The world is in a terrible state right now with a President encouraging state violence against protestors and black journalists being arrested live on air, so I hope you will forgive me if we take this moment to just destress with some celebrity bullsh*t.
A huge deal was made by Forbes when the magazine officially valued Kylie Jenner as the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire. It didn’t take long for people to note that she was never self-made or that the billion-dollar number itself was suspect, to put it mildly. Still, it made for a striking cover story so Forbes ran with it. Now they’re taking it back and declaring that Jenner has been ‘inflating the size and success of her business. For years.’
The initial billionaire labeling came when Jenner sold 51% of her Kylie Cosmetics brand to Coty is a deal that was valued at $1.2 billion. Okay, seems solid, right? Not even close. Coty is a publicly-traded company, which means that all their filings on profits and the like are laid bare for everyone to see, and as recent numbers show, ‘Kylie’s business is significantly smaller, and less profitable, than the family has spent years leading the cosmetics industry and media outlets, including Forbes, to believe.’ How much smaller? Forbes have now downsized poor little Kylie’s fortune from the sale to a ‘mere’ $340 million after-tax. Oh dear, how will she cope? Who will pay for Stormi’s ivory back-scratcher now?
Forbes notes in their piece that the extended Kardashian-Jenner clan has been obsessed with getting the publication to bestow the billionaire label upon them and had been campaigning for Kylie to get a cover for months. Kris Jenner even got the family’s accountant to show them tax returns that allegedly detailed ‘$307 million in 2016 revenues and personal income of more than $110 million for Kylie that year.’ Frobes said that it was ‘hard to believe’ that an e-commerce brand would go from zero to $300 million in sales in one year, something a number of analysts backed up.
When it came time for Forbes to do the numbers themselves, opinions on Jenner had shifted, and that seems to have been the magazine’s justification for accepting questionable numbers originating from Mama Kris herself. Post-Coty deal, the revenue for Kylie Cosmetics is way smaller than those lofty PR reports suggested. As Forbes noted, ‘If Kylie Cosmetics did $125 million in sales in 2018, how could it have done $307 million in 2016 (as the company’s supposed tax returns state) or $330 million in 2017?’ Things are different right now because there’s a literal pandemic going on, but that doesn’t account for the sheer disparity of Jenner’s actual wealth and what her family claims it is.
So there it is — according to Forbes, Kylie Jenner is no longer a billionaire.
But let’s be honest here: She was never a f**king billionaire to begin with.
The Kardashian-Jenner brand is one of smoke and mirrors, and they remain scarily skilled at getting even the most suspicious media brands and reporters to buy what they’re selling. Forbes loves themselves some shiny things and what better story was there for them than the ‘trashy’ reality T.V. family rubbing shoulders with the upper echelons of American society? They didn’t bring enough skepticism to the table when it came time to give the family exactly what they wanted — the illusion of mega-wealth.
Because that’s all billionaires are — a big fat lie that requires us all to believe in it until it’s true. The emperor has no clothes. Kylie Jenner was never selling enough cosmetics to justify a deal worth over $500 million but with the publicity boost of Forbes, they made it happen.
Capitalism is a cruel, corrupt, and exploitative system that ruins lives, crushes the vast majority of people, and encourages crooked dealings all in the name of accruing wealth that no one person could ever spend in one or ten lifetimes. What the f**k does anyone do with a billion dollars? Nobody earns that money fairly. You don’t get that wealthy when you pay your workers fairly or support unionized labor or invest in green policies or oppose deregulation or allow your staff to stay home during A F**KING PANDEMIC SO THAT THEY DON’T ALL DIE.
Kylie Jenner was never a billionaire, but that was never the point, was it?
Okay, this post wasn’t as fun and silly as I wanted it to be. Sorry. But seriously, eat the rich.
Header Image Source: Getty Images.