Is Kylie Jenner a “self-made” billionaire?

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Kylie Jenner is the youngest self-made billionaire, as reported by Forbes Magazine on March 5. Jenner has made her mark through her makeup company, Kylie Cosmetics, her enormous social media presence, and her relations to the Kardashian-Jenner family. However, many students have debated whether or not Jenner truly is “self-made.”

Kylie Jenner made her first appearance in the public eye when she was only ten years old, being featured in the infamous reality TV show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians. This moment conjoined the Kardashian and Jenner families indefinitely. Sophomore Emily Haffiz believes that this “fame” gave Jenner a foundation.“Her family helped in her journey and gave her a platform in order to launch and promote her business,” she said. Kylie Jenner was just a child at the time of her family’s reality show, but that influence proved to make a mark on the rest of her life.

More specifically, Jenner’s massive presence on social media has brought her to the attention of people of varying ages. As she stated to Forbes Magazine, “It’s the power of social media. I had such a strong reach before I was able to start anything.” Other sources of outreach are her multiple companies, such as Kylie Cosmetics and Kendall + Kylie, her clothing line with sister Kendall Jenner. According to the website for Kylie Cosmetics, the makeup company “is one of the fastest growing beauty brands in the world. Having launched three years ago, Kylie Cosmetics was put on the makeup map…  and changed the face of the beauty industry forever.”

Although the makeup company launched three years ago, the craze behind the products has stuck with the public. Jenner achieved all of this success at the mere age of twenty-one, allowing people question whether she accomplished these milestones alone. The term “self-made” refers to a person who achieved something on their own might without any assistance. This was made extremely clear after Dictionary.com sent out a tweet stating, “Haven’t we gone over this? Self-made: Having succeeded in life unaided.” As a result, people began to question the validity of Kylie Jenner’s new title. In response to Dictionary.com’s actions, sophomore Madison Bitna stated, “It’s a valid way to express their opinion, but I see why people would take it the wrong way, as people rely on it professionally.”

Sophomore Anil Singh stated, “It’s kind of messed up because a big part of the reason [Kylie Jenner] was able to make so much money is because of name recognition and her family. It also says something about society, that we reward people like her with so much money, while teachers, for example, make way less and are in many ways more important to society.”

Like Anil, some believe that although Jenner’s success is record-breaking, her influence over people is too massive in comparison to real-world events that seem to have little effect on today’s youth. According to sophomore Gursimran Singh, “There are bigger and more important issues in the world, like hunger, gun violence, and terrorism.”

Although Jenner received help along the way, her work and success shouldn’t be completely discredited. In many ways, Jenner has worked hard to achieve her brand and reputation. However, to many people across the internet and the world, Kylie Jenner cannot be considered self-made because she has been surrounded by resources and opportunities from her famous family her whole life. As stated by sophomore Xandria Crosland, “A self-made billionaire starts at the bottom and through their own hard work, they climb their way up to success. Kylie started at the top and only pushed the bar up higher.”

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