After months of rampant speculation, Kylie Jenner finally confirmed her pregnancy by announcing the birth of her daughter on February 1. In a statement released on Instagram and Twitter, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star said that she kept fans in the dark to protect herself and the baby from the stress being in the spotlight would put on them. She writes that she “needed to prepare for this role of a lifetime in the most positive, stress-free and healthy way [she] knew how.”
While the general public — young fans in particular — freaked out and some praised Kylie for her decision to put the health and well-being of her baby before the demands of her fans and the paparazzi, some young mothers are concerned about the message Kylie is sending.
To accompany the statement, Kylie also shared a 12-minute video of her pregnancy journey entitled “To Our Daughter.” The video shows various friends and family members talking to the latest addition to the Kardashian clan as well as footage from when Kylie told Travis Scott he was going to be a father, ultrasounds, bump comparisons with also-pregnant sister Khloe Kardashian and the all-pink baby shower. The video makes the whole pregnancy process — even the birth — look, in a word, glamourous.
Yes, motherhood is incredible and all mothers deserve a huge amount of respect, but the harm in Kylie’s announcement, as mothers are pointing out, is her status as a trendsetter. Kylie’s biggest fans are young and the model herself only turned 20 in August (meaning that when she conceived, she was still only 19). There is a concern among fellow teen moms that Kylie’s ability to effortlessly set trends and the glamourous way she portrayed her pregnancy might encourage her fans to follow in her footsteps. Getting pregnant requires a little more commitment than a lip kit though.
“She just kind of made it look like it’s going to be super easy but she’s got nannies, I don’t got nannies,” 17-year-old mom Skylar Richard told CTV. The majority of mothers — teen and older — do not have anywhere near the resources that Kylie will have for her baby. Not only will she be able to hire as much help as she wants, she has the luxury of not having to work for the rest of her life if she so chooses and a huge extended family to provide support. Many young mothers have to fend without that.
“Having a baby is not some dandy little picture-perfect experience,” says 18-year-old Brynn Vincent, “It’s really difficult, especially being a student and a mother.”
Twitter users also pointed out the hypocrisy of idolizing Kylie Jenner for her young idealistic pregnancy while judging less-privileged women and women of colour for the same thing. These young women are often slut-shamed for getting pregnant, sometimes abandoned by their families and then left to work and/or go to school while raising their child. Where is the support for them?
i bet Kylie will be a great mom, but reality is she got knocked up at 20 by a guy she had barely been dating. she BARELY beat teen pregnancy. if this happened to a local girl in your town, she would’ve been slut shamed and shunned by the same people who are glorifying Kylie.
— laura (@laura_altawil) February 5, 2018
y’all glorify Kylie Jenner for her teen pregnancy and call it ‘goals’ but belittle and destroy WOC in similar predicaments
— Ange (@queefjones) February 4, 2018
Me watching y’all sob over Kylie glorifying/ romanticizing teen pregnancy while y’all simultaneously slut shame and while the government fails to provide the proper medical and financial and emotional resources to thousands of pregnant girls mostly Black and Brown girls pic.twitter.com/k8kfCEyluN
— Ki (@kibiblazed) February 6, 2018
It’s not fair to put the entire onus of preventing teenage pregnancy on the shoulders of Kylie Jenner — she is raising a child now, after all — but young mothers are just hoping that she might also share some more relatable mom experiences (a la Chrissy Teigen) and perhaps donate some of her millions to help out young moms who are less fortunate. Twenty-year-old Alvy Catap suggested on CTV that Kylie help out the 65 moms who send their kids to the Youville Centre in Ottawa. They’ll even name the daycare after her.