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For the past couple of years Kendall Jenner has held the title of the highest paid model in the entire world. In 2020 alone, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians alum managed to rack in a whopping $22.5 million. Throughout her career, Jenner has worked with the best designers, walked in exclusive shows, and had amazing brand partnerships. However, there are plenty who feel that the model has not truly earned all the success and acclaim that she has achieved.

model Kendall Jenner wears a grey vest and black slacks while walking in Los Angeles
Kendall Jenner | Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

It’s no secret that Jenner comes from a famous family. Between her parents and her siblings, the 25-year-old has had access to wealth and fame her entire life. In fact, there are many who believe that the only reason Jenner has the modeling career that she does today is thanks to her family being well-connected. But Jenner denies that nepotism played a role in her career. In fact, she believes that her family’s intense fame only made breaking into the modeling industry harder.

Kendall Jenner doesn’t think nepotism helped her become a model

During the reunion for Keeping Up with the Kardashians Jenner responded to those who felt that her success as a model was thanks to her famous family. “I think, you know, everyone around me whether it’s friends or family knows how hard I worked and still work,” the reality TV star declared. “And I did everything that I was supposed to do, had to do, to get to the position that I’m at now as a model. I went to every single casting and ran all over not only New York city but also all over Europe trying to, you know, get a job and make my way.”

Continuing on, Jenner shared that, yes, Keeping Up with the Kardashians gave her a platform and a fanbase, but that didn’t make breaking into modeling easier for her. “Of course, I had a platform and I never took that for granted and I always knew that that was there but that almost made my job a little bit harder,” she shared. “Only because people, you know, probably didn’t want to hire me because I was on a reality TV show.”

The 818 tequila founder banned her mom and sisters from coming to her early fashion shows

Continuing on, Jenner shared that she actually did whatever she could to distance herself from her family when she was first pursuing a modeling career. She purposely went by her first and middle name and banned her family from coming to shows. “She actually wouldn’t allow us, as a family, to go to any of the fashion shows and sit front row because she didn’t want to be distracted,” Kris Jenner declared.

“I took my last name off of my name on like all of my modeling cards so that I was taken completely seriously,” Kendall declared. “I mean I literally like went to like the middle of nowhere castings like I definitely worked my way to where I am now. I think it’s just a perception that people have that I just was like ‘Give it to me’ and I had it. It definitely was not that.”

‘KUWTK’ fans cite moments where Kendall’s family helped further her modeling career

While Kendall may have worked hard to become a well-known model, it’s a little naive to think that nepotism didn’t have a hand in her success. In fact, fans of Keeping Up with the Kardashians can even recall instances when Kris used her connections to help further Kendall’s career.


Kendall Jenner Is Not a Supermodel According to Critics

“She literally just admitted to getting modeling jobs because her mom did her magic to make it happen,” one person commented on Instagram. “Did she forget that we watched the show where Kris got her iconic super models teaching her daughter how fo walk like Naomi Campbell and professional cat-walker J Alexander. Kendall didn’t even audition for the job at Victoria Secret yet received it. A bunch of models have said the same thing that she gets special treatments. She has the same boring facial expression and can’t walk at least Bella and Gigi managed to improve.”

While it may be true that Kendall had to work harder to be taken seriously given her family and their reality show, their money, connections, and influence likely helped her career a lot more than it hurt.