New You Exclusive: The Kris Jenner-ation
Posted On May 25, 2016
Some follow their lives obsessively, others try in vain to rout them from their news feeds. The irrefutable truth: We can no sooner ignore the Kardashian-Jenner family—helmed by irrepressible matriarch and self-proclaimed “momager” Kris Jenner—as we can deny that their lives are a thoroughly modern take on the American dream. “Dream big” has been Kris Jenner’s mantra since she left home at age 17 to accompany a boyfriend on the professional golf circuit. From her first marriage to Robert Kardashian to her present life with husband, Bruce Jenner and her extraordinarily famous family, Kris reveals the secrets to successfully keeping up with herself.
NEW YOU: Kris, how different are you now, compared to the way you were before entering the public eye?
KRIS JENNER: I’m more appreciative of downtime. The other day, I realized that we’re starting to shoot season nine [of E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians]. Season nine! I have the most amazing home movies because of the show, and that’s a huge blessing. The biggest thing I’ve learned is boundaries and to create my own, pri- vate world. Saying no has been very difficult for me. As women, we don’t say “no” enough.
NY: You’re a self-confessed “people pleaser.” How did you learn to say no?
KJ: I’ve learned how to re-evaluate what’s important. Here’s something I learned the other day. My trainer, Gunnar Peterson, invited me to see his new house and his beautiful art. While I was upstairs, I noticed his jar of blue marbles. I said, “Wow, this is a great artistic piece!” I asked him what it means. He said, “This isn’t a piece of art; it’s a jar of marbles that represent how many week- ends I have left in my life, based on if I live to be 88.” I said to myself, “I like 88; I’m going to do the same, and I’m going to have red marbles to represent how many weekends I have left until I reach 88.” This was a huge lesson for me to share. Every time somebody wants to make plans, or asks to spend a weekend with me based on something I don’t really want to do, I decide whether it is really worth one of my marbles.
NY: When would you advise someone to say no?
KJ: If you know something could compromise your personal life, you have to take care of your life rather than say yes. I work twenty-hour days, yet I’ve learned not to feel guilty about getting a massage. When I get that massage, I give myself permission to relax and not think about the possibility of the phone ringing.
NY: Why do you think women have such feelings of guilt?
KJ: It’s the woman with a certain type-A personality. I’m a bit of a control freak, which is sometimes a problem. The other day I was arranging coffee table books and magazines around my office. Somebody looked at me and said I was crazy, but I have to have everything in a certain order or I can’t sleep at night. But I’m learning to be imperfect, because I know you can’t be so uptight for the rest of your life.
NY: How important are women friends to you?
KJ: For a woman, girlfriends are 150 percent a huge part of your life. Friends are everything, and mine are really important to me. They’re patient and understanding of the journey I’ve been on. One of my best friends is Kathie Lee Gifford, and couple of weeks ago she was going on a mother-daughter trip. She invited me, as well as Kendall and Kylie, who are her godchildren. I couldn’t go because I was working, which was a great disappointment. That’s something I would’ve spent marbles on. But I had a commitment; I was doing The Kris Jenner Show and was under contract to work.
NY: How do you handle it when your children do something disappointing?
KJ: You just do—it’s unconditional love. I may be very vocal about my feelings—because I’m very dramatic— but I love my kids so much and just want them to succeed. To sit back and watch your kids make mistakes is a part of life. I’ve always said to my kids that no matter what it is—and there’s been some crap that I don’t agree with— I am always there for them. I will never abandon them; I am there for them 150 percent, and we will fight the par- ticular battles together. My children know that no matter what they do, I will accept them and never judge them, ever. I never judge someone I love; I leave the judging up to God. You come to a fork in the road, where you don’t wish as much success or happiness for yourself, as much as you wish it for your children. They’re where your joy comes from.
NY: Any regrets?
KJ: The one regret, if I had to do it over, would be divorcing Robert Kardashian. But then there wouldn’t have been Kendall and Kylie, so that’s the way I look at that. I don’t have a lot of regrets. Everything happens for a reason, and we learn from our mistakes. I thought I was so smart when I was young; I was fearless. I thought I knew everything and that my mother did not. But I knew I would have six kids. Why six? Probably because I had one sister, and always wished that we had these big Christmas Eve parties. I must’ve seen too many movies. That’s definitely one dream that came true.
NY: What do you say to those who feel they can never attain their dreams?
KJ: Dream big and work hard. You have to put it out into the universe, and keep on knocking on doors until you figure out your path. It’s also about timing. You have to find out what you really want to do in life, and figure out a way to get paid for it.
NY: Given all of the frenetic activities around your home—the show, family, business managers, staff, and so on—what do you do for downtime?
KJ: My idea of a really good time is being in my pajamas really early, climbing into bed, and watching The Bachelor or a great old movie. I also love having dinner with family and friends and creating a delicious environ- ment in my home. Every day at 4 pm the music goes on. There’s an ambiance I like to create at that time. Kim has been spending some time with me here lately and she’s so funny. She asked, “Mom, are you having a dinner party tonight? Because you’re lighting candles, the music is on, the house smells so good and you’re cooking.” I tell her, “No, this is just what I love to do.” People ask me why my kids never leave the house, and I think it’s because I make it a place that’s happy and cozy. I had six kids because I want to spend the rest of my life in this eternal joy that I have. I feel blessed that God gave me these beautiful souls to share my life with.
NY: What advice do you have for working moms who are trying to spend more time with their families?
KJ: You have to find your balance, according to the needs of your children. I don’t have little children anymore, but I now have an added “guilt” situation—I don’t spend enough time with my grandchildren. It’s like my weekends and those marbles. I want those marbles to be about my grandchildren. I am trying to redirect the energy in my head and micromanage my schedule. Monday through Friday will now be about Kris and my work, so that on the weekends I spend time with Mason, Penelope, and North—to nurture the relationships with my grandchildren. They call me “Lovey.”
NY: Who came up with the name “Lovey?”
KJ: I did. My grandchildren were calling me “Grandma.” It was really cute when one person was calling me Grandma, but now that there are three of them, I’m like, “OK, I don’t like the sound of that anymore. I want to be somebody else.” My mom had a friend named Lovey, and when I was a little girl I thought that was the sweetest name I ever heard. I wished at the time that somebody would call me Lovey when I get old. So, Lovey it is.
NY: What’s your health philosophy?
KJ: We’ve always raised our kids with the “80-20” philosophy. 80 percent of the time you eat really healthy and clean; 20 percent of the time you eat what you want and have some fun. We can’t lock ourselves in a box and say, “I’m never going to have a piece of cake or a bite of sugar.” I love life too much. I also like to go out and have a steak and a baked potato, or go to Krispy Kreme and have a dozen donuts. I love donuts.
NY: You carry two EpiPen Auto-Injectors with you wherever you go, correct?
KJ: What many people don’t know is that my first priority is always ensuring that I am not exposed to my allergic triggers. I have potentially life-threatening allergies—anaphylaxis—to shellfish, strawberries, and insect venom, and I know firsthand how unpredictable this reaction can be. It’s important to be prepared in case I have a reaction. I always follow my anaphylaxis plan, which includes hav- ing access to the two EpiPen Auto-Injectors wherever I go.
NY: You’ve said in the past that plastic surgery is often paired with self-absorption, but you also say it can be life changing. What is your position?
KJ: You have to do what makes you happy. If you become obsessed with something about your body that you want to change, you can afford to do it, and it feels safe to you, then do it. I don’t like people who criticize somebody else for having plastic surgery. Who cares? Do what you want, and when you want to do it. Own it and live up to it. I find it very strange that people lie about their age and plastic surgery. I’ve been very open about all of that. Let it be an inspiration to somebody else and help them through a hard time. I had a hard time being put to sleep [under anesthetic]. It was a huge issue. I struggled with having elective surgery—being so selfish that I needed to do something that could potentially be dangerous. Then I realized that I should just get over it, do what I want to do, and live my life. I didn’t do anything plastic surgery-related until I was—gosh—late 40s.
NY: I read in your book that you had a breast reduction?
KJ: You’re right, sorry. I did my boobs in 1988. That was almost like it didn’t even count because it was some- thing I felt I had to do after having four kids. My boobs were kind of shot. I thought, I want to feel sexy and perky again, and I want my body back. That was a huge deci- sion—and one of the best I made. Dr. Harry Glassman did it in 1988, and then he did it again two years ago. I felt like the implants had been in there for over 20 years, so it might be a good idea to freshen them up. I also made them smaller because I’m in my 50s, and a person can look very matronly when she has a huge set of knockers. I had Dr. Glassman tone them down a little.
NY: Do you see yourself in any of your children?
KJ: All of them, in different ways. Khloe is exactly how I am in the way she likes to nest and cook; the way she is with everything in her home—even the way she makes a bed and sets a table. We’re exactly alike in that way. With Kim, our personalities are very much alike. My son is identical to his father, Robert—they look alike, act alike, and have the same mannerisms. It’s an amazing reminder of what an amazing dad Robert was. He was a great hus- band and a good person. In Kourtney, I see myself when I was young. She’s exactly the way I was—just a little more organic. I see her going to the baby music classes, and going on outings with her friends and their babies. I have nine lives, and in one of my old lives when I was married to Robert I was the soccer coach, the Brownie leader, and the carpool driver. I admire Kourtney so much because she’s nurturing and developing amazing relationships.
NY: You’ve always been very open about talking to your daughters about sex. Why?
KJ: Sex is a natural part of life, not something you sweep under the rug. When my kids started their periods and began dating boys, the first thing I did was to take them to my gynecologist, Dr. Paul Crane. He delivered all of my children and the grandchildren, as well. When I introduced them to the gynecologist, I said, “This is part of your annual check-up—your annual ‘taking care of yourself and your health.’ Your conversations with your gynecologist are very private, and he doesn’t need to tell me anything unless there’s a major problem. Feel free to have a very confidential relationship with this man, who can help you through your life. Then come to me if you want to talk about anything.” Every single one of my chil- dren has come to me to talk about sex-related issues, for one reason or another, because they feel very comfort- able talking about it. They also know that I’m going to be accepting, and a safety net.
NY: Should women feel sexual in their 50s?
KJ: Absolutely! Hopefully forever! Your sexuality is not something that goes away. It’s all about a mindset, and I think women are sexy at any age. Look at Jane Fonda— she’s 75 years old and looked like a goddess the last time I saw her photographed in a magazine. She’s sexy. She gives me inspiration.
Photography by: Fadil Berisha
Exclusive InterviewKeeping up with the KardashiansKendall JennerKhloe KardashianKim KardashianKourtney KardashianKris JennerKylie Jenner