Kylie Jenner and the ‘Kardashian Curse’: Men ‘Come and Can’t Handle It’
Kylie Jenner opened up to GQ about co-parenting with rapper Travis Scott, and why so many men in the Kardashian inner circle unravel so spectacularly.
In the past, celebrity unions have been as carefully plotted as marriages between monarchs, arranged by stars/publicists/the Church of Scientology for maximum exposure and success. But these days, A-listers’ passions appear to be ruled by forces outside of their control. Water levels are rising, big dick energy is whipping us all into a frenzied state, and stars are coupling off like it’s the end of days. Between Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s extremely sexual vibe and Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber’s Jesus-approved engagement, it’s easy to forget that Kylie Jenner actually jumpstarted the current celebrity trend of moving way too quickly.
Jenner, like Davidson and Grande, left a serious relationship only to find herself fully committing to someone else shortly after. Of course, in Jenner’s case, the commitment was even more intense than some horny Instagram comments or even a half a million-dollar ring. Not content to shock the world with a quickie marriage, Jenner went and got herself secret-pregnant. Now Travis and Kylie, who were a relatively low-key item prior to parenthood, are reestablishing their coupledom in a big way.
Stormi’s mom and dad are covering the August issue of GQ; more specifically, Kylie Jenner is wearing a bodysuit and straddling Travis Scott in Dior Homme. This is the second cover that Jenner’s debuted this month; you can also catch her in a more office-friendly outfit in the August 31 issue of Forbes, ushering us into “the era of extreme fame leverage.” The Forbes story was widely mocked for crowning Kylie as the soon to be “youngest-ever self-made billionaire,” with valid critiques including the dictionary definition of self-made.
The GQ profile picks up where Forbes left off, hyping up Jenner’s business acumen and praising her vision. Lines like “it’s important to remember that Kylie’s cosmetics business was built by grinding” and “It started with her consistent assault on social media” are a lot less impressive after you plug them into the bullshit to English translator. Jenner, like a lot of millennials, built a personal brand on social media. Jenner, like a lot of celebrities, decided to further monetize her fame with a cosmetics line.
Luckily GQ’s profile isn’t exclusively about Jenner, businesswoman; it covers a wide swath of way less insufferable terrain. The bulk of the story centers around Travis and Kylie’s romantic partnership, and it reveals a lot of new information while also managing to capture some of the relatively private couple’s chemistry. A video in which Kylie quizzes Travis on seemingly rudimentary questions about herself is particularly insightful, and really makes you wonder if Pete Davidson also has no idea how many tattoos Ariana Grande has, or if Justin Bieber has told Hailey Baldwin his parents’ birth names. Find yourself a man who barely knows you! Still, it’s clear that Jenner and Scott really care about each other—she recalls flying out to Houston the day before the interview just so they could settle a fight in person, and he seems ready and able to take on the Kardashian curse for his baby mama.
The Kardashian curse, or kurse, is a rare affliction that seems to affect the majority of men in the Kardashian inner circle. As the female Kardashians constantly reinvent themselves—richer, more famous, more beautiful, and wearing smaller and smaller sunglasses—the men have unraveled, whether that manifests in career setbacks, rehab, or Republicanism. No one, including actual family members and exes, is immune. Recently, the Kardashian curse has gripped Kanye West, who’s transformed from a well-respected artist and truth teller into a Trump supporting tool of the alt-right.
The Kardashians have even publicly discussed the curse. On a 2016 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, off-again on-again Kardashian boyfriend Scott Disick goes on a mission to rid himself of negative energy. In the process, he has multiple heart-to-hearts about the curse; family member’s reactions range from dismissive (Kendall Jenner: “I think Scott is going crazy,”) to incensed (Kim Kardashian: “I’m offended”).
As GQ’s Mark Anthony Green pointed out, a lot of Travis Scott’s fans were worried about the musician entering the Kardashian orbit. But Scott couldn’t be less concerned about “falling victim to the Kardashian Curse,” rejoining, “I don't even be looking at motherfuckers. I don't be looking at shit. Kylie actually likes me for me.” He adds, “I’m not into all the other shit. I don't get involved. I'm over here. Kylie is different.” Jenner seems more game to analyze the rumored phenomenon, and agrees with Green’s hypothesis that some of the Kardashian boyfriends just aren’t built for fame. “That's exactly what it is,” Jenner says. “They come and can't handle it.”
Asked if she’s worried about Scott “burning out,” Jenner replies, “Well, for all the news stories, it's how I get over them so fast. Trav, for example, he's like, ‘Wait...but how do you just get over this?’ He gets more angry about things. It’s not just him. It’s Jordyn [Kylie's best friend] who I’ve seen affected. It’s everyone around us that aren’t used to it. And we’re just like, ‘Oh, that’ll go away in a day.’ I know these stories aren't going to matter, so don’t even let them affect you, you know? I think you're correct. But it’s not just men—it’s friends, it’s people who come and just don’t know how to handle it. It’s the negative. There’s a lot of people who love us, but there’s also a huge handful of people who don’t like us.”
She concludes, “I don’t think [Scott’s] really cool with it, but he deals with it, because we love each other and we have a family. For sure, I know he doesn’t like the attention. That’s why we just go the extra mile to keep our relationship super private, or like, if he has events or something, I won’t come. Because I want him to do his own thing. I want him to be him. I don’t want it to be Kylie and Trav. If people don’t ever see us together, that’s okay with me, because we just do our thing.”
The GQ cover story features Kendall Jenner on the sidelines of an influencer-only basketball game, a Kanye West FaceTime, and a “Stormi chain.” But it also digs deep and manages to find some normalcy, like a bored Scott pacing at their couple’s photoshoot, and Jenner reminiscing about going on tour with Scott to “random cities,” where they could go for hour-long walks without being accosted by paparazzi or fans: “We got to not be who we really were.”