I've caught snippets of Keeping Up with the Kardashians early in the morning while trying to distract myself from the fact that I'm on the elliptical machine, and I have downloaded exactly one episode of Kourtney and Khloé Take the Hamptons. Beyond that, I've never watched any of their shows, and I've never really understood what all of the hype is about.
That does not mean, however, that I hate Kim, Khloé, Kourtney, Kris, Caitlyn or any of the rest of the Kardashian/Jenner clan. I just don't find them entertaining, don't have anything in common with their lifestyle and don't agree with some of their ethics.
Still, my job requires me to stay abreast of all things entertainment, so I am forced to keep up with the Kardashians. "Live and let live" has always kind of been my mantra, and the crew doesn't seem to be hurting anyone, so I have no reason for my feathers to be ruffled when it comes to all of their drama.
But for some reason I have developed a strange defensiveness when it comes to the way the youngest member of the family, Kylie Jenner, is treated on social media. She's constantly subjected to that special cowardly brand of online hatred that gives me the same feeling on the daily — that feeling I should throw my laptop out the window and never, ever again return to the Internet.
She's been told she looks like a 40-year-old hooker and that she "looks like she was smacked in the mouth with a 2x4."
After posting a picture of herself in a bathing suit, she was met with comments like, "Cellulite," "Not that great," "17 and already a slut. Sad Life. @kyliejenner," and "Whats the big deal with her shes just another kimk body all fake n shxt my ladys need to be real not made out of Plastic (sic)."
Even more recently, slamming Jenner for copying the looks of her friends has seemed a new trend.
Since when is it not OK to copy your friends' lipstick, hairstyle and clothes? If these offenses are a crime, I would have been locked up with the key thrown away a long time ago.
And all this hate is toward a young girl who even said herself that she feels like she has been bullied by "the whole world, it feels like" since the age of 9.
It's never OK to bash someone for their appearance in such a public forum, but you add the fact that Jenner is only 18 years old and it makes the situation that much more sick.
Yes, Kylie does sometimes sport an extreme look. Yes, her outfits are sometimes borderline inappropriate for her age. And, yes, her alleged plastic surgeries promote an unattainable and unhealthy beauty standard for women of all ages.
But does spewing hate at her fix any of these things?
And there are always those people who come back and say, "She chose to be on a reality show, it's what she gets," but did she really choose? She was kind of born into this life and it's not that far-fetched to believe that maybe her appearance modifications are a defense mechanism developed after being raised in the spotlight. Her older sisters may bask in the attention, but it's a lot harder for an adolescent to deal with things.
Live and let live. If you don't agree with Kylie's style, that's cool; I'm sure there's something kicking around in your closet that she wouldn't like to wear either. If you're afraid that Kylie's Instagram is a bad influence on your son/daughter/nephew/niece or what have you, maybe now's a good time to monitor their social media use, because I guarantee there are worse things on Instagram and Twitter for their viewing.
More importantly, we need to set an example for younger generations before we hit "send" on every comment we make on social media. The hate is spiraling out of control and kids see it, copy it and add to it. They think it's OK.
As bad as it feels to be on the receiving end of Internet bashing, it has to be a particularly icky feeling to be the one sending it, too. I don't think that's a feeling we want to keep perpetuating and it does bleed into other aspects of life in the real world.
It seems far-fetched, but by allowing people to hate on Kylie Jenner for no good reason, we're actually damaging our own reality.
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