The Kardashian clan is no stranger to controversy, but if there's one member who really made waves in 2015, it's Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the bunch. These days, the general public and eventually the media have been quick to pounce on any possible scandal they can find from the teenager, scouring her various social media accounts for an easy headline.
Kylie's latest act making folks clutch their pearls involves a risqué shirt that references oral sex. Though many were quick to condemn this rather outlandish fashion choice, I have to wonder if it's time to stop singling out a young girl who has just graduated from high school. In the hopes of a fair portrayal, I'll address shirtgate here as well as another side of Kylie that too often gets swept under the rug.
The 17-year-old wore a shirt that clearly reads "Eat Me Out" with an arrow pointed downward
And posted it to her Snapchat. The videos eventually made their way to an Instagram fan page that reposts most (if not all) of Kylie's otherwise temporary snaps.
The shirt is a play on the classic In-N-Out logo, instantly recognizable to fans of the California-based hamburger chain
Online commenters are outraged that the still-underaged Kylie is celebrating such a mature topic, and they have no trouble telling her how inappropriate they find her antics.
While this is how the story typically goes this year—Kylie does something "scandalous" on social media, the general public is outraged, and the insatiable news cycle gets a week's worth of content—I'm starting to wonder if this kid is getting way too much flak.
Let's remember that she's just a teenager
Just like many girls and boys her age, Kylie knows exactly how to push people's buttons, and what teenager doesn't want attention? Now imagine having the platform that she does after a virtual lifetime in the spotlight. She's been on Keeping Up with the Kardashians since she was 10 years old and became immediately exposed to what fame and money can bring you.
In a culture that rewards provocative behavior and grabbing the fickle eyes of society, is it really the young girl we should be blaming for wanting to cash in? I'm not saying that I think all school-age girls should be walking around in shirts like this, but I do think there is a larger context at work here. Demonizing Kylie Jenner is merely taking the easy way out.
Every kid has missteps, but there's plenty of successes to celebrate, too
This week's series premiere of I Am Cait, the documentary series exploring Caitlyn Jenner's transition, revealed a side of Kylie we rarely get to see in the articles that condemn her. For those that haven't seen it, Kylie is immediately accepting when seeing Caitlyn dolled up in hair and makeup for the first time and shows some extraordinary maturity in what could have been extremely trying circumstances.
Caitlyn has admitted that she's been most nervous about Kendall and Kylie's reaction to her gender transition, but if this clip is any indication, this is a kid who loves her family unconditionally. In my opinion, that's much more important than any raunchy fashion choices or transgressive behavior. It may be natural to call someone out for these things, but I don't think it's okay to sit around waiting for her to fail.
Now that she's breaking out on her own, maybe it's time to give Kylie a chance before breaking her down.