Kendall Jenner Can't Check Her Privilege—But That's Not Really Surprising, is It?

Kendall Jenner apologized for making disparaging comments about the models who *didn't* have a famous fam to pave their way, but she totally missed the point

Kendall Jenner wearing a "Dior Addict" t-shirt with a neutral face on a light pink background with white squiggles

(Photo: Getty)

Another week, another headline featuring the Kardashian-Jenner clan. From Kim’s braids (yes, they are cultural appropriation) to Kylie’s “self-made” status, it seems like we’re forever debating whether members of the famous fam are problematic or not. And this week, it’s Kendall Jenner’s turn.

No, she didn’t do another Pepsi commercial. Instead, the 22-year-old model faced criticism following an interview with Love Magazine, where she made some v. problematic—and incredibly ignorant—comments about her modelling career. ICYMI, Jenner was quoted as saying, “Since the beginning we’ve been super selective about what shows I would do. I was never one of those girls who would do like 30 shows a season or whatever the f*ck those girls do. More power to ’em.”

A screenshot of Irina Djuranovic's Instagram stories criticizing Kendall Jenner

(Photo: instagram.com/irinadjuranovic)

Her modelling peers were not super into it, you’ll be surprised to hear. Model Irina Djuranovic said she has “never been so publicly and indirectly offended in my whole entire life god damn. To be called a supermodel… how easy it comes for you.” And Luma Grothe reflected similar sentiments on her Insta Story, saying, “When I started in this industry I was pretty much starving for the first three year. I couldn’t even go back home for Christmas because I was absolutely broke. I had to work so hard for people to even remember my name.”

On August 21, Jenner released a statement on Twitter that acknowledged the backlash she received from the modelling community, saying she has been “misrepresented.”  She went on to say that, “[the quote] was intended to be entirely complimentary but unfortunately, my words were twisted & taken out of context. I want to be clear. The respect that I have for my peers is immeasurable!”

Which is all very nice, but… she’s completely missing the point. Jenner is from an incredibly wealthy, well-connected fam, which means she has privilege that other models in the industry don’t have. I’m pretty sure she didn’t reach “supermodel status” based off her raw talent. She is where she is today because of family’s support (financial and otherwise) and existing business relationships.

But honestly? We shouldn’t be surprised that Jenner can’t check her privilege. Keeping Up With The Kardashians—and Kris Jenner’s momager rep—makes it clear that their fame and fortune did not happen accidentally, yet her successful sisters have also pushed a self-made narrative—Kylie and Kim both scored covers of Forbes for their business prowess, remember? And of course, she hasn’t actually faced any real-world consequences for her actions, because she’s so dang rich that she’s basically untouchable.

But still. Kendall may be too wrapped up in her own elitist bubble to truly understand what it’s like to start from nothing and work your way to the top, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be held accountable.


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