Why Are People Freaking Out About Kylie Jenner Being Called ‘Self-Made’?

According to reports, Kylie Jenner is a billionaire. More than that, Jenner is the youngest “self-made” billionaire in the world. Even Mark Zuckerberg was older than Kylie when he became a billionaire. Now, everyone is getting crazy about the title “self-made.” So let’s take a look at what “self-made” means.

Is Kylie Jenner is self-made?

Kylie Jenner
Kylie Jenner | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says the term means:

Made such by one’s own actions, or having achieved success or prominence by one’s own efforts. In the revised edition of Webster’s Dictionary of 1864, this note appeared: a self-made man [or in this case woman, right?], is a person who has risen from poverty, ignorance, or obscurity, to wealth, learning, fame, or power, by means of his own talents or energies, and without the aids by which a result is usually obtained.

Jenner, who is currently 21, is founder and owner of Kylie Cosmetics, a three-year-old business that saw approximately $360 million in sales in 2018.

However, social media input is saying that Kylie did not pull herself up by her bootstraps. This youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan did have a couple of leg-ups that must have helped her achieve her success, such as:

  • Being part of the well-known, wealthy, connected Kardashian-Jenner family
  • Starring on Keeping Up with the Kardashians
  • Being a famous model
  • Having an enormous social media following

On the other hand

Kylie Jenner, at the age of 21, is the CEO of a makeup business that has dominated the cosmetics industry and seems to know exactly what she is doing. Kylie Cosmetics belongs 100 percent to Kylie. And it was Kylie who successfully negotiated and partnered with Ulta, a chain of beauty stores that carry cosmetics, skincare brands, fragrances, and hair care products in stores that always include a salon.

Jenner launched her brand in 2015, and as she added each new product to her collection, every unit sold out in record time. Her $29 lip kits sold out in Ulta stores across the nation and earned plenty for the Ulta organization.

Yes, Kylie had a massive social media network, but it was Kylie who managed it, kept it fresh, and engaging. Jenner does not seem to shy away from hard work and has spent many hours developing, improving, and researching her cosmetics line.

In 2015, Time Magazine chose Kylie as one of the most influential teens of that year. An article in Allure in 2016, pointed out that Jenner has what she has now because of a relentless work ethic.

Is anyone self-made?

Here’s what Forbes  Magazine had to say about self-made individuals. Self-made can also mean building a company or establishing a fortune on his or her own, instead of inheriting the fortune. The magazine further explained that the term “self-made” is very broad. Forbes came up with a scale for ranking how self-made a business person actually is. Oprah Winfrey, for example, was born poor and overcame many challenges.  Her Forbes self-made score was a 10. Jenner, however, who had the benefit of her family’s wealth and celebrity, scored a 7.

Forbes officials said they gave Kylie the self-made billionaire title because Jenner wholly owned the Kylie Cosmetics company, valued at $900 million. That amount, along with her salary from Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and her media engagements, bring her holdings up to the billion dollars levels.

A few facts about “self-made” billionaires:

  • Warren Buffet is the son of a congressman.
  • Mark Zuckerberg was born to a psychiatrist and a dentist.
  • Jeff Bezos started his business with a $100,000 “investment” from his mom and dad and was vice-president of D.E. Shaw & Co. on Wall Street.

Maybe everyone should take a long, deep breath and give Kylie a thumbs-up.