Kylie Jenner Slammed on Social Media Following Forbes Naming Her ‘Self-Made’ Billionaire

By Tiffany Meier

After Kylie Jenner was named the youngest “self-made” billionaire by Forbes, the social media backlash was immediate, as many people took issue with the magazine calling the reality TV star “self-made.”

Back in July, Forbes issued a list of “America’s Women Billionaires” with Kylie Jenner on its cover. “At 21, she’s set to be the youngest-ever self-made billionaire,” the cover read. “Welcome to the era of extreme fame leverage.”

At the time, the business magazine estimated that Jenner’s cosmetic company helped the reality TV star rake in a $900 million fortune.

On Tuesday, March 5, Forbes announced that Jenner had become the “youngest-ever self-made billionaire” at the age of 21, beating out Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who became a billionaire at 23 years old.

Criticism stemmed from Forbes’s use of the word “self-made” without any mention of Jenner’s famous family.

“Calling Kylie Jenner self-made without acknowledging anywhere the incredible headstart she had is what allows people to turn around and look at poor people and ask them why they haven’t become billionaires yet,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Her story is not inspiring or motivating for anyone.”

Even weighed in on the discussion, writing on Twitter, “Haven’t we gone over this? Self-made: Having succeeded in life unaided.”

“Can someone explain to me how Kylie Jenner is SELF MADE?” another person wrote. “Hard working, sure, but certainly not self-made.”

Meanwhile, Forbes defined “self-made” as “any person who built her own fortune, and didn’t inherit the money.” For example, Forbes wrote, “top executives at tech firms who are compensated for helping significantly grow companies make the ranks but not second generation women running family businesses.”

Jenner started Kylie Cosmetics in 2015 by funding her first 15,000 lip kits with money she’d earned through modeling. In February, she told the magazine that her parents actually cut her off when she was 15 years old.

“The self-made thing is true,” she said in an interview with the Paper. “My parents told me I needed to make my own money, it’s time to learn how to save and spend your own money, stuff like that. What I’m trying to say it, I did have a platform, but none of my money is inherited.”

View this post on Instagram

SETTING POWDERS by @kyliecosmetics launching March 7th????

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

Despite all the criticism, a few people defended Jenner.

“Before I complain that #KylieJenner has surpassed a bunch of tech giants in massive wealth,” Brian Balthazar wrote on Twitter, “I like to remember that she hasn’t shared my personal data, doesn’t archive all my personal messages to connect me with sponsors, or have virtually every family photo I’ve taken since 2008.”

“I disagree with the argument that Kylie Jenner is not self-made,” another person wrote. “Yea she had more advantages than Jay-Z or Oprah, but look at Rob Kardashian, that man has the same advantages, was raised around the same people, but isn’t worth Half of what Kylie Jenner has made herself.”

Forbes also published another article, explaining why Jenner is “indeed a ‘self-made’ billionaire.”

In the article, Forbes clarified:

“To be clear, Forbes defines ‘self-made’ as someone who built a company or established a fortune on her own, rather than inheriting some or all of it. As long as the list member didn’t inherit a business or money, she is labeled self-made. But the term is very broad, and does not adequately reflect how far some people have come and, relatively speaking, how much easier others have had it.”

View this post on Instagram

I’m so excited about my 2019 Calendar dropping 11/23 Black Friday on @thekylieshop

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on