Kylie Jenner began building her billion dollar empire since first appearing on the famous Keeping up with the Kardashians reality show at the age of ten. But the deck has always been stacked in her favour with the head start of a lifetime – which is a very important detail we need to remember.
In early July Forbes received criticisms after Jenner appeared on the front cover of the magazine referred to as ‘self-made’. The magazine has estimated Jenner’s net worth to be around $900 million, that will soon reach the $1 billion mark, making her the 27th richest ‘self-made’ woman in the United States. Jenner reportedly used $250,000 of her own money earned from modelling jobs and other contracts to produce her initial product and develop her business. Jenner’s platform as the daughter of Hollywood’s most famous ‘momager’ Kris Jenner and Olympic gold medallist Caitlyn Jenner, meant she was born into wealth. This, paired with growing up on the hit reality TV show Keeping up with the Kardashians, meant Kylie was destined for a green future.
Forbes defended their decision to feature Jenner as its cover woman:
“We consider any person who built her own fortune, and didn’t inherit the money, to be self-made”
Jenner’s impending billionaire status is not in question, but rather how Forbes has labelled and justified her status. Although her success is commendable, it has come by virtue of her privilege. It is wrong and frankly rather insulting to refer to an individual born into fame and an elite strata of society – along with a notorious last name, access to a pool of resources and business and social connections – as ‘self-made’. Amongst all this it appears the meaning of ‘self-made’ has been forgotten. So much so, Dictionary.com have had to step in to remind readers of the real definition.
Self-made means having succeeded in life unaided.
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) July 11, 2018
The Kardashians have dominated television, social media and pop culture for the past decade which has undoubtedly influenced Jenner’s millions. Her successful company can be seen as an extension of the already successful empire established and driven by her sisters. Jenner had the leverage of both the family’s and her own impressive fan base, which extends to millions on various social media platforms. It was irresponsible of Forbes not to address how Jenner’s family’s fame helped her amass her fortune and achieve her billionaire status in such a short amount of time. Making career decisions and future plans when you don’t have the safety net of famous parents and a hit reality TV show can be a much more intimidating prospect.
In my opinion being self-made requires countless hours of hard-work, diligence and sacrifice. Being self-made is grabbing every opportunity that comes your way and making the most of that opportunity to the best of your ability. Being self-made is studying full-time, working full-time or interning whenever possible. It is achieving your grades or getting the job on your own merit – not because of your name, who you know or your family’s status and achievements. Kylie Jenner was born into a life of wealth and privilege, with celebrity parents and contacts the likes of us could only dream of.
Featured image: https://jezebel.com/kylie-jenner-aint-that-self-made-1827509329