Does Kylie Jenner Even Understand The Handmaid’s Tale?
“Praise be, ladies!!!”
When it comes to parties, no one knows how to stick to a theme like Kylie Jenner. Last month, for example, she threw a gas station–themed birthday party for her boyfriend, Travis Scott, that came complete with Scott-branded rolls of paper towels and bottles of bleach. And that was low-key compared to StormiWorld, the full-fledged theme park she built to celebrate the first birthday of their daughter, Stormi Webster, in February.
And then this weekend happened. “You know The Handmaid’s Tale is my favorite show ever. So welcome to Gilead!” Jenner said on Instagram Stories, in a video showcasing how she, for the 22nd birthday of her BFF Anastasia Karanikolaou, had turned her corner of Calabasas into Gilead, the dystopian nightmare for women depicted in the Hulu show. Cut to Karanikolaou laughing and declaring, “Praise be, bitches!”
There’s more, of course. Inside, they found Marthas standing at the ready with trays of refreshments. Clearly, Jenner couldn’t wait for the others to join them in costume: “Okay, get your outfits!” she yelled impatiently, gesturing to hangers of handmaid uniforms, comprising white bonnets and scarlet robes—the latter of which happened to match several of the cocktails on offer, including “Praise Be” vodka and “Under His Eye” tequila. There was even a commander present to rule over the proceedings, which Jenner, naturally, continued to document on Instagram Stories.
Gilead may forbid handmaids from using phones or drinking alcohol, but Jenner’s party seemed to ignore those kinds of pesky rules. Sofia Richie documented as much on her Instagram.
Jenner, Richie, and company aren’t the only ones to wear the handmaids’ uniforms IRL. They are following in a tradition of women across the country who have been doing so in protest since even before the premiere of the Hulu show, which is based on the novel by Margaret Atwood. Published in 1985, Atwood’s tale takes place in a near-future America, which has turned to a system of enslaving and raping women to improve its chances of survival amid a plague of infertility and environmental disaster. Using primary sources such as the Bible and newspaper clippings, Atwood based the book on things that humans have actually done in real life—making the tale all the more relevant for protesters, amid what’s grown to be the largest attack on reproductive rights in the nation’s history.
And yet, all of this seems to be lost on Jenner. She’s not alone in turning to The Handmaid’s Tale at such a pivotal moment, or declaring it to be her “favorite show ever.” But she’s definitely the only one to attempt to turn its narrative about the abuse of human rights into a party theme.
Then again, is that really so surprising? The abortion bans currently making their way through the courts will primarily affect low-income women—not billionaire beauty moguls in Calabasas. Jenner is just fine inside that bubble and will no doubt continue to be—for the moment, shielded from outraged comments by the fact that she kept her posts to her Stories, off her main feed.
Related: The Celebrities Who Have Come Forward About Their Abortions, and Why