Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past, I don’t know, 10 years, seeing a member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan featured on the cover of a famous fashion magazine has become almost routine, and for lack of a better word, inescapable. Harper’s Bazaar, the iconic American fashion magazine, is no exception. Scoring not only one, but two members of the famous family, the publication’s July and August cover stars are none other than Kris and Kylie Jenner (and Stormi Webster too, but she’s just too young).
Harper’s Bazaar Arabia released three covers of the two, titled “The Art of Power.” In true Kar-Jenner form, the duo dons high-end fashion by the likes of Kristina Fidelskaya, Cartier, Prada and even (eye roll) Dolce and Gabanna. However, it wasn’t the leopard print or leather designer clothes that caught people’s attention.
Let’s first say that there is no denying that the Kar-Jenner family works incredibly hard. The matriarch that rules them all, otherwise known as Kris Jenner, has created an empire in a way that’s never been done before. She turned her already slightly famous family (think O.J. Simpson trials) to TV royalty by producing their reality show, “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” Over the years, they willingly aired out their dirty laundry, ranging from anything like an infamous, unnamed home video to the transition of Caitlyn Jenner, all of which has created a massive following for the Kardashian-Jenner clan.
Like all the other children of the family, Kylie Jenner didn’t waste any opportunity to build her own brand. What started off as her simply posting glammed-up selfies to her Instagram became her platform to build an incredibly successful company, Kylie Cosmetics. So successful in fact, that she was able to branch out and create her own skin care company, Kylie Skin. Her business ventures have raked in quite a fortune as well, which awarded the young Jenner the title of Forbes’ youngest self-made billionaire.
So yes, it’s safe to say that the Kar-Jenner family has the art of power down, but that wasn’t the part that most people had an issue with. The article written about them details the art of power in the feminist sense in the height of the Kardashian-Jenner era. The idea of the mega-famous family being feminists, though, had some people scratching their heads. The women of the Kardashian-Jenner clan haven’t given much of a reason for actual feminists to consider them, well, feminists. There’s very good reason too, because over the years the women of the family have stirred up controversies that have pitted them against the feminist movement.
In Bazaar’s article, Kris is quoted as saying, “I think when the girls, Kourtney, Kimberly and Khloé, first started doing our show, people really responded to them because they offered an image of something that was different. It gave young women self-esteem. They started to feel better about themselves because they could embrace their bodies and didn’t have to have a certain look.”
This quote, to feminists everywhere, could almost be considered laughable. There’s no disagreement that women should be able to embrace their bodies and achieve a different look if they want, but the Kardashian-Jenner approach to something they don’t like about their bodies is to fix it rather than accept it.
A more than perfect example would be the whole Kylie Jenner lip-filler controversy. The makeup mogul started her career by claiming to have played with lipstick and lip liners to make her lips look bigger. However, it wasn’t long until fans started speculating about the truth, because her once thinner lips turned into a noticeably larger pout, with or without the makeup.
Kylie Jenner’s lips aren’t the only questionably real asset the Kardashian-Jenner family flaunts on a regular basis. Kim, Khloe and Kylie’s famous posteriors have grown excessively over the years, taking on a shape that most would consider otherworldly. All three sisters have vehemently denied having injections or implants, but that’s for everyone to decide for themselves.
Although plastic surgery itself isn’t an anti-feminist movement, denying procedures that give the Kar-Jenner women their looks isn’t really boosting the self-esteem of their viewers. In the Bazaar article, Kris Jenner goes on to say, “Overall, I think the girls have been very influential in changing the way that women look at themselves.” Unfortunately for the trend-setting family, it hasn’t been in the right direction. Since the family’s rise to fame, young women and even underage girls have gone through risky and expensive procedures to mimic the look.
Okay, so if the body-image thing wasn’t convincing enough, we have to revisit the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson scandal one last time. I know, the scandal happened months ago and we’re still hearing about it. However, taking a look at the drama-hungry family’s reaction shows that it was far from pro-feminism.
In Khloe Kardashian’s defense, being cheated on is painful, especially under the public eye that later has to be relived in a nationally-aired episode. But did the influential family handle the situation the best that they could?
From a feminist standpoint, Thompson had already cheated on Khloe Kardashian in the past, so him being involved with another woman doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Whether she wanted to get back with him in the first place was her choice, but considering that the incident happened days before she gave birth, it showed Thompson had no real moral compass and didn’t really care for his woman.
Whereas Woods, a long time family friend, had always been loyal and stuck by them. Whether or not Thompson made the first move, or if the kiss was reciprocated on her part, the Kardashian-Jenner family could have given Woods a chance to be forgiven. Instead, most of the blame was placed on her, the woman.
Unfortunately, it looks like the art of feminism is something that the Kardashian-Jenner empire has yet to master. At the very least, the family has fought for pro-choice rights, but they still have a long way to go. Hopefully women and young women everywhere are able to identify their own ways to love themselves and look up to others who are actual feminists (*cough* Jameela Jamil).