Words And Narratives Matter: Kylie Jenner Is NOT Self-Made

I feel like I always need to start these types of posts with full disclosures and disclaimers:

  • I am not a big fan of pop culture. I only recently acquired a TV for the first time in 10 years.
  • I am not a fan of the Kardashians
  • I am far beyond being  Kardashian hater.  I get it.  If someone wanted to give me my first million dollars for having sex on video, I’d sign that contract and get started tomorrow.

With that being said, let’s get to the heart of the headline that I was inundated with today (I get all the push notifications) that made my ass itch…

Kylie Jenner is not, in any way shape or form, a self-made billionaire.

Yes, Kylie Jenner is a billionaire.  And yes, I’m sure she put in work to make that money.  I read several articles today that detailed a key to her success was her successful social media marketing, and hey, maybe that was all her idea…and yes, she is super pretty, and hey, I wouldn’t mind looking at her on Instagram…and Facebook…and Twitter, and yes, I’m sure her beauty products are really good.

And YES, she deserves her money, or the spoils of the labor she has put in. That’s all good.

But let’s not get it twisted…

What does it mean to be self-made? 

The definition of self made is something that is made by oneself or someone who has become successful through his own efforts. An example of self made is a man who was born poor but who started his own business and made millions. Source: Your Dictionary

So let’s take a quick jaunt through Kylie’s history:

  • 1997: Born to an Olympic medalist father and TV personality mother.
  • 2007: Begins appearing in the reality show Keeping up with the Kardashians (age 10).  Let’s assume she was not being paid, but the parents were reportedly receiving $35,000 an episode. The original show results in multiple spin-off shows over the next few years.
  • 2013: Kylie has 2 branded nail lacquers from the OPI company and reportedly receives $100,000 for the endorsement.
  • 2013: Kylie and her sister Kendall launch a collection under the PacSun clothing brand. They also launch a jewelry line under another company.

The next couple of years are a whirlwind of endorsement and collection deals, culminating in, according to Forbes magazine, “started her business by investing “some $250,000 of her earnings from modeling gigs to pay an outside company to produce the first 15,000 lip kits.”

OK, so confession time: I’ve spent the past two weeks totally geeking out on Hamilton.

I know…I know…

But I’ve been listening to the musical, and researching the composition, and such…all the inspiration material and such.

I bring that up because Alexander Hamilton, especially in the musical, is portrayed as the classic ideal of a self-made man,

“How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten
Spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

The ten-dollar Founding Father without a father
Got a lot farther by working a lot harder
By being a lot smarter
By being a self-starter
By fourteen, they placed him in charge of a trading charter”

The story is inspiring and sexy. But, let’s keep in mind; Hamilton was taken in by a prosperous merchant, and white in a time when that was the ultimate currency.

When I think of self-made men, my favorite example is Frederick Douglass.

So, start your life as a slave, and move on to becoming one of the most respected people, as well as greatest writers and orators in history, in American history.  And even he received help, but that is generally what we think of as being “self-made.”

Kylie Jenner’s life has been nothing like that.

And why does this narrative matter?  Because it’s a slap in the face to those who are truly self-made. As hard as it is in today’s world to rise up from nothing, it does happen, and we need to celebrate those stories.  We need more of them.  We need more opportunity for ALL PEOPLE in this world.

What we don’t need is kids thinking that if you’re not born with a silver spoon in your mouth, then it’s rapper, basketball player, or bust.

And so many youth already have that perspective.  And that sucks.

Kylie Jenner may be the youngest billionaire ever, and that’s cool.  I hope she’s smart and judicious with her money.

Self-made?  Not by a long shot…and that’s the truth Ruth!

Are you a Kylie Jenner fan?  What are your thoughts on her being self-made? Comment down below!!!

Step 2, if you liked what you read here, SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!!! Also, be sure to know every time I post a new entry by subscribing! Also, you can check out Reflections of a Chicago Life on Facebook. I post a lot of articles and we can have some wicked discussions on there. Be sure to click “Like”. You can also check me out on Twitter, and see all the things I see around the city on Instagram, and it still bears repeating…it’s important to have STANDARDS!!

This post was created on a combination of iPhone 6s and  HP Pavilion x360.
I love my iPhone. I hate this computer. 

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