Keeping Up With the Billionaires


Since the very first episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians aired in 2007, people all over the world have been fascinated with them. From their ridiculous antics or their envious lifestyle, people can’t help but be infatuated.

Safia Khan, Photojournalist

Although all the women of the Kardashian-Jenner family have almost always lived a life of luxury, the youngest of the family, Kylie Jenner, has surpassed her famous sisters in wealth as the youngest self-made billionaire.


This came as a shock to many, since Kim Kardashian has always been front and center and perceptively the most successful. However, that all changed on November 30, 2015 when Jenner’s makeup brand, Kylie Cosmetics, launched.The brand was clearly an instant hit when the site crashed within minutes due to too many people on trying to buy products.


When Forbes branded Jenner as the youngest self made billionaire, people had strong opinions. The biggest issue was with the title “self-made.” Many people believe that due to Jenner’s family’s wealth and the popularity of the show that she should not earn the title “self-made.”


Melody Saba (12) believes that “[she] does not believe she should be considered a self made billionaire because a lot of her success stemmed from not her own actions but from connections and the luck she had in being born at the right time into the right family.”


Where did all their wealth come from? It all started when the late Robert Kardashian was a part of the defense team for the infamous O.J. Simpson. Due to his success as an attorney, the Kardashian family has always lived in comfort.


The matriarch of the family, Kris Jenner, divorced Robert Kardashian, whom she had four children with: Kourtney, Khloe, Kim, and Robert Jr. She then married olympian Bruce Jenner, and had two more children, Kendall and Kylie.


Kris Jenner’s second oldest daughter, Kim Kardashian, rose to fame by being linked to stars such as rapper, Ray Jay, and socialite, Paris Hilton. However her and her family became incredibly popular in their own right when Keeping Up With the Kardashians aired in 2007.


Due to the popularity of the show, the sisters eventually ventured out to  create their own businesses. Kim and Kylie both having makeup lines, Kendall being an extremely successful supermodel, and Khloe with her clothing brand.


It is because of this history of wealth that many people protest to Kylie Jenner’s “self-made” title.


Kale Gonzalez (12) says that “there is no such thing as a “self-made billionaire.” She inherited wealth and fame from her family and (more importantly) nobody with that much money is “self made”, there is an army of working class people that are the ones that really make/sell/develop/etc. “Kylie” products, yet she reaps the benefits from that labor that she has no part in. She has done well surfing the Kardashian/Jenner wave of success and fortune, but I don’t see her as self made in any way. Plus, her makeup is way too expensive, like how are normal people (such as the ones that actually produce the makeup) supposed to afford that?”


This is a debate that clearly gets heated, as of now Forbes stands by its decision and Kylie Jenner still holds the title.