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Kylie Jenner is a Billionaire, Just Not a Self-Made One

On Tuesday, Forbes announced that at only 21-years-old, Kylie Jenner is officially the youngest self-made billionaire ever. Her company, Kylie Cosmestics, has been selling out since she launched the venture in 2015. Since gaining a distribution deal with Ulta in 2018, Jenner's path to billionaire status has happened so fast because she owns 100 percent of Kylie Cosmetics. Basically, sis is securing the bag and has no plans on letting up. While this a major accomplishment for the beauty mogul and reality TV star, she isn’t at all self-made billionaire as Forbes claims.

Image Credit: Forbes

By definition, self-made means having succeeded in life unaided. The word is used to describe people who have become successful and rich through their own efforts, especially if they started life without money, education, or high social status.

Based on this definition, Kylie Jenner is only a billionaire, not a self-made one. She was born into wealth based on her father, Bruce Jenner, and his time as an Olympian. Not only did she have old money, her sister, Kim Kardashian, gave her new money once her sex-tape scandal with Ray J leaked in 2003 landed her a reality television show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Image Credit: Hayu

Granted, most of us don’t succeed in life unaided. Majority of the time our parents, friends, family, or mentors help push us in the right direction or puts you in contact with someone who can take you to the next level of your journey, whatever it is. But what bothers me the most about Forbes declaring Kylie Jenner “self-made” is the fact that she’s been offered opportunities working Millennials just don’t have access to. Because of her last name and mother’s ex-husband’s name, companies and clothing designers such as Balmain and Puma want to work her and will give her the space to do whatever she wants. Tomorrow, she could say “I want to make notebooks” and I guarantee you Five Star will come knocking at her door.

Image Credit: Kylie Cosmetics

If I wanted to start my own make-up line, I’d have to drain my entire savings, apply for a loan from the bank, hope the bank approves me for the loan, and pray someone will invest in the product I’ve made. It would possibly take me years to do what Kylie did in less than a year just simply because I don’t have access to the funds or the right people as she does.

Celebrities such as would be Jay-Z, Diddy, and social media socialite Supacent would be considered self-made. Even Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, is somewhat self-made. They are the examples that if you continue to work hard and sometimes go without pay that you can be truly successful and have a dream come true.

Now, I’m not knocking down anything Kylie Jenner has done for herself. She’s made a huge beauty empire at such a young age that is commendable. But Forbes and other media outlets should consider highlighting people who are truly self-made, who have come from nothing and fought hard to be given opportunities that are literally handed to people like Kylie Jenner.

Image Credit: The Blemish

Forbes can include Kylie Jenner on the list of young billionaires, just not the self-made list. As I’ve said, you can’t be self-made when you’ve been granted access to things most working-class Millennials don’t have access to.

It’s time to stop labeling Kylie Jenner as such.

Dominique is a 2018 graduate of SCAD Atlanta, where she received her MFA in Writing, and a chapter advisor for Her Campus. She hails from Greensboro, NC and is a proud HBCU grad from the illustrious Winston-Salem State University. When Dominique is not writing, she teaches it. She is all about writers being their authentic selves, even if it makes other people uncomfortable.
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