How Kylie Jenner Became the Most Famous Kardashian in 2015
Back in the early aughts, Kylie Jenner was a an awkward preteen with the unfortunate contractual responsibility of living out her entire adolescence on syndicated episodes of the hit reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians. But faster than you can say, “I don’t get it, what’s contouring,” Jenner started distinguishing herself from the pack. In spite of stiff competition from Vanity Fair coverwoman Caitlyn Jenner, Saint West-bearing Kim, and supermodel sis (and wildcard gay icon?) Kendall, Kylie Jenner has emerged from 2015 as arguably the most famous Kardashian in all of Calabasas.
We decided to chart Jenner’s transformation from everyday caterpillar to athleisure butterfly through a list of her most click-worthy power moves. While the rest of the world’s 18-year-olds were busy filling out college applications and trying to lose their virginity, Kylie nurtured one of the largest social media fan bases in the world, all without breaking a single acrylic talon. Really puts Rob’s one business endeavor—a high-end sock line—into perspective.
1. Lip Kit
If there’s an undeniable component to the Kardashian genetic code, it’s the ability to monetize one’s best assets. From Kim’s sex tape to Kendall’s high-fashion career, the Kardashians taught the world that beauty isn’t just a prerequisite for fame—it can be a synonym. Ever since Kylie’s meteoric rise, fans have been gossiping about her abnormally plump pout (if you’ve never done a YouTube search for #KylieJennerLipChallenge, now would be a great time to start). One big lip injection reveal later, Kylie stans are still set on achieving her Bratz-level look. Cue the Kylie Jenner lip kits: three shades of matte lipstick and lip liner sets that promised to give ravenous consumers that “just injected” glow. Unsurprisingly the makeup line, which Jenner hyped on her various social media accounts, sold out a mere 30 seconds after its launch, ensuring that the only thing thicker than Kylie’s lips is the fat stack of cash she’s sitting on. It takes a smart woman to start any successful business, but a true visionary to slap some drugstore lip liner and lipstick together and sell it to millions like its the second coming.
2. Turning 18
Ladies and gentlemen, our national crisis is over. No longer will we, a union of oversexualized E! lovers, have to google Kylie Jenner’s age only to find that she is technically a minor. The days of being creeped out by Kylie and Tyga’s statutory romance are long gone—now that Kylie is finally 18, we can finally go back to being weirded out by all the other objectively icky aspects of the Kyga affair. Which brings us to…
In a family where sexual maturation looks more like Playboy photoshoots and Pornhub debuts than fooling around in a suburban basement, it can be hard to find an appropriately spectacular way to celebrate one’s first forays into womanhood. When faced with this Kardashian konundrum, Kylie pulled out some big guns: Why not pursue her first serious, public relationship with a semi-accomplished, semi-bankrupt rapper eight years her senior? Why not throw in a kid and an outspoken baby mama (the better to Instagram beef with)? Through a series of ups and downs, celebrity super couple Tyga and Kylie have proven that the couple that wants to be together for publicity reasons, stays together. And while it might be weird, at least it’s not illegal… anymore.
4. A Swan-Like Transformation
One day Kylie Jenner looked in the mirror, and she was all like, “No thank you! I want to look completely different.” It’s an inspirational story for the rest of us idiots who thought the key to self-acceptance was inner beauty and self-confidence when, in fact, its actually just building a completely new body and face over the crappy set that fate dealt you. With her beloved waist trainer, Jenner aspires to instill the unattainable beauty standards of a 19th century debutante in a generation of 21st century tweens and teens. Why have an unbroken ribcage when you can have an hourglass figure?
But trading in your natural physique for an overemphasized Coke bottle is just the tip of the iceberg. Jenner has made artificial the new natural, from her closet full of brightly colored wigs to the cheekbones she has painted on her face every morning. Thanks to Jenner, a nation of impressionable young women are learning that it’s OK to have curves and traditionally non-white features—as long as you have a perfect waist, flat stomach, striking bone structure, full lips, and Pocahontas hair. Yay?!
This September, all of the Kardashian sisters decided to launch subscription apps. Needless to say, the world was not prepared. For the low, low price of $3 a month, fans gained unprecedented access to Kylie’s world—from watching her absentmindedly stare at her iPad for huge blocks of time while ignoring her loved ones to watching her try—and fail—to pick a grape out of a bowl with her ludicrously pointy fake fingernails. This that shit we do like, as evidenced by the fact that Kylie’s app sales quickly outranked her sisters.’ Apptopia estimates that in its first five days, more than 1.5 million users downloaded the Kylie app, which is slated to make $15 million in its first year. Not a bad showing for the youngest Kardashian.
With her covetable wardrobe of skintight leggings, push-up sports bras, and flashy kicks, Kylie Jenner has helped to usher in the golden age of athleisure. While street style brats in Hood by Air might be more fashion world friendly, Jenner’s influence on the sartorial zeitgeist is undeniable. From Calvins peeking out of boyfriend jeans to the new Nike renaissance, who knows what great trends we might have missed out on were it not for the social media queen. Were it not for Kylie, wearing workout clothes in social settings and in Instagram selfies may have never made it to the masses. Imagine the horror of investing in a pair of amazing, ass-emphasizing Lululemons that you could only wear when you were actually exercising!
Of course, any comprehensive list of Kylie’s 2015 power grabs has to shout out her scandals. For celebrities, scandals are the secret ingredient to fame and success. Without her talent for leaving a trail of drama and intrigue in her wake, Jenner would be an aspiring YouTube tutorial makeup artist at best. This year alone, Jenner has courted drama in myriad ways: by taunting Tyga’s baby momma Blac Chyna with competitive Instagrams, drumming up social media ire over a wheelchair fashion shoot, getting lip injections, sporting appropriative cornrows, and enabling Terry Richardson. She also revealed herself to be a Chemtrail conspiracy theorist, and told Interview magazine that she doesn’t “really find happiness within materialistic things” since she literally has everything.
Oh, Kylie. Never change.