Activist Says Kylie Jenner’s Wealth Was Built Off Black Culture

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Forbes magazine asserting Kylie Jenner is barrelling toward becoming the youngest self-made billionaire has caused one activist to make a bold declaration.

The reality TV star turned cosmetics juggernaut has been stirring a debate online after the August 31 finance magazine cover was released.

“Kylie Jenner is on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire ever, ahead of even Mark Zuckerberg, who became a billionaire at age 23,” the magazine said on Instagram July 11. “Click the link in our bio to find out how she built a $900 million fortune in less than 3 years. #SelfMadeWomen.”

Commenters poked holes in the proclamation immediately.

“Step #1. Born multimillionaire 🤦🏻‍♂️.”

“‘Self-made?’ Really? 🧐😷.”

“Amazing and I really like her, but she was born rich and make-up apart, she made money doing nothing but a reality.”

And activist Brittany Packnett added another layer to the problem with Jenner’s honor. Except she doesn’t exactly blame the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star for capitalizing on plumping up her lips and launching Kylie Cosmetics.

“You can get on the cover of Forbes + be a young billionaire by selling the very features, style and swag that Black Women have always possessed but got called ghetto for it,” Packett tweeted. “The problem isn’t Kylie. The problem is America.  If she didn’t exploit it, someone else would have.

“And notice-now that she’s made her fortune? Those lip fillers came out. The fake tan disappeared. Just like Miley Cyrus before her, she’ll exploit Black culture and Black people for as long as its profitable — and then return to the comfort of whiteness. Why? Because it pays.”

She added that Jenner’s manager mother, Kris Jenner, is “an evil genius” because of her understanding that in America, being adjacent to Black culture can be more profitable than actually being Black.

“They used America for exactly what it is. Racist and capitalist. None of us should be surprised,” she said.

Rounding out her thread, Packnett dropped links to other examples of how white stars have capitalized off of cultural appropriation, including enslaved African Sarah Baartmanfaux locs and a history of the Kardashian-Jenner family’s appropriation.

Many people have since been chiming in on the thread with differing perspectives.

“I did not want to say it aloud the day before yesterday but I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought of this concept. This is America. In 1998 Lauryn Hill released an album about this very same situation. ‘That thing.'”

“She used her family name and appropriated Black culture to ‘build an empire’ (of which she gives very little away to charity). Idk what the hype is around her 🤦‍♀️ your tweet is so true.”

“That has nothing to do with Black culture. It’s the makeup that is selling not the lips. Y’all will find anything to say about someone doing positive & making money off of it.”

“When have lip kits been Black culture? Stop trying to make a race issue. Typical woman having to dismiss what another is doing. You’re not an activist on Black issues that matter. Makeup doesn’t need you. Go build a business then talk, particularly as a woman.”

 

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