Critics blast Forbes for anointing Kylie Jenner a future 'self-made billionaire'
Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Wednesday, July 11, 2018 2:07PM EDT
Kylie Jenner’s Forbes magazine cover appearance is receiving a rough reception online, with many taking exception to the publication’s claim that the 20-year-old reality star turned beauty entrepreneur is on the cusp of becoming “the youngest self-made billionaire ever.”
Jenner’s 100-per-cent ownership stake in her Kylie Cosmetics makeup brand is worth US$800 million, according Forbes’ valuation. The magazine estimates Jenner is conservatively worth $900 million, once her TV earnings and endorsement deals are accounted for.
The lengthy Forbes feature goes so far as to suggest Jenner’s work from her mom’s kitchen table is akin to the way Hewlett and Packard made the household garage a famous backdrop for entrepreneurial innovation.
“What her half-sister Kim Kardashian West did for booty, Jenner has done for full lips,” Forbes author Natalie Robehmed writes. “She has leveraged her assets to gain both fame and money. But while her sister is best-known for the former, Jenner has proved adept at the latter. In historic fashion.”
It’s not the arguably lofty comparison to a Silicon Valley tech giant founded in garage, or even the parallels drawn between her rise on social media and that of U.S. President Donald Trump, that seem to have outraged many online. It’s the assertion that Jenner’s business success is truly “self-made.”
“Kylie Jenner is ‘self-made,’ according to Forbes, so Kim K. must be ‘a natural beauty,’” Thor Benson tweeted on Wednesday.
“I give credit when it’s due so s/o (shout out) to Kylie Jenner but Forbes knows damn well that girl ain’t self made lmao,” another Twitter user added.
"I'm going to assume anyone who thinks Kylie Jenner is a self-made billionaire must also believe Trump when he says he started it all with a 'small loan,'" another commentor added.
Similar tweets continue by the hundreds, taking aim at the reality television stardom Jenner gleaned from “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and her massively famous half-sister Kim Kardashian West. Exposure, they say, undoubtedly explains how she was able to amass a fortune by tapping into a young consumer base eager to mimic their idols.
Of course, there is a divergence of opinions about the latest Forbes cover. The less-vocal opposition praised the business acumen Jenner has demonstrated at such a young age.
“Congrats to @KylieJenner on the cover of @Forbes. How major!,” tweeted Anthony Dominic. “Always bet on yourself!!”
“Miss Kylie jenner is about to become the youngest billionaire ever. Say what u want about her, but she saw an opportunity and took it. And turned it into an empire. Compared to her other sisters, she’s a businesswoman and she deserved to be on that Cover of Forbes,” wrote another Twitter user.
Perhaps the take-away here is that members of the “Kardashian-Jenner industrial complex,” as described by Forbes, will do what they have always done -- make money and cause controversy.