Why Kylie and Jordyn’s Friendship is Making All the Headlines

The big celebrity news of the week is that Kylie Jenner’s long term best friend and roommate, Jordyn Woods, hooked up with Khloe Kardashian’s boyfriend, who is also the father to her child. Khloe Kardashian is Kylie’s sister, which makes this all the more messy. You don’t exactly get the best friend of the year award for screwing over your BFF’s sibling.

But what’s interesting about the news coverage of the scandal is the focus on the friendship between Kylie and Jordyn, not Khloe’s heartbreak. Usually the victim of a cheating scandal would be given more attention, but celebrity news outlets have been giving just as much, if not more, word count to the demise of the long time bond between Kylie and Jordyn, which included Jordyn moving out of Kylie’s home.

Just as I was wondering why something seemingly peripheral to the larger story of infidelity was given so many headlines, one of my favorite Instagram accounts @kardashian_kolloquium explained the imbalance.

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The Instagrammer wrote, “Female friendship is one of the most powerful forces in the world, and this might be the greatest era for its societal recognition - between social media as a platform (at its best) to convey the beauty of sisterhoods, the ubiquity of a female-centered show like the #kardashians wherein men are fairly incidental, and even the unity among women brought about by #metoo.”

Certainly, female friendships and bonds are more central to the Kardashian circus than the rotation of men employed by the show. Beyond the family’s show, Kylie’s Instagram and Snapchat often featured her and Jordyn getting ready together, going out, or just chilling at home. It’s rare for such a supportive, fun, and wonderful female friendship to be portrayed. The fact that Jordyn was not another skinny, boring socialite added to the importance of their friendship. While she is a model, she works primarily for plus-sized clothing brands, and she and Kylie met because they both lived in Calabasas as adolescents - not because some PR manager thought it would be good for them to be seen together at parties and on social media. Above all, their friendship was real.

And, as @kardashian_kolloquium pointed out, Jordyn somewhat humanized Kylie as a regular person who would have a close friend, and not an AI bot that Kris Jenner paid Apple for.  When I recently googled “Jordyn Woods and Kylie Jenner” one of the top results was an Us Magazine article about how the two got matching tattoos just a few years ago. A Cosmopolitan Magazine article was headlined, “Kylie Jenner might not cut Jordyn Woods off amid Tristan Thompson drama, after all.”

 

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It’s interesting how the coverage of their friend breakup sounds an awful lot like the coverage given to breakups between celebrity boyfriends and girlfriends. In almost all the articles about their friend breakup, there is a hopeful and optimistic tone, like maybe they will get back together, maybe this beloved duo will stick together. I think about my own close, long-term female friendships and think about how painful it would be for any of them to be ripped from me due to some interpersonal family melodrama. It’s possible we’re all just thinking about those bonds we have as women, and hate seeing something like this happen. As @kardashian_kolloquium put it, “The memes, jokes, and gossip about Jordyn’s fatal mistake may be because witnessing the sudden end of a publicly authentic sisterhood has us feeling fucked up.”