Earlier this month, Kylie Jenner earned the title of world’s youngest self-made billionaire.
There’s no denying that Kylie’s insanely popular cosmetics brand is now valued at over $1 billion — but lots of people have taken issue with the "self-made" part of her new title.
You see, unlike young female entrepreneurs who came by their fortunes honestly — like, say, Elizabeth Bishop of Theranos — Kylie had a lot of help in reaching the ten-figure mark at the ripe old age of 21.
Obviously, that’s an impressive accomplishment regardless of one’s background.
But it’s also not surprising that the world’s youngest billionaire was a child of almost unimaginable privilege.
Not only did Kylie grow up in the sort of affluence that few of us could fathom, her mother and older sisters went all out in their efforts to transform the family name into a global brand.
As a result, Kylie was a fixture in the media before she reached middle school.
Again, we’re sure she put in a lot of hard work, and we’re not questioning her business acumen — but it doesn’t hurt to have a ton of clout with a fan base who’s been watching your every move since childhood.
And Kylie’s family deserves most of the credit for that.
Anyway, the debate over whether or not Kylie is a "self-made" billionaire continues to rage in certain corners of the internet.
And for her new profile in Interview magazine, Kylie decided to tackle the issue head-on:
“I never thought that this could happen. I believed in Kylie Cosmetics but I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into," she told the mag.
"It feels amazing, it’s wild, and being the youngest ever to do it is a blessing. I now want to focus on giving back to people and doing things that I’m passionate about.”
From there, Kylie went on to tackle that pesky "self-made" label:
“There’s really no other word to use other than self-made because that is the truth,” she said.
“That is the category that I fall under. Although, I am a special case because before I started Kylie Cosmetics, I had a huge platform and lots of fans. I did not get money from my parents past the age of 15.
"I used 100 percent of my own money to start the company, not a dime in my bank account is inherited … and I am very proud of that.”
Okay — lots to unpack here.
Kylie deserves credit for admitting she was born into a highly advantageous situation.
And we can see why she would think the fact that none of her wealth is inherited would make her self-made.
But at the same time, without the support network and cushion of vast wealth that she’s enjoyed since birth, Kylie almost certainly not have sky-rocketed to success as a CEO before she was old enough to drink.
Her fans are mostly well aware of this, and the smartest marketing move Kylie could make now would be to disavow the "self-made" label entirely.