after bringing them on for a SKIMs campaign. Lest we forget, Kim and her sisters dressed up as the angels in 2018!

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