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Ask any Keeping Up With The Kardashians fan, and they’ll tell you North West is the most iconic family member of all. Thanks to her obsession with lizards, savage approach to Kim and, of course, tiny sunglasses collection, the eight-year-old daughter of Kardashian and Kanye West is already establishing her own, limelight-stealing personality.
Which might be why the internet is so obsessed with the North West parody account, @NorisBlackBook. It was founded by Natalie, a 35-year-old from Sacramento, California, who recently quit her job in web content. The social media satire has over 1.5million Instagram followers, and seeks to encapsulate the sassy innermost thoughts that *might* be going through North’s mind each day. But where did it all begin?
It’s February 2014, and the Kardashians have just launched a ‘Babies R Us’ clothing range, using seven-month-old North as their model. “I remember saying to a friend, ‘Oh my god, could you imagine being North West and having to wear ‘Babies R Us’?’” Natalie recalls. “I’d be pissed, like, ‘Where’s the Prada? Where’s the Balenciaga? Where’s the Gucci?’ It was a lightbulb moment for me.”
From there started the Tumblr blog Nori’s Black Book, mainly as a creative outlet from a job Natalie hated. She would post funny Kardashian-Jenner pictures with witty captions, from the perspective of toddler North. One night, a post about Kris Jenner wearing overalls went viral and, once Nori’s Black Book had made the move over to Instagram, even Kanye West was a fan.
“The account was popular from the beginning, but I didn’t think it would ever go mainstream; I thought it would be funny for the cult Kardashian fans only. And then Kanye got a hold of it, and it was like, ‘Oh my god.’ The post was of North in a fashion show [in 2018, age five.] I posted a photo of her with the caption, ‘Kendall who?’
“Instead of sharing the post and tagging the account, he took a screenshot of the whole thing and put it on his Instagram and Twitter without any additional commentary. I gained a lot of followers from that.”
Nori’s Black Book aims to post once a day, offering an amusing take on the latest Kardashian-Jenner drama. The majority of the time, caption inspiration comes easily. “The voice is based on Kim and Kanye, with a lot of Kris Jenner thrown in. I’m mindful that North is still a little girl - she never swears or talks about sex, and I always try to be age-appropriate. I take a lot of inspiration from The Real Housewives and the ridiculous and over-the-top lives these people lead… Basically all of the stuff people in the real world don’t do. I’ve also seen every KUWTK episode more than once.”
Sometimes, though, there can be a pressure to appear funny. “When something happens in the Kardashian world, people are like ‘Please comment on this!’ Or if North does something that’s obviously funny, it can be hard to find an angle. What am I supposed to say when something is already a spectacle in itself?”
Natalie is also mindful of covering anything that could be potentially damaging for the eight-year-old. “North is getting to the age where she can browse the internet on her own, and I wouldn’t want to put anything out there that she sees and is like, ‘What the hell?’ With cheating allegations, people are like ‘Talk about it!’ But what is there to say? I try to avoid anything to do with Kanye’s mental health. The Kim/Pete Davidson speculation was also hard to write about because North is a real person, and this is her mum dating someone who is not her dad.
“I try to keep it professional for her, and write on the basis that Nori’s Black Book has no feelings. It’s ‘How does this affect her brand? Does she care?’ I try not to get too involved with stuff that actually impacts her as a child.”
Sometimes, Natalie will take a step back for a few days before Nori’s Black Book makes her social commentary, or will look on Twitter for what the general fan consensus is. “Most of the captions are public opinion driven, and that’s what makes it work - if fans have decided they don’t care about Jonathan Cheban that day, for example, I’ll lean into it.”
Despite her witty remarks and funny captions gaining traction, Natalie remained anonymous (“It didn’t feel like there was a right time to disturb the matrix”), until Kim got in touch in 2020.
“She sent me a DM that said, ‘North, it’s your mom!’ She was reaching out to send me a KKW Beauty PR package, and messaged saying ‘We’re always talking about your account.’ Her team followed up to ask if I’d be interested in going on the show. Two weeks later I was flying from San Francisco to LA to meet them.”
In the episode, from KUWTK’s final season, Kim and sister Khloé are trying to figure out who is behind the Instagram account, and whether it’s someone they knew. “I was nervous, but I wasn’t starstruck - I feel like I spend so much time in their world already, trying to emulate what North might say. It was funny, Kim was like, ‘Everything you write is so spot on; it’s just like North’s personality. How do you know all this stuff?’
“I gained about 400,000 followers from the appearance, and I was getting messages from friends and family like, ‘What the f*** is going on? You’ve been doing this for eight years?!’ When I left, Khloé said, ‘Now that you’ve met us, please don’t change.’ And I was like ‘Oh, I’m turning this sh** up!’”
As for what the future holds for Nori’s Black Book? “I’ll keep doing it as long as North lets me do it. If she hits me up when she’s 15 and says ‘It’s over, give it up. I’m an adult’, I would stop. But I’ll keep going as long as it makes sense. When she got TikTok, I was a little worried, like, ‘Is this going to ruin Black Book? Is she going to get her own internet personality?’ But I think it’s clear from the videos that she’s still very much a child.”
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