For many of us, keeping up with the Kardashians is like breathing—it’s done intuitively, involuntarily, unintentionally, despite never having watched a single episode of the show. So when 20-year-old Kylie Jenner, daughter of Kris and Caitlyn, model, and makeup mogul, announced the birth of her daughter on Sunday following a “secret” pregnancy that caused her to disappear from the public eye for several months, my reaction—along with that of vast swathes of the internet—was, well, duh.
How, then, to make us care? How to command the attention of the internet, the sole purpose of a Kardashian/Jenner? With a pregnancy video montage, of course, making up for an entire gestation’s worth of social media exposure. (As Jenner wrote on Instagram, her pregnancy was one she “chose not to do in front of the world.” Until now, obviously.) Jenner’s 11-minute “To Our Daughter” video has racked up more than 24 million views—and almost as many Crying Kim gif reactions—in less than 24 hours. There’s a reason Kylie Jenner, at 19, was the youngest person featured on the 2017 Forbes Celebrity 100 list. I am writing this post, and you, reading it, because Kylie Jenner is a genius. Or is she?
In spite of the name, the video “To Our Daughter” is not really for their daughter—it’s for us, us and our inexplicable but insatiable hunger for this highly uninteresting family. Interspersed with interviews, “candid” home videos, doctors’ visits, photoshoots, selfies, and delivery room moments, the viral video tracks the story of the social media star’s impressively private turned exceedingly public pregnancy.
Though only 19 when she fell pregnant, Jenner is not your average reality TV teen mom. The socialite makes pregnancy look unrealistically easy: It’s all about showing off sonograms, eating fast food, and throwing extravagant baby showers. The Jenner baby already has a fully-stocked, Kardashian-Jenner-level wardrobe (probably worth many times yours), placing the pregnancy video far beyond the reality of most new mothers, yet alone teen ones (of which the U.S. boasts the highest rate in the Western industrialized world). Her friends and family repeatedly tell the viewer—her unborn child, but really, us—what a good mom Kylie is going to make, and how badly the young woman, who has wanted for nothing, wanted this. They make it sound as if Kylie, a woman not yet old enough to drink, has spent years trying to fall pregnant.
“Obviously, I started crying,” says one of her 20-something-year-old friends, dressed in the official silk pajamas of Jenner’s lavish baby shower. “I was proud of her. I knew this was what she wanted ever since she turned 15.”
Most of the Kardashian clan make an appearance in the video, though first-time grandparent Caitlyn Jenner is conspicuously absent, sparking rumors of a feud. We lowly plebs got our first glimpse of Chicago West, the illogically named third child of Kim and Kanye, born only four weeks ago, and a warning to the uninitiated. “I need to school you on what your vagina’s about to feel like,” says Kim. “Like, for real.” (Chicago was born by surrogate, after doctors warned Kim against getting pregnant again). The video also shows off Jenner’s relationship with the baby’s 25-year-old father, rapper Travis Scott, with multiple shots of the young couple kissing in clubs and acting like teenagers—something Kylie was for much of the footage. “Come on,” a security guard says exasperatedly as they play wrestle up some stairs.
In this rosy look at a pregnancy of privilege, there’s only one thing to worry about, a concern voiced by one of Jenner’s pajama-clad baby shower attendees:
“What if she’s, like, anti-makeup?”
What if, indeed.
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