By Tanielle van der schyff
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 2 of VARSITY News.
What makes Kylie Jenner so deserving of admiration when her success is hardly attributed to her making any sacrifices?
In a society that places far too much emphasis on trivialities, and gives far too little recognition to the necessities, once again, we have failed ourselves. Kylie Jenner has been labelled the “youngest self-made billionaire”, and we need to start questioning what we, as a society, consider to be worth our respect and admiration.
— Forbes (@Forbes) March 5, 2019
Self-made is defined as “someone who has become successful and rich through their own efforts especially if they started life without money, education or high social status”. Given her close relation, and thereby association, with the Kardashian title, Kylie Jenner was born in the limelight, giving her a high social status before she could even write her own name. Leading a privileged life, she went to a private school, had money at her disposal and enjoyed all the luxury that came along with it. Since Kylie Jenner certainly did not have a rough start in life, it is necessary to scrutinise this “self-made” label more closely.
The point of contestation is not, I believe, that Kylie Jenner has not put in the time and work that it takes to lift her business off the ground and achieve billionaire status. The issue is that she has not achieved her level of success purely due to her own efforts. In fact, as established, very little of her success can be attributed solely to her “hard work” as most of it comes from her privilege; availability of resources, accessibility of capital and premature popularity.
Say it w me: Kylie Jenner is not self made. A success, but not self made
— Mr. Sankar (@tsankar1997) March 26, 2019
Forbes was definitely far too hasty in slapping on the title of “self-made billionaire”, and it’s necessary to understand why it is that this is so problematic. It is an issue of privilege. There are people – perhaps not billionaires – who start off with far less in life and manage to work their way to the top and lead comfortable, successful lives. Society is slow to recognise and admire this. What makes Kylie Jenner so deserving of admiration when her success is hardly attributed to her making any sacrifices? It’s maybe worth asking ourselves why we place so much value on that which is so insignificant.
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