As early as July, the internet wondered if 2016 would go down in history as the worst year ever. Four months ago, we were communally freaking out over Zika, Brexit, and record-hot temperatures. These days, death-bearing mosquitos are the least of our worries. To make matters worse, 2016 will be one second longer than previously expected—just enough time for the future leader of the free world to publish another Hamilton-hating tweet, or for an alt-righter (translation: neo-Nazi) to put the finishing touches on a spray-painted swastika.
Despite the wealth of memes that would argue otherwise, 2016 isn’t technically the worst. Humanity has actually been subjected to more painful experiences than listening to Donald Trump attempt to pronounce “hombre.” For example, in 1348 the Black Death took hold. Over the course of a brisk 18 months, it killed at least a third of the population of Europe. That, one might argue, was a really bad year.
In comparison, 2016 is more absurd than it is catastrophic—so far. After all, this is the year that a man named Weiner sabotaged a presidential campaign with his penis. For a year that is undoubtedly doing too much, 2016 demands a proportionally extra first family. Enter the Kardashians, the only reality TV clan ridiculous enough to make sense in this new reality. For the past couple of years, America’s favorite Armenians have been heavily relying on their deep bench of sisters and brother. But at the end of the day, only Kim Kardashian is famous enough, entertaining enough, and disaster-prone enough to truly represent 2016. Kylie Jenner might have her booming makeup business, and Kendall Jenner will always be the mainstream face of sleep paralysis, but Kim Kardashian had the worst/most absurd year ever.
In an homage to the return of Gilmore Girls, which 2016 miraculously managed to not fuck up, we’ve charted four seasons in the life of Kimberly Kardashian West, each more tragic than the last.
There are pros and cons to marrying Kanye West. On the one hand, he can keep you outfitted in a lifetime’s worth of beige condom dresses and Yeezy’s. He can also introduce you to Beyoncé and Jay Z, although he can’t make them like you. On the other hand, his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose might take to Twitter one day to inform the entire world that your husband is still stuck in the anal stage. In late January, the SlutWalk organizer and emoji entrepreneur clapped back at some disrespectful comments Kanye had made about her by deeming him a “fingers in the booty ass bitch.”
It was one small step for entrenched homophobia in the hip-hop community, and one giant leap for the index finger up emoji. Mind you, this was just a few months after Kim Kardashian gave birth to her second child, Saint West. In addition to breastfeeding her son and Jonathan Cheban, Kim had to quickly pivot back into social media mode to clean up her husband’s mess for him. She did just that by posing for a February Instagram selfie with Amber Rose, appropriately captioned, “Tea Anyone?” The lighting was amazing, the contouring was just right, and Kim managed to successfully pivot the national conversation away from her husband’s anus.
Unfortunately, not everyone appreciates Kim Kardashian’s social media presence. With the help of Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, Kim Kardashian has given fans an unprecedented level of celebrity access. Kardashian is a social media storyteller, spinning elaborate yarns like “I’ve lost too much pregnancy weight and now my chokers don’t fit me” and “I would like to lose more pregnancy weight.” One particularly gripping Instagram installment featured a nude Kardashian taking a picture of herself in a mirror. The accompanying caption—“When you’re like I have nothing to wear LOL”—gave narrative depth. Kardashian’s blonde hair in the picture, given the fact that she was a brunette at the time of its publishing, added an air of mystery.
Naturally, Kim’s newest nude struck many internet denizens as the perfect opportunity to share their prudish discomfort with the female form. Budget Donald Trump Piers Morgan tweeted, “I know the old man’s $50 million in debt, Kim—but this is absurd. Want me to buy you some clothes?” Bette Midler took a strange punchline approach, musing, “Kim Kardashian tweeted a nude selfie today. If Kim wants to see a part of her we’ve never seen, she’s gonna have to swallow the camera.” DNC speaker and Neighbors 2 actress Chloë Grace Moretz rounded out this trio of celebrity condemnation, responding to the selfie: “I truly hope you realize how important setting goals are for young women, teaching them we have so much more to offer than just our bodies.” Kim kept the controversy alive by coming for each and every one of her high-profile haters. Like a heavily contoured Arya Stark, Kardashian will never forgive her attention-starved enemies. Similarly, I will never forgive Chloë Grace Moretz for managing to stay famous, thus forcing me to constantly re-Google how to insert an umlaut.
Unlike the rest of Kim’s increasingly dark year, this story actually has a happy ending: Kim penned a moving and empowering letter on International Women’s Day, celebrating and owning her sexuality. Of course, Kardashian’s self-love won’t stop random people online from calling her a bad mother, because this is 2016.
Kim Kardashian West knows good content. Like the rest of us, Kim binge-watched FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson. Unlike the rest of us, her enjoyment of prestige television was complicated by the unique experience of watching David Schwimmer play her dead dad. In a June interview with GQ, Kardashian raved that she “loved” the show. However, she took issue with how she and her siblings were portrayed. “I don’t think those parts were accurate,” she explained. “I think our ages were off and our looks were off.” In regards to one of the most dramatic scenes in the series, Kim flippantly observed: “[The show] said [O.J.] tried to kill himself in my bedroom and it was Khloé’s bedroom, not my bedroom.” She also casually debunked the common theory that her father was in possession of a Louis Vuitton bag containing the murder weapon. Kim recalls, “That bag was sitting at my dad’s house. I remember I went through it. The news was like, ‘Where is this Louis Vuitton bag?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s upstairs.’” As for what was inside: “Just toiletries and clothes and golf clothes. Just random stuff. I’m pretty sure it’s, like, still in—probably in my dad’s storage.” Here, Kim is corroborating my personal conspiracy theory that the Kardashian’s actually know everything—we only have to ask.
Alongside some crucial information about a decades-old mystery, Kardashian slipped some Taylor Swift vitriol into her GQ cover story. The tense hate triangle between Kim, Kanye, and Taylor was triggered by West’s “Famous,” in which the rapper muses that he and Swift “might still have sex.” In the ensuing he said/she said, Swift argued that West did not, in fact, make that bitch famous. She also claimed to be offended by Kanye’s lyrics, while Kanye claimed that Swift had signed off on the ribald rhymes. Little did we know that this years-in-the-making feud would usher in the summer of our sick content. In an uncharacteristically savage move, Kim Kardashian used Snapchat to set fire to Taylor Swift’s career and let us all watch it burn. Kim’s skillfully edited story showed West going over the lyrics to “Famous” with Swift on speakerphone. Over grainy studio shots, we hear the disembodied voice of Taylor Swift saying, “It’s like a compliment, kind of... I really appreciate you telling me about this… that’s really nice.”
No amount of spin could change the fact that Swift clearly lied when she said that she had never approved the track. Kim’s spilled tea caused Taylor Swift’s carefully constructed programming to malfunction—as evidenced by that paparazzi crab walk. Countless snake emojis later, it was clear that Kim hadn’t just buried TayTay—she danced on her grave while listening to a Calvin Harris/Katy Perry mash-up. Deliberately rocking a dress that Swift had donned in a May Vogue photoshoot was just the petty cherry on top.
On the heels of her T. Swift victory, Kim Kardashian was all set to strut into fall with the confidence of an incoming freshman who got really hot over the summer. Unfortunately, in a rare misstep, Kim was too candid and almost dropped the ball. This fumble came courtesy of a Wonderland interview, in which Kim claimed to be “on the fence” and considering casting a vote for Donald Trump. While the polarizing quote didn’t make it into the final article, it triggered a medium-sized backlash among Kardashian’s more enlightened fans. Kim had expressed her support for Hillary Clinton as early as August 2015, when she tweeted out a selfie with the former Secretary of State. Unlike other celebrities, Kardashian didn’t just throw money at Clinton’s campaign or host a fundraiser. She actually changed the career politician’s life, courtesy of her intensely flattering LuMee selfie case, which Clinton later testified “makes anybody look better.”
Kardashian was quick to nip the Wonderland controversy in the bud, issuing a lengthy statement on why she would be voting for the Democratic candidate after all. Luckily for LuMee, that means that Kim and Trump won’t be putting her flattering selfie case to the test any time soon—after all, it’s a clever gadget, not a miracle worker.
In addition to throwing our country into turmoil, it appears that Donald Trump also cursed Kim Kardashian. After admitting that she was considering the underqualified candidate, Kardashian immediately began to suffer. In late September, the reality TV star was attacked by “prankster” Vitalii Sediuk. Hot off the heels of picking model Gigi Hadid off the ground, this serial harasser kissed Kardashian’s famous posterior and attempted to tackle her. While Sediuk was quickly stopped by bodyguards, Kim quickly found herself vulnerable to a far more serious attack. On October 3rd, one of the most famous women in the world found herself completely unprotected in Paris. While relaxing in her hotel, Kardashian’s room was raided by jewelry thieves. She was tied up and held at gunpoint as her attackers escaped with over $10 million worth of loot. Kim’s bodyguard Pascal Duvier, who was out protecting some other Kardashian’s at a nearby nightclub, arrived just after the robbers fled.
In the wake of her attack, Kim took an unprecedented hiatus from social media. On a subsequent Ellen appearance, Khloé Kardashian candidly discussed the effects of the heist on the collective Kardashian psyche. “It’s incredibly traumatic what happened to her,” she shared, “but our family is super close and great and we’ll get through it together.” She explained that Kim isn’t ready to “move on” from the “emotional terror she experienced,” and said that the whole family intends to “pull back a little bit” from sharing every moment of their lives.
In addition to pursuing therapy and R&R, Kim Kardashian has all but evaded the paparazzi. In a rare post-robbery field trip, Kardashian was spotted mournfully consuming frozen yogurt with self-described “food god” Jonathan Cheban. Naturally, the image of a foodie and a proud Atkins dieter sharing a cheap dairy treat raised some eyebrows. Even if the outing was staged for some sympathetic coverage, that still doesn’t explain why Kim thought hanging out with Jonathan Cheban would make her feel better.
And while Kim was inarguably shaken up by the Paris incident, her husband Kanye West may have taken it even harder. After rushing to his wife’s side in the wake of the attack, West began to exhibit some (particularly) odd behavior. According to an Us Weekly source, the rapper has “been shaken up ever since the robbery in Paris…He wasn’t sleeping and he was having nightmares about it.” Exhausted on tour, West turned his concert stage into a platform for his increasingly unpopular opinions. In one rant, he insisted that—had he made it to the polls—he would have voted for Donald Trump. In another, he raged against Beyoncé and Jay Z, exclaiming, “Jay Z, call me, bruh! You still ain’t call me! Jay Z, call me! Jay Z, I know you got killers, please don’t send them at my head. Just call me! Talk to me like a man!” Having let loose on hip-hop’s first couple, Kanye cut his set short after just three songs. A few days later, the rapper officially confirmed that he was canceling the remaining 21 dates of his Saint Pablo tour.
Unfortunately, West’s necessary sabbatical came too late. That same day, West was admitted to the UCLA Medical Center. TMZ reported that the rapper’s doctor had called on police to hospitalize his patient, who was suffering from “temporary psychosis due to sleep deprivation and dehydration.” The doctor allegedly told the police that Kanye had attempted to assault a staff member at a gym. The erratic West was subsequently handcuffed to a gurney and transported to the hospital.
At the time of Kanye’s hospitalization, Kim had recently touched down in NYC for the Angel Ball, her first official public appearance since the Paris heist. Understandably, Kardashian skipped the Monday night gala to head straight back to L.A., where she’s reportedly remained by her husband’s bedside. Back in 2015, UCLA Medical Center was probably the last place Kim Kardashian thought she’d be spending her next Thanksgiving. Unfortunately for Kim—and the rest of us—2016 has a pretty sick sense of humor.