This post is inspired by Can Everyone Stop Hating on Taylor Swift? (from August 2014)
I'm not here to tell you what to do, ladies, but you should really stop hating on Kendall Jenner.
I felt compelled to write about this because so many women give the side eye to Miss Jenner, and it's unsolicited. (Do me proud, KJ and don't mess this up.) Kendall was recently named the face of Estee Lauder. HUGE. One of my top three favorite beauty brands. In just a few short years of modeling, she's working with one of the biggest beauty conglomerates in the world, and I'm sick of reading and hearing, "She's only getting ___________ because of her family."
Many of you probably think, "why would I be bothered to even think of anyone from the Kardashians?" (That's one way to think about it.) Others might say, "I don't like her, but I'm irritated by her."
I'd love explanations for both, only because this young woman is fully relevant in entertainment and fashion. And yes, it might be because her family "knows people," and she got her start as a reality star, but let me break a few things down here.
Reality wasn't their choice.
When Kendall and Kylie appeared on the show, you know how old they were, right? They were 12 and 10. They were barely old enough to have periods. In fact, they didn't — Khloe even talked to them about what would happen when they did go through their menstrual cycle during an episode. (Can't imagine having that out in the world.)
While I'm sure Kris and Bruce asked the girls if they were okay being on the show, it's not a cognitive choice you can make when you're that young. There are plenty of things that happened in my family around that age that I'm just now understanding and finding out about. They might have understood they were being filmed, but it wasn't their show — it was their older half-sisters'. Point being? Many of you are disgusted with this family because you believe they strive to be famous and in the news without any actual talent, since it was their choice to make a reality show after the infamous sex tape was released. Just remember it wasn't Kendall and Kylie calling the shots on that. And, not to mention, they'd probably get similar opportunities without the show, given their father is Bruce Jenner.
Everyone knows someone.
By saying that Kendall has gotten to where she is because of her family? Sorry, Felicia, but that's a moot point. Everyone knows someone, whether it's through their family or themselves. Some of your favorite people "knew" someone to get to where they are: Nicole Richie, anyone? At the time of The Simple Life, she was merely Paris's best friend. (I find that Lionel being her dad is way more interesting, but it wasn't enough to get her own show at the time.) You know Kate Hudson? Yeah, Goldie Hawn's daughter? Georgia and Lizzie Jagger's dad and mom probably got them an in somewhere, too. And who can forget Destiny Hope Cyrus? Yes, Billy Ray's daughter, Miley, probably had some pull to get her an interview or audition.
Does this take away the fact that they are talented? Nicole is an amazing businesswoman. (With great style and a hilarious sense of humor.) I have adored Kate since I saw her on the cover of a magazine with her mom, and she is part of some of my favorite films. (Almost Famous!) Georgia May and Lizzie make a great living as models. (Georgia May has modeled for H&M, Chanel and Versace.) And Miley is Miley, but she is talented.
Oh, and one other thing: you know Cara Delevingne? One of the greatest models of the millennial generation? Her godfather is an executive at Conde Nast - the company that publishes Vogue - and her sister, Poppy, is a successful model. Cara's godmother is Joan Collins.
Cara is stunning in every sense of the word. Those brows! That bone structure! She is on her way to supermodel status. But it wasn't like someone found her in a supermarket. (She was friends with the daughter of Storm Models CEO.) She knows people. Sound familiar?
Fashion isn't an easy game to play.
The thing about fashion is this: designers don't hire just anyone. I'm sure they have met many beautiful women through their celebrity friends. They could be tall, thin and made for the runway, but that doesn't mean they're getting fitted in Balmain the next week. You've got to have drive and something special, and just looking at Kendall, you can see that she has model written all over her. The perfect build. Symmetrical face. She could be androgynous if needed.
If they were just giving handouts, and I mean this with no disrespect, then we'd see Kylie or Kim walking in these high-fashion shows. Kylie is gorgeous, but she has commercial appeal, as does Kim, which is why she's the one that many of her fans envy when it comes to hair and makeup.
If you're going to be upset about the Jenner girls getting things due to their family name, get upset about the book they put out, or their collabs with Steve Madden, or the line of hair extensions Kylie has coming out.
Anyone can write a book, anyone can collaborate on a shoe line and anyone can promote extensions. Not saying you don't need talent to write, design or create — you do — but unfortunately, these industries are more forgiving when it comes to the criteria you need to publish or design. There are plenty of talented people out there who will never get their book published. (Sadly). And there will be plenty of untalented writers making millions off their self-published work. In fashion, you must meet certain criteria to walk down that runway or to be the face of a company. There's no gray area.
That being said, if you are irritated with the success of Kendall Jenner, or any other woman for that matter, look inside and ask yourself, "why?" Why does it bother you that this young woman took a chance to achieve her dreams? If anything, she had more to lose, since she is in the spotlight. She does get great opportunities, but she doesn't walk out of every go-see getting book on a job, either.
And, frankly, getting irritated by any woman who is finding success on their own terms is not a cute.