Back in September, the 20-year-old purveyor of lip gloss and cultural appropriation turned her sights to making teen pregnancy cool again.
As the youngest Kardashian sister, Kylie Jenner has been an unforeseen success, arguably eclipsing even Kim in social-media influence and general notoriety. Given Jenner’s #impact, not to mention her age, her rumored pregnancy made more waves than Kim’s or Khloé’s, and has been the subject of intense scrutiny ever since. Unfortunately for a legion of Daily Mail reporters, a folder of zoomed-in, grainy images of Jenner in a loose T-shirt does not a pregnancy confirmation make. Despite (allegedly) being due to deliver an (alleged) baby in February, Kylie hasn’t actually confirmed any of this—not on her Instagram, her Snapchat, or her family’s flagship reality-TV show.
Diehard Kylie devotees (and one or two Travis Scott fans, I guess) have all sorts of ideas about how and when Kylie will announce her progeny. One widespread theory held that the Kardashians would reveal a pregnant Kylie on their annual Christmas card. Although the month-long countdown kept tensions high, the 25th came and went without a festive baby bump; in fact, Jenner was entirely absent from the photo shoot.
Over the weekend, the lazy Kylie pregnancy beat (lots of unconvincing social-media “clues,” miscellaneous Travis Scott gossip) was revived when a host of rumors placed Jenner in labor. A handful of social-media users claimed to have seen the elusive lip-kit mogul at Cedars-Sinai hospital, where, they deduced, she had likely come to deliver her Kardashian heir. This happy news was complicated by an army of Kardashian sources that quickly flocked to tabloid outfits trying to squash the story. As “multiple” anonymous tipsters told TMZ, “Kylie isn’t due this month, and she hasn’t gone into premature labor. Rumors began heating up Friday that Kylie had checked into Cedars-Sinai in L.A.—where all the other Kardashian sisters gave birth—but we’re told it’s definitely not true.”
Of course, anyone with a passing knowledge of the Kardashian empire knows that any Kardashian “source” could very well be Kris Jenner in hair extensions with a funny accent. Jenner has a talent for controlling her family’s narrative, and it would make perfect sense for her to try and quell these rumors, buying some time for Kylie’s big news to dominate Sunday and Monday night’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians two-night special—aptly titled “Bun in the Oven.”
Instead, I spent two hours listening to Kris Jenner talk about her earlobe insecurities, culminating in an all-family announcement of Khloé Kardashian’s already-confirmed pregnancy (Kendall and Kylie FaceTimed in, Rob was MIA).
To truly understand the rudeness of this much-hyped two-part special, you have to realize that Kris Jenner spent the majority of the first hour handcuffed to a mime. While this “prank” was exactly as excruciating as you might imagine, it did produce the best quote of the entire episode, courtesy of Khloé: “Being handcuffed to this mime is exactly what my mom needs to get going.” Elsewhere in Calabasas, the Kardashians are using their potent platform to paint Rob as the victim in his custody battle with ex Blac Chyna (you know, the woman who he published revenge porn of on social media).
But back to the real issue at hand: Kris Jenner’s huge, embarrassingly low-hanging earlobes. “Ever since Kim made a comment” about her momager’s lobes, Kris has been out scrounging for flattering earmuffs and strategically placed hair extensions (essentially Payot). Instead of accessorizing like a young Hasidic boy, Kris decides to get her earlobes cut off. Meanwhile, Khloé is feeling sluggish during her workouts and takes a pregnancy test. Or, more likely, Khloé pretends to take a pregnancy test for the cameras. Keeping Up With the Kardashians is shot at odd intervals according to its casts’ busy schedules, and it’s not uncommon to watch a Kardashian anxiously prepare for an event that’s already taken place, or seemingly reenact a dramatic conversation. Still, judging from earlier episodes this season, we can assume that most of this episode was shot in the summer or early fall—at which point Kylie Jenner would already have known that she was pregnant. With that in mind, it’s possible that this episode actually does confirm the rumored pregnancy.
In one scene, Kris Jenner picks up a phone call from a frantic Kylie, who says that one of her employees is surreptitiously trying to take pictures of her. While this is objectively creepy, it would only be a real situation if Kylie had something to hide. “To have somebody in her own home trying to snap pictures they shouldn’t be snapping is really, really stressful,” Kris narrates. “You want to be able to trust the people that you’re surrounded by, but we have to really be on alert at all time, and that’s extremely upsetting when you feel like you can’t be in your own bedroom or bathroom.”
Jenner continued, “I really feel bad for Kylie because there’s always somebody that’s trying to exploit a certain situation.” If, as Kris’s outfit suggests, this scene was shot in late August, the “certain situation” she’s referring to is almost certainly Kylie’s fertility. It’s seeming more and more likely that this is the most overt confirmation Keeping Up viewers will get—even if Kylie hasn’t already given birth, her alleged due date is fast approaching. Now that this “special” episode has come and gone without an announcement, it’s likely that Kylie will eventually break her silence to debut a baby, not a baby bump.