• Savannah Larsen

From the ground up: A debate on whether Kylie Jenner can claim her status as self-made

Kylie Jenner appeared on the cover of Forbes Magazine with the caption that read, “At 21, she’s set to be the youngest-ever-self-made billionaire. Welcome to the era of extreme fame leverage.” The caption answered a couple of questions. Is Jenner famous? Yes. Is she an entrepreneur? Sure. Is she self-made? Maybe, depending on who you ask.

Overall the main argument can be made that she is not in fact a self made billionaire. This would mostly be due to she did not start a business from the ground having access to multiple teams and additional help.

The problem lies within the topic of whether or not Jenner is self-made/On one hand, Jenner was born into a very wealthy and already famous family, making it easy for her to grow and market her business. But on the other hand, she did start a business from scratch with her own ideas.

It comes down to the definition of self-made. According to Webster's Dictionary, self-made means “made by oneself” or “having become successful or rich by one's own efforts.” This is contradictory because Jenner did make the company, which coincides with the “made by oneself definition.” However, she did not become rich and famous from her own efforts. That was established when she “won” the “birth lottery” into a rich and famous family.

According to People Magazine, Jenner has made an estimated $630 million in sales off of her makeup beauty line, Kylie Cosmetics. The rest of her money comes from other profits and endorsements, according to People Magazine. Jenner’s company that makes her self-made is not what pushes her up to “self-made billionaire” status.

In addition, Jenner attributes her success to her millions of social media followers, according to People Magazine. Her own attribution creates an argument against her self-made status because it is her famous family that has given her the upper hand on social media.

However, all of her endorsements and business profits could be the potential reason she is self-made. While she is famous, giving her the advantage over an “average person,” she did build her own brand, giving her the edge to receive these opportunities. Also, she does deserve some credit as there are many people born into famous families who do not make it to billionaire status, or gain as many social media followers.

Jenner's makeup company is doing extremely well. It has surpassed most makeup companies, including her own sister Kim Kardashian’s makeup company, according to Independent. She will likely hit a billion dollars in sales alone, aiding the idea that she is in fact on the rise to being a self-made billionaire.

The most ironic part of all of this, through the estimates of Forbes Magazine, she has made approximately $900 million dollars in total from her career so far. This means it would be wrong to even give her the billionaire title, let alone the self-made billionaire title. However, according to Forbes, she is expected to hit the billionaire benchmark very soon.

Overall, both sides of the debate each have their own individual reasonings and beliefs in Jenner’s multimillion dollar company. While there is no clear answer to whether or not Jenner could be considered for the title of self-made, one thing is for certain, she has a lot of fans. She does, in fact, own one of the fastest growing businesses in the world all at the young age of 21, making her a very successful person overall, not matter what title she is given.

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