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Rising Voices

King Kylie’s Kloset

Sacai velvet bomber jacket—$1,890.00. Rag & Bone leather pants—$1,095.00. Hermès crocodile Birkin bag—$69,950.00. Chanel mesh and lambskin sneakers—$1,000.00. Total—$73,935.00. And that’s just an average “going out for lunch” outfit for Kylie Jenner, the social media mogul and “lip kit” extraordinaire.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past couple years, you’ve probably heard of the youngest member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan who’s made a name for herself by having the 8th most followed account on Instagram, and a cosmetics brand that sells out in minutes. She’s been in the public eye since she was just 11 years old because of her family’s reality television show: Keeping Up with the Kardashians. In this context, viewers have seen her mature from an energetic and mischievous child to an extremely successful and independent young woman. As her entrepreneurial pursuits have thrived, so has her wealth. Jenner reportedly made around $18 million in 2016 alone, with profits coming in from her Kylie Cosmetics company, endorsement deals with fashion brands, her personal lifestyle app and game, and appearances on the family show.

There’s nothing wrong with making a lot of money. Honestly, I admire Jenner and her family for building up their empire from scratch, and becoming a modern-day royal family. And, as Kylie is only about two years older than me, I can only dream of what it would be like to be so successful at such a young age. However, I think what shows a lot about a person’s character is how they use their money. I am a big believer in the theory that a dollar is like a vote. When you buy any item, you’re supporting them financially, as well as endorsing them and promoting their platform. And, in my opinion, an overly expensive bag that costs as much as a college education, in addition to being made from a reptile that was killed for its skin, isn’t something that should be supported. Not only is it a shameful display of wealth in my opinion, but I could riddle off a dozen more companies and organizations that need that money more than Hermès.

This isn’t to overlook the charity work in which Jenner has participated. She’s donated all the profits from her lipstick shade “Smile” to the organization Smile Train, a charity that provides free cleft lip repairs to children in developing countries. So far, Jenner has raised nearly half a million dollars for Smile Train. However, her extravagant lifestyle makes me shy away from looking as favorably upon her generous acts. As a celebrity, she has the responsibility of being a role model for the many admirers who look up to her. Instead of taking the opportunity to use her platform to advocate for philanthropic deeds and social justice, she contributes to a material-obsessed culture by promoting a high-price lifestyle.

This topic of how money is spent is something that has come up recently in conversations with my classmates. When I see my friends walking down the halls in Canada Goose jackets that cost around $1000, it truly makes me uncomfortable. Should there be a maximum limit for the amount that you can spend on a single item? I’m not sure. People have every right to spend their money as they see fit. However, I think too often people blow large amounts of money on items they don’t really need without thinking about it all, without considering for a second that there are more worthwhile things they could use the money for.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be allowed to have nice things, but people should be more conscious of what they’re spending their money on. People tend to think young girls are self-absorbed and materialistic, but many of us, from celebrities to average kids, are coming together and using our voices for good, while still incorporating a love for fashion. For example, Emma Watson often shares the details of her outfits in the captions of her Instagram posts. She writes about her clothes and accessories that are eco-friendly and promotes companies that are helping the greater good. I encourage Kylie, with her enormous influence, to do the same. Now the issue is that I can’t shake a feeling of guilty hypocrisy for buying a pair of Lululemon leggings last week. I guess we all have some work to do!

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How to cite this page

Olsberg, Eden. "King Kylie’s Kloset." 28 February 2017. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on June 26, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/risingvoices/king-kylie-s-kloset>.

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