Forbes Ranked Kylie Jenner as a 'Self-Made' Business Woman—But She’s ~Not~ Self-Made

Forbes recently announced their list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. The list included esteemed billionaire and owner of ABC Supply, Diane Hendricks. Some of the women on the list have us questioning our personal definition of “self-made.” Seeing as Kylie Jenner made it onto the list, we’re basically a live-action version of a Tiffany Pollard GIF—because Kylie isn’t exactly a self-made business owner.

Twitterverse has obviously been furiously commentating on this latest Kar-Jenner clan news–because, well, everyone knows who the Kardashians and the Jenners are, which is why we’re side-eyeing Forbes’ claim that Kylie is a “self-made” businesswoman. IMO, it appears that her fame (which was also her sisters’ fame before she coined the lip kit) contributed to her successful career and that contradicts that whole “self-made” title. Even the dictionary noted and subtweeted Forbes’ decision, by tweeting the definition of “self-made.”

Sure, Kylie Cosmetics has pushed Kylie’s net worth mere pennies away from that elusive billionaire status—and we’re not discounting Kylie’s makeup mogul status because we admire a woman who knows how to invest in her own brand to pocket more cash. However, Kylie didn’t become one of the richest women in America exclusively by her own doing. Much of her notoriety and monetary success came from the respective Kardashian and Jenner namesake.

In 1994—before Kylie could line her lips (and before she was even born)—Kardashian and Jenner (respectively) were already household names. Cosmopolitan reports that the Kardashian name earned its mark on the public radar after Robert Kardashian famously worked as O.J. Simpson’s defense attorney. The Kardashian name-to-fame continued to rise after Kylie’s sister, Kim Kardashian started working for another notorious name: Paris Hilton.

InTouch notes that the Kardashian empire started to bolster after Kim’s notorious sex tape leaked in 2007, which then led to their ongoing, borderline-addictive reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Still, before Kylie was born, her father, Caitlyn Jenner, was a f*cking Olympian athlete and had her own cameo on cereal boxes, as Refinery29 reports. With the collective Kar-Jenner clan’s continuous accolades and achievements, it’s indisputable that everyone knew this family before Kylie conceptualized her cosmetic line in 2016.

By the time Kylie was 15-years-old, Kim was worth approximately $35 million. However, even Kim didn’t really monetize her success without the help of her momager, Kris Jenner. According to Business Insider, Kris oversees all of her six daughter’s careers and business ventures. Without Kris’ transformation from a stay-at-home-mom to mom-turned-manager, the Kar-Jenn fam might not have signed onto such a lucratively extensive television deal with E! Network (and that initial KUWTK success might not have birthed the multitude of spin-offs and endorsements), The New York Times notes.

Because Kylie was only 10 when KUWTK started airing, she was essentially raised with the riches. Kylie was born into wealth and used that preconceived wealth to supplement her business. With the backing of her hereditary fame, Kylie’s billionaire status was practically genetic. Given the momager’s managerial skillset, Kris practically ensured that all her daughters had financial and fame-ridden success, including Kylie.

Constructing a business empire—or any collaborative event—with your family is a noteworthy feat on its own, as it shows that your family is supportive of your goals and they’re willing to go that extra mile to help you achieve your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you’ve had help becoming a business owner or a soon-to-be-billionaire. To label Kylie’s cosmetic dynasty as a self-made venture devalues truly self-made business owners and also makes the term “self-made” seem disingenuous, thus discrediting the success that stems from truly self-made accomplishments. 

Working to the point where you can have enough fluid income/disposable income to invest in a business venture takes time, especially when you’re doing it without the financial backing that you were born with. Thus, why being a self-made business owner is a notable achievement for entirely different reasons.

Aside from the fact that Kylie shouldn't be mocked for working with her family and using her strong relationship with her fam to reinforce her business, erecting the perspective that Kylie Jenner is a self-made businesswoman erases the family component of her success from her personal and professional narrative, which is a beautiful and important part of her story.