Generation Wealth: the aspiration for affluence

[Above] Mijanou, 18, who was voted Best Physique at Beverly Hills High School, skips class to go to the beach in Santa Monica, 1993.

Lauren Greenfield was trawling through her archive of more than half a million images, taken over the past 25 years, when one picture made her stop in her tracks. Staring straight down the lens is a 12-year-old Kim Kardashian. Standing around at a school dance with her sister Kourtney, she’s instantly recognisable; beautiful, not in the glossy way she is now but fresh-faced, with a nonchalant style that feels ever so 1992. “I had discarded it because she wasn’t important at the time,” recalls Greenfield, “but because of the rise of reality TV and celebrity and because the aspiration to affluence became important in my work, she became a cultural touchstone.”

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