Three months after she took a break from public life, Kim Kardashian West has returned, with a home video on her app followed a day later by a sweet lil’ tweet:
Kim went silent on social media in October, following a traumatic robbery in Paris. As she retreated, her husband, Kanye West, floundered publicly, canceling the rest of his Saint Pablo Tour and then undergoing a hospitalization. Tabloids pounced on the chaos to declare the marriage endangered, but that tells us nothing, since the celebrity media has augured divorce for the couple since the beginning of their romance. But today, outlets like The Huffington Post and TMZ rushed to report the latest breadcrumb hinting at an impending Kardashian Krisis: After her long hiatus, Kim made her first moves back on Twitter and Instagram by erasing her husband’s last name (and her own last name) from her bios, only to quickly reinstate it.
For another celebrity, perhaps this could be chalked up to an innocent mix-up, maybe an assistant misunderstanding directions. But the Kardashian-Jenner-West gang is the most social-media-savvy group of Juvéderm enthusiasts of all time. Kim, especially, built an empire by parlaying social media usage into greater celebrity. This is her zone. She is not in the habit of making mistakes, and there is no logical explanation for how she could accidentally change her name on two separate platforms, which leads me to believe this was deliberate. She is Mozart and I am but foul Salieri, struggling to decode the genius.
Theory 1 — This was just a way to get people watching Kim’s social media closely again.
In 1995, Michael Jordan announced his glorious return to basketball by sending a fax. Kim is the Michael Jordan of modern fame, and she may simply be announcing her return to her home court with her version of a fax: a social media bat signal. It’s possible that she is just playing into the rumors about her relationship to make sure that she gets as many eyeballs as possible closely following her accounts, so that her return to public life gets the maximum amount of media and fan attention possible.
(Also, in this analogy, Khloé is Dennis Rodman, obviously, and Kris Jenner is Phil Jackson, and yes I could go on about this at length. Scott Disick is Toni Kukoc.)
Theory 2 — Kris hacked Kim.
Then again, don’t underestimate Kris Jenner. Maybe it’s not Kim making this move. Maybe Kris hacked Kim, just as she was once hacked, possibly by her children, to tell the world she “sharted.”
Theory 2.5 — Khloé hacked Kim.
The only other Kardashian ballsy enough to hack Kim is Khloé. Khloé is an agent of chaos and a Shiva-like threatener of NBA franchises; perhaps her New Year’s resolution was to harness her powers for maximum dramatic potential.
Theory 3 — This was designed to set rumors about an impending split in motion because an impending split is in motion.
Kim has been posting family-oriented content, and she was recently snapped visiting Kanye West’s mother’s grave — not exactly what one would expect from someone prepping for a divorce. Then again, optics are crucial to celebrities going through marital strife. Look at how the Angelina Jolie–Brad Pitt or Amber Heard–Johnny Depp divorces have played out in the media; it is clear that both sides are clamoring for positive coverage. If Kim was getting ready to divorce Kanye, she would want to make sure she had both public sympathy and the press on her side. What better way to do that than to remind people how important her family is to her while simultaneously making vague but puzzling gestures that all might not be right?
Let’s move on from this theory because a Kimye breakup sounds bleak.
Theory 4 — Cher Theory
In its report on the brief name-change, TMZ speculated that Kim is “trying to rebrand herself as a one-named celeb, like Oprah and Cher.” Perhaps this was a way of testing public reaction to that sort of rebranding, but it was kiboshed after she realized that the common interpretation would be “marriage trouble” and not “transition to one-name icon status.”
Theory 5 — They’re fucking with us to prove that they can.
As I said before, this reality family has manipulated social media into fame and fortune like no other suburban Californian matriarchy before it. But lately, their control over the narrative has been questioned. Vanity Fair recently suggested that the persistent Kimye divorce rumors mean they’ve “lost control of the media machine.” Maybe this is a retort, a prank to show that they still have it.