Whenever I feel down about my life, I look at the comment section of online news articles. Because, even if I think my life is going downhill, I can always find comfort in knowing that I’m not an old, white person who likes to angrily comment and scream into the Internet.
Recently I found myself in the depths of a New York Fashion Week Facebook post. A commenter, whose profile picture was giving me a glammed-down, recently-divorced Kate Gosselin vibe, was very upset that supermodel Kendall Jenner was so involved in this year’s fashion week. She claimed that Jenner was only there because of her family name and didn’t deserve to have a spot on the runway.
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This TLC-reality-star wannabe was overly concerned about the 19-year-old’s rapid career advancement, and for no reason. Jenner isn’t the only person in the world who has gotten somewhere through her name and connections. Literally everyone uses their personal connections to help their careers, and there is no reason to bully Jenner for doing just that.
Jenner has taken the modeling world by storm. Just last week, she walked for Givenchy, Diane Von Furstenberg, Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week. And in the past, she’s been the face of Fendi, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy and Balmain. And to top it all off, Forbes just named Jenner 2015’s 16th-highest-paid model.
No, Jenner would not have reached this level of success at 19 if she was born into a random, middle class family, but she wasn’t. Jenner is the daughter of a world-famous Olympian and a fame-hungry vampire. There is no universe where she wasn’t going to grow up to be a household name.
Jenner has even said that her name almost killed her modeling career. “I had to work even harder to get where I wanted because people didn’t take me seriously as a model because of the TV show,” Jenner said in an interview with LOVE magazine. “It was great when people didn’t recognize me. I was like, ‘Thank you. Please don’t recognize me.’”
Model Arisce Wanzer wrote an open letter to Jenner last year talking about the struggle of getting to fashion week. She said many aspiring models go broke trying to book gigs and they have a generally terrible time trying to make it in the fashion world. To her, it’s unfair that a “reality TV star” didn’t face the same struggles.
While, yes, it’s terrible that many models have to work so hard just to try and live their dreams, that struggle is the same for any industry. No matter the job, some people are going be excluded because others used their connections to nab the position, especially in arts and entertainment.
Many potential actors didn’t get jobs because of celebrity children like Jaden Smith, Miley Cyrus and Kate Hudson and no one blames them for it. Celebrity children turned models like Lily Collins, Georgia May Jagger and Sophie Dahl took many jobs away from aspiring models, but no one is writing them open letters. Liza Minnelli wasn’t the subject of these letters 40 years ago, so why are we just now deciding to hate celebrity children?
Unlike her sisters, who will just slap their name on products, take butt selfies and inject too much of what I assume is expired Crisco into their lips, Jenner is actually building herself up with talent. She isn’t just a random reality star who needed a hobby. She wouldn’t have made it this far in the industry already if she wasn’t excelling at her job.
Jenner has already proved herself in the fashion world; she doesn’t need to prove herself to these Facebook moms. So, to online commenters like the low-rent Kate Gosselin, I say please quit your full-time job of being terrible and let Jenner live her life. She’s using her connections and doing what anyone else would do in her situation. Leave the girl alone and go back to making poor hairstyle choices.