Kylie Jenner has yet to make a statement about her rumored pregnancy. Thus far, as fans, social media users, and conversation starters, most of us have already shared our opinion on the matter. But we should stop and think what message we are sending to other young adults and ourselves about the female body, the autonomy of celebrities, and young pregnancy. Most of us are treating the news with false enthusiasm, fascination with the taboo and obsessive back-stalking into Kylie’s social media to measure her waistband each day. My point isn’t to say that Kylie isn’t pregnant; she might well be. But the negativity and shaming toward this supposed pregnancy seems insensitive, even toward a girl who signed up for fame and attention. People have used the rumors as an excuse to bash the Kardashian/Jenner clan, who have been accused of colluding and concealing. I intend to de-mythologize some of these accusations or at least try to analyze our reactions toward the rumors surrounding Kyliegate.
Accusation #1: Kylie can afford birth control, she shouldn’t have gotten pregnant!
Just because Kylie can afford birth control does not mean she had it. Many women don’t like to use birth control for various reasons. It can negatively affect their hormones, give unwanted side effects like weight gain or moodiness, and be extremely painful. Kylie could’ve opted to use condoms instead. It could have broken. Also remember, no form of birth control is 100% effective. If Kylie is five months pregnant and decided to keep this baby, that should not be belittled and should be respected without question.
Accusation #2: This won’t interrupt Kylie’s life.
People are taking this pregnancy and using it as an opportunity to criticize Kylie and her successes. Sure, Kylie is fortunate enough to have financial and familial support. She wouldn’t have to quit school and get a job like a lot of us would. But if the show has taught us anything in the last 10 years, it’s that family matters. This child will be born into the world with plenty of supporters and a great family unit. Why is that something to denounce?
Accusation #3: This is all Kris Jenner’s doing.
Although I believe Kris Jenner can do just about anything if she set her mind to it, I doubt she would sacrifice her daughter to this controversial publicity as a ‘Keeping Up with The Kardashians’ 10 Year Anniversary stunt. And if she did, she would have gone all out. Kylie would have Snapchatted and Instagrammed 500 baby bump photos by now.
Accusation #4: Kylie is Kim’s surrogate.
Because family is important to Kylie, it’s not altogether impossible. But based on watching ‘Life of Kylie’, where the central message was, “I miss being a regular teen”, I doubt Kylie would opt for this lifestyle change, especially when things were going smoothly with boyfriend Travis Scott. If not the Kim surrogacy, Travis has been confirmed to be the father. Because of the silence from Kylie on the matter, there is the potential that this pregnancy was an accident. But would it matter if it was on purpose? That should not subject her to more criticism from the public.
Accusation #5: She must be pregnant; look at what she’s wearing!
Just because Kylie is wearing a big t-shirt doesn’t mean she’s pregnant! It’s absurd that people think they can speculate that a celebrity is pregnant if she isn’t wearing something revealing. Plus, she has always been into the sweatpants and sweatshirt vibe.
Accusation #6: She’s not ready for a child.
Lastly, even if Kylie is confirmed to be pregnant, think twice before you make a joke of it. She is not the first or the last twenty-year-old who may have a child. Life happens. She may have different goals and desires for her life than you do. Maybe she is ready for a child, maybe she isn’t and now has to be. Regardless, as much as people rip Kylie apart for her style, dependence on others and her lips, she is an entrepreneur and an influencer of our generation whether she was elected or not. Everyone claims to be disinterested in the life of Kylie, yet no one has stopped talking about it.
It’s clear that Kylie’s body has become internationally known and fetishized. For fans, we see it every time we open Snapchat. It is interesting to me that everyone is freaking out over something that will change her–specifically her body. There has been obsession over photos posted from months ago and bewilderment over how a five-month pregnancy doesn’t show. Why are we threatened by her bodily changes that haven’t even happened yet? There are little visible signs of pregnancy but social media users insert things that aren’t there, almost like they want to see something they don’t see.
How can publications claim the pregnancy of a girl who has yet to confirm these rumors? Gossip magazines publish fake stories every day that hurt a lot of people. And it makes me wonder, how can we allow women, especially those in the spotlight, to have their bodies scrutinized due to a change of appearance? Does Kylie’s presence in the public eye give us the right to openly censure her? One might argue that she traded her right to a private life for fame. But at what point does being in the public eye mean you don’t have ownership over your own body?
It seems that the people of our generation, and many young women who follow Kylie’s brand are thrown off by the pregnancy rumors. You may idolize Kylie for her cars, her money, her fame. But when your idol does something that you don’t want or agree with, it is easy to criticize because you want that person to represent something greater. Just remember, Kylie may live a different life from you, but she is still a human being.