Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are undoubtedly one of our generation's most iconic couples. Full stop.
How could they not be? Their love story has survived and thrived in spite of Kim's 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries, three children, her violent Paris robbery, Kanye's mental health issues, and countless scandals that fans and friends alike have struggled to keep up with. Through it all, the two have stood by each other, with Kim, 37, fiercely defensive of the media's portrayal of her husband, and Kanye, 41, fiercely protective of any perceived disrespect directed at Kim.
But all those hurdles they jumped were bound to leave their mark on the relationship. As divorce rumors swirl after a particularly telling Keeping Up With the Kardashians episode, we went back, way back, to before Kim and Kanye were even a thing, to see what we could glean from their body language about where they were then and where they are now.
"Very often, he has this look of incredible sadness and even darkness," Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma tells Refinery29. Having studied a dozen photographs of the couple over the years, Wood says she's noticed a pattern where West "very rarely lets up and looks happy." But when he does, it's always when he's with Kardashian. Still, Wood adds, "That dark sadness is there, it’s just there."
During her reading of the photos, Wood utilized the process of blocking, where she blocked out one person in the photo to see if the body language let on that there was another person there. She found that if Kardashian "is not shown in the picture, you wouldn’t know she’s there. It makes you aware that he’s not consciously showing she’s there." That's not always the case, though, since the couple have an undeniable connection and sexual intimacy.
"He was so happy and so attracted to her it would light him up," Wood said, studying photos of the couple before their 2014 marriage. "She’s been able to comfort him with her sexuality, with her body... [However], the sadness was always there. It wasn’t caused by the relationship and it’s not something that she could possibly heal."
Ahead, Wood analyzes how Kardashian and West's body language has changed over the years, and what it says about where their relationship stands now.