All Hail Hailey
The heir to a Hollywood dynasty, this young Baldwin—number one on Maxim’s Hot 100—is making a name of her own.
SALADS ARE TO Keeping Up With the Kardashians what cosmos were to Sex and the City. Rare is the bonding sesh where the women are not grazing on a bowl of chopped lettuce. That I’ll end up flinging wet spinach onto Kourtney’s white pony-hair rug (on camera!) will only plague me for, like, everrr.
In the positioning of the Kardashian/Jenner ladies, Kourtney’s lane has been that of the organic-obsessed, lower-profile mom of Mason, 6, Penelope, 4, and Reign, 20 months. But since Kourtney’s July 2015 breakup from the kids’ dad, Scott “The Lord” Disick, 33, there’s been a shift in her narrative. She’s super hot, social, and yes, on occasion, getting turnt up.
Kourtney greets me in the immaculate formal living room of her Calabasas home. It’s a dazzling day in late July, and Penelope is by her side. Minutes earlier, Reign waddled through, nanny in tow. A few days ago, the family returned from a month-long break that saw them in Miami, the Bahamas, and Nantucket, where Scott joined them. He’ll be joining them again later today for a family trip to the movies.
It’s been a rough re-entry to reality—well, reality TV—Kourtney tells me after depositing Penelope with a nanny in a room nearby. “My first day back filming, I was in a really bad mood. Just anxious, bitchy, and on edge. I was like, I don’t like this.” While she’s never threatened to quit KUWTK, this time she took a longer break than everybody else. “It was really two weeks off, but I just said, I’m leaving for a month and taking my kids. Sorry.”
Her vacay Instas—on a bluff, on a yacht, on a beach—weren’t much different from her life vibes in general, what with her multimillion-dollar home, private flights, and trips to [insert every rad place on planet Earth here]. Who needs a break from a life that’s already the sweetest break? “I don’t expect people to know what it’s like who aren’t in my shoes,” she says. “And I do look at the positives, like, what am I complaining about? I get to spend time with my family.” But then, the 37-year-old has to spend time with her family. “I see them way more than most people see their adult siblings.” Think of it as being forever home for the holidays. It’s all Apples to Apples and eggnog until your brother (Rob) shows up with his pregnant fiancée (Blac Chyna), who, BTW, is the mother of your sister’s (Kylie) boyfriend’s (Tyga) child (keeping up?). Kourtney needed a month to “escape all the noise.”
Noise like the near deafening #KimExposedTaylor Party. While she was gone, Kim Snapchatted clips of her husband, Kanye West, allegedly on a call with Taylor Swift, in which the pop star seems to approve the controversial lyrics about her in Kanye’s song “Famous.” The internet went ape. Kourtney had no idea Kim was going to wage a social smackdown, but she’s glad she did. “It’s her husband, and he’s family. The truth is the truth, so why not let it be known?”
Still, had she been in Kim’s Yeezys, she’s not sure she would have done the same: “I used to live for confrontation. Once I had kids, the anger I had in me left my body. Very few things get me heated to the point of needing to be involved.” And just for the record, T-Swift is not verboten here. “If she’s on the radio, fine,” she says, but quickly notes that Penelope is more into Rihanna and Beyoncé; Mason, Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreak.
As if on cue, Mason pops down the stairs. He’s picked white pj’s to wear to the movies. “Will they let me in?” he asks. “Yes, my love, I think they’ll let you in,” she assures him. When he’s out of earshot, I ask if the kids watch KUWTK. “I saw when Kiki showed Larsa her vagina!” Mason’s voice echoes down the hall. Kourtney laughs. “They’ve seen some of it, but no. I was in the shower, he woke up, and it happened to be on. He was like, ‘Who is Blac Chyna? And Kiki [Kim] showed Larsa [Pippen] her vagina!’ I was like, this is why they don’t watch the show. Some of the content is just not appropriate.”
Like, say, the footage of their dad’s less-than-exemplary behavior: See Scott shit-faced. See Scott punching a mirror. Still, for all The Lord’s fuckups, there have also been some endearing moments. See Scott’s visit to a psychic to determine if he’s been Kardashian-cursed (the theory: no man can thrive while involved with the Koven). If you’ve ever found yourself at once loathing and loving him, Kourtney gets it: “I wasn’t attracted to him in the first place. I thought he was obnoxious. Then I thought he was so funny. We became friends, but he lived in New York.” The distance worked in his favor: “I was like, hmmm, Scott would be fun. He’s cute, he lives in New York, it won’t be a serious thing. Then we were together for 10 years. Go figure.” She doesn’t sugarcoat their origin story. “He would always ask me to dinner, and I was like, Why? What are we even gonna talk about? Finally, I mentally shifted and was like, Let’s have a slumber party. Kim was out of town and we were like, Let’s sleep at her apartment. Then we wouldn’t leave each other’s side. He was a good boyfriend”—she pauses—“at times.”
She and Scott have been photographed together a lot lately as they do their best to co-parent. On this, she is very clear: They are not back together. She says they haven’t so much as kissed since they broke up. Is she still attracted to him at all? “Yeah, he’s definitely handsome and still funny. He has great qualities, but right now is just not our time.”
Unlike her sisters, Kourtney has never done the “I do” thing. I press her on how important it is to her to find a life partner, Scott or otherwise. “I guess it’s not that important!” she says, laughing. “I mean, the idea of having my family together is amazing, but it’s not the way things ended up. They may end up there. I’m not sure. To me, it’s in God’s hands. If it’s meant to be, then things will line up.” Scott requires a lot of her energy, and she doesn’t have it in her to put in the work. “We definitely tried for a long time. But relationships are exhausting! Being able to focus on the kids and me right now is good. We say to each other all the time, ‘I’m the coolest ex-girlfriend/baby mama you could ever ask for!’ I’m like, ‘Don’t tell me anything you’re doing, I don’t care, let’s just hang out, take the kids to dinner, I’m totally cool.’” But what happens when a new boyfriend or girlfriend enters the picture? “That’s what I don’t know,” she allows and admits it hasn’t happened yet. “We’re so not there.”
At this point, our salads arrive. So has the camera guy. There are no mics, no lights, no setups for a better angle. It’s all very, dare I say it, real? I am suddenly self-conscious but push on. So how’s your love life, then? “It’s good! The most important thing to me is having fun. I have boy-crazy friends who are like, ‘We need to go out and find guys!’ That’s not my mission. I don’t want to go on a date and sit and talk. And I don’t want to be set up. I just want to live life. If something happens, fine, but I’m not like, Hey, do you have any friends?”
Kourtney’s nights out have lead to rumors though. The biggest one being, in a word, Bieber. What exactly is going on with her and Justin? “We’re friends, yeah,” she offers with a sly smile. Like she and Scott were friends? “No,” she says. Final answer.
For her to sleep with someone, there has to be “an energy so strong, it pulls you to where there’s no stopping it. I don’t like to force things that aren’t there.” She did that once, a one-night stand in college, and it sucked: “The whole experience was just bad. The whole time I was like, ugh, just get this over with. The guy was cute, but I was not into him.”
Kourtney’s already been in hair and makeup for today’s filming. She picks at the turkey in her salad, careful not to mess up her light face beat that says “at home with the kids” versus “at the club.” Her skin is damn near perfect. At the mention of cosmetic surgery though, she refers to the boob job she got at 21. “I wish I never did it. I had great boobs. Now I’m gonna have to get them redone at some point.” That face though…surely she gets Botox, fillers.…“No. I like to look like myself. I like imperfections, but you also want to look your best. I think lasers would be a good place to start if I was feeling like doing something.”
Aging in the spotlight doesn’t concern her as much as how the spotlight affects her children. “I always think of what I can do to protect them. Their aunts are huge on social media. I’ll go through phases where I’m like, everyone stop Snapchatting my kids! I don’t really care that much to be famous. I’m living my life, and this is what happened. But I want to do whatever I can to let them live a happy life.”
As for what they think Mom and Dad do: “Mason knows we’re on a TV show, and he’s heard the word famous from kids at school.” Kourtney is the brand ambassador for Manuka Doctor’s honey-based skincare line and has a handful of sponsorship deals. But she admits she’s still sorting out what her personal brand is in the ever-growing empire. Kim has her hit mobile game and Kimoji. Khloé’s Strong Looks Better Naked is a best seller, and her show Kocktails With Khloé, although canceled, stands to be a stepping-stone for future TV gigs. On the Jenner side, Kendall’s doing all the modeling, and Kylie’s cosmetics company is unstoppable. “Everyone has their passion,” Kourtney says. “I was just thinking yesterday, What’s my thing? It would be fun to buy houses, decorate them as if I was gonna live there, and then sell them. Not right this second, but maybe later.”
For now, she says she’s content to be with her kids as much as possible and focus on being her best self. She works out almost daily with Don Brooks of the Don-A-Matrix method. “It helps me mentally,” she says. “Two days a week is the most I’ll take off. I have to do it in the morning or else it doesn’t happen, and having a partner is important.” That partner is very often Khloé.
We’ve reached the bottom of the salad bowls now. She sets hers on the coffee table, and I inquire after the two gold Cartier Love bracelets on her diminutive wrist—the ones you have to literally screw on. One she got from her parents for her 21st birthday. The other is a choice hand-me-down from her mom, Kris Jenner.
“It was from Bruce,” she explains. “It didn’t fit my mom anymore, so when I had Mason, she gave it to me. It says something inside.” She glances at the inscription. “It says ‘Our love is bonded forever, I love you, Bruce.’” She laughs.
Bruce and Kris have since divorced, and Bruce is now, of course, Caitlyn. Does Kourtney see herself taking after her mom with a massive blended brood? “I would have more,” she says of future children. “I could see myself with six kids. I just don’t know what’s in God’s plan.” Whatever it is, we’ll be watching.
Hair: Chris McMillan for Living Proof at Solo Artists. Makeup: Mario Dedivanovic at The Wall Group. Manicure: Kailey Phan for Celestine Agency. Production: First Shot Productions.
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