Teenage role models have always been scandalous. Think Marilyn. Think Madonna. And now, halfway into 2016, on the top of the controversial teenage role model heirarchy reigns not one over sexualized barbie doll, but a whole family of them: the infamous Kardashians. Distastefully (although, on some shallow pop-culture level, truthfully) dubbed "America's first family", Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall, and Kylie (and Rob, but who counts Rob?) have significantly molded a generation's perception of beauty, whether we like it or not.
Decades from now, people will question why we thought heavily contoured faces and surgically enhanced asses were the thing, but right now, they're in, brought on by a cluster of (mostly) half-Armenian sisters with an unmistakable love for hair extensions, spray tans, and plastic surgery.
The youngest of them being none other than nineteen year old Snapchat Queen Kylie Jenner. Known for her pencil-thin lips that she notoriously over plumped to launch a successful makeup line, Kylie is a phenomenon that's famous for being famous. Most media outlets can't go a day without talking about her. Magazines like Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Elle have featured her on their covers. Young girls across the world look up to her, aspiring to be her.
The question on the table being: Why? Kylie is as talentless and vapid as California-native socialites come. She has the perpetually melancholy face of a thirty five year old woman and the depressing personality to go along with it. She's dating rapper Tyga, who addressed their relationship with his unsuccessful track "Pleazer", which (embarrassingly) says it all.
I won't go as far as to say that all of the Kardashians/Jenners are as unworthy of recognition as Kylie. Kim Kardashian, for as controversial as she is, at least had a sex tape. That’s a weird way to think about it, I guess, but follow me, here: Kim Kardashian built a multimillion-dollar
brandempire off of shaking her ass and having someone’s genitals in her mouth for the entire world to see on the internet. Show me one other person that has successfully maneuvered her way around a tarnished reputation in the public eye so skillfully that they’ve managed to go from porn star to A-list celebrity. You can’t. So, allow me to give credit where credit is due because Kim, before she’s anything else, is a businesswoman. Every breath that she takes is sponsored, and every decision that she makes (including naming her first born child after a continental direction) reflects the conscientious skill set of a mastermind.
But her youngest sister? Try watching an interview of her without losing brain cells. She is not smart. She is not stimulating. She isn't, under the pounds of makeup and surgical alterations, pretty. So why are we aspiring to be, out of all the celebrities, Kylie Jenner? Why is she the plastic-surgery-gone-wrong face of our generation?
What life comes from having an unnaturally large ass and gorgeous hair and fifteen thousand dollar lips? Superficial men? Sponsorships from clothes sold on Instagram? Good selfies? Are we hoping and praying and pining over a misguided teenage girl so desperately because we want thousands of likes and followers on a photo app that wasn’t even around a few years ago? Please tell me what would come from being like Kylie, because I genuinely would like to know.
Please tell me how embodying the youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan would contribute to society, help the poor, or change the world in any way. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist who has been fighting for female education rights since her near-death experience, is the same age as Kylie. She has made a tremendously significant impact on the world and we have not put her on any of our magazine covers. We do not cover her day-to-day work and support it at the obsessive rate we support Kylie's overpriced Lip Kits. Why not? What's wrong with this picture, America?