I began this morning tasked with answering a humble question: How many toes does Kim Kardashian West have? It turns out several people on the internet have been wondering this and now I am one of them, despite overwhelming evidence that Kim, one of the most photographed people on the planet, has ten toes.
After sorting through hundreds of Instagram posts, counting toes and squinting at teensy feet until my eyes ached, I could help but wonder: Do we just really want Kim to have a sixth toe on one of her feet? After all, it would be obscenely on-brand for Kim, queen of excess, to be up a toe. What follows is the no-detail-spared report of my journey.
Too many toes
Last week, in what was almost certainly a misapplication of Photoshop and not the birth of a new reality, Kim Kardashian West and Kylie Jenner appeared to each have six toes on one of their feet in a fragrance ad posted to Kim’s Instagram. The post was removed from the site after commenters ridiculed the embarrassment of toes. A rep told “Page Six” on Tuesday that the sixth toes were not a result of Photoshop gone awry but rather the “sideways angle of the star’s foot.”
This sort of thing happens a lot among the Kardashian clan, and to Kim in particular. For instance, in a deleted Instagram post from earlier this month, one of Kim’s regulation-sized thumbs reportedly appeared enormous.
The trail had gone cold but luckily an editor sent me some Instagram posts she’d seen acquaintances recently flagging on Instagram. I applied my professional blogger’s eyes to the suspect images. The first, posted three weeks ago, shows the Kardashian-Jenner sisters keeping it soigné on some concrete stairs.
Kim’s toes are a bit off but in a humane, slightly collapsed way which neither scares nor offends me, whereas the overall composition of the images does. There is something about this photo that makes it hard for me to believe the sisters are all sharing time and space — something to do with head proportions and lighting. Nonetheless, several people left comments saying it looked to them as if Kim has a sixth toe on her visible foot.
Then there’s this post from August 13. Zooming in on the extended foot Kim seems to have five toes and maybe something extra. One commenter wrote, “she has 6 toes here too.”
Wearing shoes, etc.
Not really convinced by the available evidence, I stalked Kim’s Insta. Kim is well known as an exhibitionist of sorts, unafraid to expose and hint at the ice cream scoop–like contours of her figure. However there is a certain body part — or collection of parts — she often chooses to cover up: Her toes. Suspicious, I scrolled a few years back through her Instagram posts and discovered several strategies by which she performs toe modesty. These include:
1. Wearing close-toed shoes.
2. Sitting on her feet.
3. Close-cropping images so that her feet are cut out altogether.
But otherwise, yeah, she appears to have ten toes.
Are Kim’s toes just really squished together?
Sometimes her shoes leave her toes visible but squeezed so tightly they begin to blend together or get lost entirely, as in this shot where it kind of looks like Kim has nine toes.
Similarly I wonder if this phantom sixth toe some social media users have been seeing, more of a shadow than a visible appendage, might merely be the aftereffect of a tiny sandal colliding with Kim’s slightly larger foot.