Unless you've been living under a rock this week, you've no doubt come across the news that Kylie Jenner is on the cusp of becoming the world's youngest billionaire. To mark the occasion, Forbes even gave her the cover of their "America's Women Billionaires" issue and labeled her "self-made."
And that is what bothers me.
I'm not here to debate whether or not Jenner is a hard worker. I happen to believe she is.
I'm also not here to debate the quality of her products. The consensus seems to be that they're not that great.
I'm not even here to hate on whether or not she deserves the money. She's crushing the "American Dream." Good for her.
But, I have a GIANT issue with Forbes labeling her self-made.
To call her self-made is to ignore the gigantic promotional machine put in place by her mother and older sisters before her. To call her self-made is to ignore the thousands of free TV airtime given to her and her products via the Kardashian's reality TV empire. To call her self-made is to ignore the capital those TV shows allowed her to amass before launching her cosmetics line.
Kylie is anything but self-made. She's had an incredible head start and to ignore that is an irresponsible oversight by Forbes. Kylie has no doubt been a large part of the success of her brand, but she has had help from those around her. She has benefited from their success, wealth, and learned from their mistakes. THAT story might have been inspirational or motivating.
Instead, Forbes went with the narrative that would get Jenner on the cover and create controversy.
What a shame.
Not surprisingly, the internet shares my feelings:
Calling Kylie Jenner self-made without acknowledging anywhere the incredible headstart she had is what allows people to turn around and look at poor people and ask them why they haven’t become billionaires yet. Her story is not inspiring or motivating for anyone https://t.co/YMnTSzHlKP— Lola (@lola_adewuya) July 11, 2018
Kylie Jenner is not "self-made" at all.— Sam Whiteout (@samwhiteout) July 11, 2018
This is the problem with talking about successful people in America. We act like they did it by themselves when that's never the case. And, with people like the Kardashians/Jenners, they were always rich. https://t.co/ok2gXNA4vW
calling kylie jenner a ‘self-made billionaire’ is like claiming you made soup from scratch because you opened a can and reheated it.— gulab jamun (@PedestrianPoet) July 11, 2018
And perhaps my favorite: