Blac Chyna is covering magazine spreads left and right in promotion of her new E! reality series alongside her fiance Rob Kardashian, “Rob & Chyna”.
After recently flexing her baby bump on the cover of Paper and People Magazine, Chyna is now donning the cover of Elle Magazine in her first full length spread for the major fashion mag!
It’s this same ambition that has caused some to question if Chyna’s love for Rob is the real deal or little more than an elaborate PR move designed to turn her into a household name.
In May, following the announcement of Chyna and Rob’s engagement, Buzzfeed writer Sylvia Obell penned a lengthy thesis attributing ulterior motives to Chyna’s maneuvers: “Chyna was making calculated moves to close in on her own empire with a precision and finesse that not even the Kardashians saw coming…And so the Kardashians, a family often accused of stealing black men, black features, and black culture, got beat at their own game by a black woman.”
Datwon Thomas, editor in chief of Vibe magazine, offered a similar assessment of Chyna’s triumph over the Balmain-clad don Kris Jenner. “Chyna popped up, and all of sudden she’s pregnant, and now she’s got one of the most powerful pieces on the chess board,” he says, referring to Rob. As for whether or not she loves her husband-to-be: “I think she loves him,” says Thomas, “but I think it was a power move, initially. Let’s not kid ourselves. A lot of these celebrity couples are really only business deals.”
Chyna claims the taunts didn’t hurt her. She and Tyga were on the outs when he took up with Kylie, she says, and she’d already moved on. “When you don’t want to be in a relationship with somebody anymore, you don’t give a fuck what they’re doing,” she declares. “I was just like, ‘thank God I’m out of that situation.’ And honestly, it was the best thing that I could’ve done, because my life has changed so much for the better.”
After a series of fast food gigs, she ended up waitressing at Hooters, and from there, she moved on to the more lucrative world of strip clubs. Her parents couldn’t afford to send her to college, so she deferred admission to Johnson & Wales University in Miami and stripped at local Maryland spots for two years. By age 20, she had saved up enough money to pay for tuition.
The siren calls of the Miami clubs proved irresistible, however, and soon she was back on stage—performing as Blac Chyna, a moniker she lifted from one of her patrons. She lived on campus, attended classes during the day, and worked the local poles at night, a routine that took its toll. “I was falling asleep all the time in class,” she says. “It wasn’t working out for me.” She eventually dropped out of college, committing herself to stripping and modeling full-time. Her mother, a Dominican beauty who goes by the name Tokyo Toni, was fine with her decision. “My mom used to be a stripper,” Chyna says, “so she was like, if this is what you want to do, be the best at it.”
“When I linked up with Rob, he was at a point where nobody could really help him,” Chyna says. “But I’m the type of person that likes to motivate my friends and help them figure out how they can do better. That’s how we really started off.” She’s proceeded by giving him his space. “When I’m around Rob, I’m never all up in his business, asking questions. I let him be himself and relax,” she says. “I’m not a therapist. If he opens up, and I say the wrong thing, he may shut me out. Sometimes it’s just best to let people talk about it and get it off their chest. That’s how I’ve been carrying the situation with me and Rob, and so far it’s worked out.”
The show will give her a chance to show this side of her, and it will also give her the opportunity to prove that she won’t be defined by her past or what people may think of her. “I wanted to show people my personality, that I’m not just a pretty face or what some people paint me out to be: this bad person, this stripper ho. I want them to see me as a mom, a business-woman, a growing being.”
For now, at least, she can count on a certain level of support from the family. Once the Kardashians accepted that Chyna was here to stay, Kim reportedly brokered a truce, and the Calabasas cold war was over. “We all have a really good relationship right now,” Chyna claims. “Everybody is talking. Everything is good.” When I try to probe deeper, she snaps. “I said everybody is fine now. Can you please move on?” We move on.
Will their scion have a “K” moniker, like all of his (or her) famous aunties? “No,” Chyna says unequivocally. “The baby won’t have a K name. We both agreed.” As for what comes next for her, she’s still working on it. “Once I have this baby, I will figure out what’s next,” she says. “I’m not focusing on anything else right now.”