Keeping Up With the Kardashians reality show superstar Kim Kardashian may be controversial sometimes, but she’s never boring. Recently she appeared on Instagram sporting a necklace that was, to say the least, unusual. Although Kim K. is a trendsetter, this particular trend is one that Kardashian fans may want to give a miss to, because it really is that weird.
Kim is possibly the most successful reality TV star of all time. She’s a brand unto herself, with products from perfumes to video games bearing her name. Indeed, it’s all made her incredibly rich, with her estimated net worth a truly impressive $350 million. All that, and she has millions of followers on social media as well.
Kim’s associated with the phrase “break the internet” as she specializes in media stunts intended to do just that. In 2014 she posed partially naked for Paper magazine, displaying her behind on the front cover. The response was huge, exactly like she seemed to have planned for. The website for Paper suddenly received millions of views.
Kim is definitely not afraid to be outlandish when it comes to fashion. She constantly shows off new trends on her Instagram. In August 2018 she appeared with “slime green” hair, although she was quick to reassure her fans that it was just a wig, and her real hair was intact. But the week after that, she had something downright spectacular on display.
On August 27, Kim appeared on Instagram with a new “necklace” – except it was very much not a traditional necklace. It was instead a choker that appeared to be literally embedded in her neck. “It moves to the rhythm of my heartbeat,” she said in one of her Instagram stories. And it even glowed, as well.
But surprisingly, Kim was far from the only celebrity wearing something so strange that week. All sorts of other social media stars were also sporting body modifications. Designer Tan France from Netflix’s Queer Eye posted a selfie of himself “wearing” a sort of aquatic-like frilled collar around his neck.
And Chrissy Teigen showed a picture of herself with what appeared to be angel wings growing out of her chest. It looked pretty… but it also looked painful. Many of her fans commented to express horror and say that the look was “gross.” But what were all these celebrities actually up to with the unsettling body art?
It was all for an art project. Simon Huck, a friend of Kim and the Kardashians, runs a fashion brand called A. Human, which devotes itself to artistic and unusual forms of self-expression. Its website reads, “A. Human is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Enter a fashion showroom from the future where clothes have been replaced with body modifications.”
Hardcore fans of the Kardashian reality TV empire may actually remember Huck. He’s appeared on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami. He and his then-business partner Jonathan Cheban, also a friend of the family, once had their own Kardashian-produced show too, The Spin Crowd.
Kim gave the A. Human account a tag on all her posts demonstrating her new accessory, and other involved celebrities likewise explained what was going on. A. Human would be opening its flagship store during New York Fashion Week, and a theatrical exhibition of its work would open to the public until September 30.
On September 5, Huck spoke to ET about the project and Kim’s involvement in it. “It wasn’t even a hesitation,” he said. “The minute she heard the idea, she thought this was so cool, so creative, she had references within hours.” Unsurprisingly considering her fashion background, she was keen to help design the futuristic piece of art.
“She knew exactly what she wanted – she wanted to make sure her implanted necklace synced to her heart, which we created for her in under two months,” Huck said. “She was involved from the beginning and right until the end, right until the application.” And it seems that Kim was really into it. Huck noted, “She loved it. She had so much fun with it.”
Kim took the necklace out after 24 hours, Huck told ET. But the process of having one put in wasn’t anywhere near as painful as it looked. “Our installations are under two hours, so think of it as a spa experience,” Huck said. “It’s not painful… In the A. Human world, none of these things are invasive.”
“These aren’t procedures per se,” Huck went on. “It’s just like going to the spa and getting your eyebrows waxed. It’s the same seamlessness… We envisioned a world where technology and science would allow us… to easily swap out of things, just like how we swap out of our clothing.”
Magazines were quick to report on the A. Human exhibition. It advertised itself as being “an immersive, theatrical art experience,” which used “set design, technology, prosthetics, live actors and more to blur the line between reality and fantasy.” It certainly lived up to that, and to all expectations.
Among the things featured in the exhibition were models inside glass boxes filled with dirt, detachable spinal cords on display, and even a room with a beating heart inside it. Plenty of celebrities showed up to ooh and ahh, including Katie Holmes, Nina Agdal, Olivia Culpo and the cast of Queer Eye.
The idea of body modifications still seem quite horrifying to a lot of people. But Huck is determined that his art isn’t to be seen that way. “We didn’t want to root any of our modifications on the idea of existing insecurities or discomforts,” he told Vogue in August 2018. “A. Human is about the freedom to explore this world and live in this world in any way you choose.”
That may well have appealed to Kim, as rumor has had it recently that she isn’t as happy with her body as people might think. In a September episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim’s sister Kourtney made a remark about Kim’s behind that she took offence to. “I cry about it on the daily,” Kim revealed about her famous rear.
That’s surprising considering how much of an advocate Kim is for body positivity. She happily poses on her Instagram all the time. Still, emotions regarding one’s body can change for all sorts of reasons, and perhaps that’s now happened to Kim. The media does, after all, constantly report on her figure and weight – not that she doesn’t join in, but there’s still a lot of scrutiny.
If there is a future in body modification – and Simon Huck definitely seems to think there is – Kim will certainly be at the forefront of it, and probably influencing others to get into it as well. She has access to almost every new thing that pops up in the fashion world, after all. It probably won’t be a long time before she’s breaking the internet again…