Forbes magazine featured Kylie Jenner on its cover for the August issue, deeming her one of the youngest “self-made” soon-to-be female billionaires. While this is a great stride towards the visibility of female business leaders, Kylie’s cover sparked a debate online about what it means to truly be self-made.
“At 21, she’s set to be the youngest-ever self-made billionaire. Welcome to the era of extreme fame leverage,” the Forbes cover reads, acknowledging the privilege of fame that has allowed Kylie’s massive success with Kylie Cosmetics.
Still, many people online still took issue with Forbes’ usage of the term.
“To build a career from scratch is what is truly amazing, Adele, Beyoncé, Taylor, Katy, all these women have made their music to be heard from scratch and have done it better than any “MAKEUP BRAND” fueled by ZERO TALENT and all unworthy fame. So let’s all appreciate REAL TALENT,” tweeted one person.
As Dictionary.com defines it, self-made means, “having succeeded in life unaided.” The website clapped back at Forbes in a tweet for their misusage of it.
Self-made means having succeeded in life unaided.
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) July 11, 2018
Obviously, Kylie was never an underdog. She didn’t pull herself up by her boot straps and suddenly rise to superstardom. She had a little help on the way. But so do tons of young professionals who start their own businesses with the help of their families and friends.
Is Kylie privileged? Of course. But is it her fault that she’s struck gold? I’m not holding it against her.