Many opinions were posted to Twitter after Forbes put Kylie Jenner on the cover of its “America’s Women Billionaires” issue and said she was on her way to being “the youngest-ever self-made billionaire.”
Jenner, the youngest daughter of the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” family, is said to be worth an estimated $900 million — more than twice as much as her sister, Kim Kardashian West.
Forbes said that $800 million of that fortune comes from an estimated valuation of her cosmetics company, Kylie Cosmetics, which she launched just three years ago. According to Forbes, she sold more than $630 million worth of makeup since the company’s launch, including an estimated $330 million in 2017. Jenner owns 100% of the cosmetics business, though the article notes that her mother, Kris, “handles the actual business stuff, in exchange for the 10% management cut she takes from all her children.”
Perhaps no surprise, many took issue with Forbes’s use of the label “self-made” — after all, the extreme fame that Jenner has leveraged could be argued to be anything but self-made.
“We consider any person who built her own fortune, and didn’t inherit the money, to be self-made.” Meaning, the person’s fortune does not derive from inherited wealth. “Top executives at tech firms who are compensated for helping significantly grow companies make the ranks but not second-generation women running family businesses.”
In other words, Kylie Jenner is “self-made” by Forbes’s designation because she built Kyle Cosmetics, but any relative that might inherit and run her business would not be.