Caitlin McBride: Why Kylie Jenner might be the sanest Kardashian-Jenner of them all
Who knew Kylie Jenner could be such a master of disguise?
Apart from her well-documented penchant for wigs and physical transformation, Kylie seemed like the least complex of all the Kardashian-Jenner clan. It seemed like what you saw is what you got with Kylie, and what you got was a young woman who loved Snapchat, makeup and Hermès Birkin bags.
With the majority of her life spent in the spotlight, documented by reality tv cameras in every corner of her home, the idea of not recording her every move was a foreign one to this 20-year-old. Her professional success was always minimised: her cosmetics company, which is on track to be valued at $1bn by 2020, was deemed a fluke, an extension of her family’s accomplishments.
As the critics continued to condemn her personal and professional life choices, Kylie was busy taking notes. And with one very big decision, proved that there is more to her than meets the eye.
For her fans, her decision to keep her pregnancy a secret was a frustrating one, and for the media, her withdrawal from public life was an entirely out-of-character move for her.
Like the rest of us in our early 20s, she’s figuring out who she wants to be, and has the misfortune of doing so in the public eye, a decision that was made for her when her mother Kris Jenner signed the family up for a reality show when she was just nine years old.
And it looks like the person she wants to be is the exact opposite of the Kylie we know now, with the very real possibility that her second act may very well be her final in public as she focuses on being a first-time mother.
She’s previously spoken about her desire to step away from the spotlight, reciting, rather ironically on her 2017 show Life of Kylie: "I feel like this fame thing is going to come to an end sooner than we think. I'm getting the bug again, where I just want to run away. I just don't know who I'm doing it for."
When it came down to it, she put her money where her mouth is and kept perhaps the worst-kept secret in Hollywood over the last year.
Many speculated it was because she was uncomfortable with her changing figure, others said she was aware of her age and didn’t want to be seen as a poster child for young adult pregnancy, the rest said it was just a publicity stunt. But as it turns out, she just wanted to enjoy the most important thing in her life with those closest to her. A reasonable request no matter what way you spin it.
The fact that the first words of her statement announcing her daughter Stormi’s birth were, “I’m sorry” is extremely revealing of how much she values her fans and followers.
“I’m sorry for keeping you in the dark through all the assumptions,” she wrote. "I understand you’re use to me bringing you along on all my journeys. My pregnancy was one I chose not to do in front of the world.
“I knew for myself I needed to prepare for this role of a lifetime in the most positive, stress-free and healthy way I knew how. There was no gotcha moment, no big paid reveal I had planned.
“I knew my baby would feel every stress and every emotion so I chose to do it this way for my little life and our happiness.
The success of the entire Kardashian brand is one based on the fact that fans, followers and passers-by to pop culture, feel we’re included in every aspect of their lives: we watched Kourtney physically remove Mason from her body in the delivery room in 2009; Kim's breakdown and PTSD after being robbed at gunpoint in Paris and Caitlyn Jenner’s transition in 2015.
Her fans were always going to be loyal to her, but her decision to begin a new life of privacy has earned her a whole new legion of those who see her in a new light, meaning Kylie really might be the most genuine in her family.