Take a minute to try to imagine how your life would be if millions of people knew your name, watched your daily life, and thought they knew everything about you. That is Kylie Jenner's life at the ripe old age of 19 and, while it's far from normal, it's her reality and it most likely always will be. But Jenner has learned to live her life and thrive in the best way she can, and in her cover story for the October issue of Complex, she gives candid insight into how she struggles to be a role model, while dealing with the cards she's been dealt and staying true to herself. It's not easy.
Many outsiders would be quick to judge a reality television star lamenting about their extravagant and seemingly perfect life. I admit, I have my qualms and opinions about some of the Kardashian sisters and their motives. But in Jenner's Complex interview, readers get to see a very human (and young) side to what drives Jenner. And hearing from her directly makes it easier to understand how tough her bizarre life can be.
Jenner opened up about her relationship with Tyga and how her sisters are her role models, but what struck me most was when Jenner spoke about being so aware of her young fans.
Naturally, the topic of her enhanced lips came up in the interview, and she explained why it took her a while to be honest about having fillers. She said,
“I wasn’t even 17 yet. What if I came out and said, ‘Oh, yeah, I got my lips done’? What are all those moms going to think about me? These kids, my fans, they’re going to think I’m crazy. I didn’t want to be a bad influence. I didn’t want people to think you had to get your lips done to feel good about yourself. But they thought it was crazier that I was lying about it because it was so obvious. I wish I had just been honest and upfront.”
This example shows the tough line Jenner has to straddle: She wants to be a role model and cares about that, but she is still so young and needs times to make "mistakes." Unfortunately, the world doesn't want to let her do that. She said of being famous from a young age, “It’s probably the hardest thing. You don’t know who you are. I didn’t know who I was a year ago, and I still don’t know exactly who I am now. You’re trying to grow up and make mistakes and everybody’s watching.”
Jenner doesn't deny that she has had it easier than other teenagers, especially when it comes to opportunities for her business endeavors, but she understands the responsibility of being so popular. Although she is determined to be herself, she admitted that there are times that the pressure is overwhelming. She told Complex, “Sometimes I’ll be typing out a cuss word and I’ll be like, ‘I can’t say that! There are probably kids watching.’”
Now, put yourself in her shoes again and imagine being a teenager and all of your bad words and other normal teenage antics being vilified by the entire country. Hearing that Jenner is so keenly aware of her image is a bit unsettling to me, because no one person should have to be under such constant pressure.
In fact, her final statements in Complex show how, well, complex her situation really is. She spoke of how she agreed to be on Keeping Up With The Kardashians when was only nine years old and that her decision might be different now, in hindsight. She said, "I probably would’ve had a second thought about it. I don’t want to be ‘Kylie Jenner.’ It’s become a job more than who I am. I don’t even want to be that person anymore.” But when faced with the question of whether she could ever not be famous, she said, "Is that even possible?”
It's hard to know what the future will bring for Jenner or if she'll ever try to not be famous, but it is clear that until then, she'll keep trying to find a balance.