Most everyone will agree that the path to success is filled with ups & downs. The roads are often paved with times of heartbreak, rejection, criticism, and frustration. However, experiencing these periods of darkness makes the feeling of reaching your goals even sweeter. Take recent breakout star Awkwafina for example: from being fired from her job for creating controversial YouTube videos to a scene-stealing actress on "Crazy Rich Asians" & "Oceans 8," this Asian-American woman has fought hard to get to where she is. In an interview with Teen Vogue, she stated "...we need to take risks. We need to go broke. We need to prove them wrong simply by not giving up."
Celebrities like Cardi B (former stripper), Jay Z (spent his adolescence selling drugs), Leighton Meester (born in a prison cell), and Chris Pratt (lived out of a van for months) are an inspiration to dreamers across the world. They send the message to young kids, poor kids, homeless kids, orphaned kids, & disabled kids that quite literally, anything is possible if you work hard.
I only bring this topic to light because of a recent phrase appearing quite often in the news: "self-made." Kylie Jenner recently graced the cover of Forbes magazine as one of "America's Richest Self-Made Billionaires," followed by honorable women such as Oprah Winfrey, Tory Burch, Madonna, and Vera Wang to name a few. I am not discrediting Jenner's hard work and determination as a makeup mogul whatsoever. It takes a great amount of dedication to create a product you're passionate about, develop your brand, and stay ahead of the trends in doing so.
What I don't agree with is the media portraying these privileged children from wealthy upbringings as entrepreneurial icons.
They technically "had it all" before they had "more of it all." According to Dictionary.com, the definition stands as this:
Self made (adj.)
having succeeded in life unaided.
Sound like Kylie's lifestyle was left "unaided?" Didn't think so.
Though most popular, Kylie is not the only child lucky enough to practically be handed a business card at age three. Her sister Kendall recently came under fire after an interview with "The Love Magazine" regarding her modeling career. She stated, "I was never one of those girls who would do, like, 30 shows a season or whatever the f**k those girls do. More power to 'em." Models in the industry did not let Kendall slide on this one, and quickly clapped back with a few words of wisdom for the famous kid-celebrity.
"'Whatever the f**k those girls do' is do their very best to make their way up AND try to make some money so that they can provide for themselves and their families." -Daria Strokous (model)
"We all are hard working and worked hard to be where we are. Nothing was given to us." -Ginta Lapina (model)
"Models don't just come from Calabasas … they come from Somalia, the Siberian tundra, a rural village in China, a trailer park in Tennessee." -Teddy QuinLivan (model)
Though most famous, the Kar-Jenner clan are not the only stars who falsely identify as "self-made" businesswomen. Their good friend Paris Hilton, heiress of the Hilton Hotels, falls under this category as well. Due to her family name, Paris was able to star in her own reality show, publish an auto-biography, dabble in the music scene, design a fashion line, and of course, model. Had she come from a different background, these opportunities would never have been available to her at such a young age.
Now, this truly is not to dishonor the empire these women, and other successful businesspeople of the same caliber, have crafted over the years. You cannot compare people like Kylie Jenner to those who practically came from nothing and still managed to achieve their goals. Yes, she is a billionaire. Yes, she created a business. But no, she did not do it on her own as the "self-made" woman the media makes her out to be.