I am a big sister to 8 brothers and 1 sister. I will proudly admit that I am FIERCELY protective of my little sister. She is twelve years old, and going through a really tough period in any girl’s life. At that age, we all start comparing ourselves to each other and our role models, wishing we looked that way or this way and thinking that we were just never going to be as pretty as those other girls we knew or saw in magazines and on the television. That idea scares me, because I know that the media can manipulate people by both praising and criticizing celebrities, and that the praise or criticism we see has a much larger effect on the consumers, like my little sister, than it does on the celebrity. So, this is where Kylie Jenner comes into play.
So, today, I posted a picture on instagram that I used to illustrate the drastic transformation that Kylie Jenner has undergone in the past year. This is way more than just puberty, people. This 17 year old girl isn’t even recognizable anymore. I never know what she’s going to turn up looking like next. Not to say that she’s ugly or not beautiful, but my issue is not with her, but with the media.
I remember growing up with this idea that Emma Watson was the image of sheer perfection, and I wanted more than anything to be like her. But there is a world of differences separating Emma Watson and Kylie Jenner. Kylie Jenner is a rich celebutant, who became famous for being famous, and now using that as a platform for her new ventures. I respect her attempts to branch out and go on her own entrepreneurial endeavors. Emma Watson, on the other hand, is a successful actress, who attended Brown University and received her Bachelors in English. She is now a feminist activist, and continues to be my role model. What scares me is that I don’t see a role model of this variety for the up and coming generation. These kids don’t know what a good role model looks like, because they’re being exposed to this sexed up version of beauty and seemingly aren’t aware of the wonderful role models that we can all aspire to be like. Emma Watson is still my role model, because she is a powerful individual who is sending a great message to anyone who will listen. She worked her ass off to get where she is today, and is letting nothing stand in her way.
Kylie Jenner, on the other hand, is seen (allegedly) dating 25 year olds, partying on the weekends, posting nearly nude photos of herself… the list goes on. I am fearful of what this next generation will become, when all they have to look up to is rich girls with big houses, nice cars, and “perfect” bodies. I never wanted to be an airbrushed airhead when I was growing up, and I am most definitely not saying that that is what Kylie Jenner is. I am most furious at the media for portraying her in a very vain and materialistic way, when they have an opportunity to speak more highly about her successes in the business and fashion world. I understand that Kylie is trying to create her identity, because she has a lot to live up to. Even her older sister, Kendall, is shockingly successful in a very public way with her big splash into the fashion world. So, it is understandable why Kylie would want to make herself stand out and be someone that will catch the world’s eye. However, I don’t want my little sister seeing that Kylie Jenner is getting all of this positive attention from boys and then decide that she aspires to have a big butt with a stick thin waist and huge breasts and lips to top it all off. I’m pretty sure Kylie has also had a nose job. Oh, but remember, that’s all just “makeup”. (*scoff* Trust me. I’m pretty good with makeup, but I could never make myself look like a completely different person with it. There’s some collagen in those lips and that nose was hand crafted for her face.)
I think Kylie Jenner is a beautiful young woman, who just needed to be told that more often than she ever was. Everyone who ever criticized and made fun of her for her appearance should hold themselves responsible for the way that Kylie has transformed herself, and the media needs to take responsibility for the self-esteem issues triggered in thousands, if not millions of young girls, who grew up aspiring to be Kylie Jenner.