After so much back and forth and varying levels of qualifications, Kylie Jenner has, at last, come forward with the truth: No, she is not really, as named by Forbes, “self-made.”
“I can’t say I’ve done it by myself,” Jenner told the New York Times in an interview for a recent story on the Kardashians’ myriad business ventures. “If they’re just talking finances, technically, yes, I don’t have any inherited money. But I have had a lot of help and a huge platform.”
This is, essentially, the same thing Jenner has been saying all along, but framed a little differently. Ever since she was placed on the cover of Forbes last summer, positioned to become the youngest self-made billionaire, Jenner has courted constant questions about what, exactly, that means in the context of a family with money and massive social media followings. The controversy was reignited earlier this year when Kylie Cosmetics pushed Jenner over the billion-dollar valuation mark; since then, she’s expended considerable energy defending her claim to self-made-ness.
“It's the power of social media,” she said in an interview shortly after she made it to billionaire status. “I had such a strong reach before I was able to start anything.” Then, she explained in a subsequent interview with Interview Germany that “there’s really no other word to use other than 'self-made' because that is the truth.”
“That is the category that I fall under,” she went on in Interview Germany. “I did not get money from my parents past the age of 15. I used 100 percent of my own money to start the company, not a dime in my bank account is inherited...and I am very proud of that.” Of course, even Forbes includes the caveat that Jenner had access to certain privileges even before she founded Kylie Cosmetics, which is responsible for the bulk of her wealth—on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least self-made and 10 the most (these things aren’t black and white, you know), Jenner clocks in at, let's say, a 7.
Liam Payne even entered the fray to defend Jenner from Piers Morgan, who wrote on Twitter that Jenner couldn’t possibly be self-made when her “sister made a sex tape.” Jenner might not be self-made in the Oprah Winfrey sense, but Piers Morgan is, as always, still wrong. Thanks for playing.