Why We Shouldn’t Be Obsessing Over Kylie Jenner

I’m going to be honest: Before writing this article, I knew practically nothing about Kylie Jenner. I’d recognize her name in headlines and pictures of her lips, but that was pretty much it. What I did know is that the world has some strange fascination with her (mostly because of how she looks, to my understanding). However, to gain a deeper understanding of this strange fascination with a young celebrity, I decided to do a little research to find out more about her, and to tell you why I think we shouldn’t be obsessing over her.

The single most important reason I can give you: Obsessing over Kylie Jenner is actively objectifying a teenage girl.

objectification (tr.v.) ob·jec′ti·fi·ca′tion: to treat (someone) as an object rather than a person.

We often forget that no matter how rich and famous they are, people are people. And people should never have to feel like an object put on display for the rest of the world to critique. As a culture, we seem to have no shame in criticizing the appearances of young women, especially those in the media.

Kylie made headlines when she admitted to receiving lip injections in 2015 (the fact that she was even put under fire for choosing to alter her appearance is another issue altogether). The International Business Times reported that the star said in an interview, “I have temporary lip fillers–it's just an insecurity of mine and it's what I wanted to do. I'm just not ready to talk to reporters about my lips yet because everyone always picks us [the Kardashians] apart.”

In her Daily Beast article The Oversexualization of Ariel Winter and Kylie Jenner: Why Teens Are Getting Cosmetic Surgery, Amy Zimmerman asks: “We can deplore the fact that Jenner has the cash and the freedom to pursue cosmetic alterations, but can we really blame a teenage girl in the public eye for feeling bad about the way that she looks? Isn’t this brand of self-’improvement’ the predictable conclusion to the hypercritical, superficial (and super-public) ways in which we interact with these precocious celebs?”

Of course, there are those of us who obsess over her for reasons other than what she flaunts on Instagram. Her successful career, her makeup game and her snapchat stories are all pretty good reasons to have a low-key (or maybe a very high-key) celebrity crush. But for most of the world, the infatuation with Kylie Jenner stems from the unfortunate level of comfort with objectification our society has reached.

I don’t think we, as a society, have realized how terrifying it must be for a teenager to constantly be under intense observation by the entire world. Whether we’re gushing over how gorgeous Kylie is or bashing her plumped-up lips, we’re all doing the same thing: putting her under a microscope, zooming in and unabashedly examining her appearance as if she were a painting hanging in a gallery.

No young woman should have to go through that. No matter how rich and famous she might be.