Are We Really Feeling Bad For Kylie Jenner Profiting Off Her Looks?

Getty / Pierre Suu

Image Source: Getty/Pierre Suu / Contributor

On the June 20th episode of “The Kardashians,” sisters Kylie and Kendall Jenner sat down to have a candid conversation about the comments the Kylie Cosmetics founder receives about her looks on social media.

“It’s a miracle that I still have confidence and that I can still look in the mirror and think that I’m pretty,” the younger sister says. “It’s so hurtful, ‘I look old’ – I see that under every picture.” At one point, Kylie is brought to tears.

Here’s the thing: Kylie is undeniably beautiful, and it should go without saying that it’s never OK to critique someone’s looks. Still, it’s hard to feel bad for a multi-millionaire who has profited off of her looks for years.

Kylie, much like the rest of her family, has toyed with the general public’s fascination with her astronomical levels of wealth for over a decade. Her “King Kylie” era was punctuated by glimpses at her fine jewelry collection, snaps of her private jet, and tours of a closet that is bigger than some houses. In addition to flaunting a lifestyle that the majority of people will never be able to achieve, Kylie has been extremely coy about the fact that she’s gotten any work done, like facial filler and breast augmentation, for almost just as long. The one treatment that she has been the most open about is her lip filler, which she immediately started to make money off of with the creation of her then-coveted Kylie Lip Kits. As a result, people have been trying to capture Kylie’s “perfect” face and body proportions for years. Yet, she has been intentionally obscure about her beauty procedures for the entire time.

Now, do celebrities owe us a rundown of all the plastic surgeries and treatments they’ve ever gotten? No. However, if you want to position yourself as a leader in the beauty industry, now more than ever, there needs to be a level of transparency – especially if you’re using your looks to sell something.

The reason why people continue to “dehumanize” celebrities like the Kardashians, as Kendall stated, is because they continue to approach conversations like these from a surface level. Your audience will simply never take you seriously if, on the one hand, you try to gaslight them into believing that you haven’t had any work done (at the very least, a tweakment or two) while simultaneously trying to push a product that is supposed to make them “look better.” Jenner wasn’t just playing with insubstantial trends like changing her brow shape or dyeing her hair out-of-the-box colors – the beauty trends that she created cost thousands of dollars to achieve by way of semi- and permanent cosmetic and plastic procedures. Not many people have the capital (monetarily or socially) to do the things that Kylie has done, which is how she’s become a walking symbol of unattainable beauty standards and wealth inequality.

Look, it’s completely understandable that Kylie hates seeing comments about the way she looks all the time. Truthfully, no one should be subjected to that experience and her vulnerability is proof that self-love is an ongoing journey for most, if not all, of us. Still, the Kardashian and Jenner family is one of the biggest purveyors of the beauty standards that we see today, and it’s not fair that they want the rest of the world to hold their hands when even they feel like they can’t uphold the caliber that they’ve set.

Ariel Baker is the associate editor for PS Beauty. Her areas of expertise include celebrity news, beauty trends, and product reviews. She has additional bylines with Essence and Forbes Vetted.

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