Kylie Jenner likes to showcase her success, and there is no denying that the reality TV star and cosmetics mogul has built quite an empire for herself. Still, some of her accomplishments have turned out to not be quite what they seemed. Take her billionaire status, for example.
The star was eager to tout reaching the historic milestone of becoming the youngest self-made billionaire, but the truth was a little more complicated — and perhaps just straight up fake.
Now fans are eyeing the comment section of her famously heavily followed Instagram account and wondering if something fishy is going on there as well.
Kylie Jenner has claimed some major successes
Kylie Jenner is the youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner sisters, and — until recently — she was widely regarded as the most successful. The star grew up on reality TV since she was just 10 years old when Keeping Up with the Kardashians premiered.
By the time that she hit adulthood, she had a huge mass of fans who had watched her for years, and she was smartly able to leverage that fan base into a career.
With the launch of her lip kits, Jenner managed to merge her love for cosmetics, her reputation for experimenting with new looks, and her deep social media following. The kits sold out almost instantly, and Jenner was able to roll that popularity into a thriving cosmetics line. By 2019, Forbes had declared Jenner the youngest self-made billionaire.
Furthermore, Jenner became the poster child for how the new economy built on influencer status could disrupt older notions of wealth. A big part of that influencer status was her immense social media following.
Jenner’s Instagram followers — 190 million of them at the time of this writing — gave her a reach that could compete with more traditional advertising venues and all from the comfort of her own selfie-snapping phone.
Kylie Jenner’s billionaire status was faked
The short-lived spot at the top was soon called into question. First, people took issue with the idea that Jenner was a “self-made” billionaire because she came from a family where each of her parents were multi-millionaires on their own. While Kris Jenner, Kylie’s mother, insisted that her daughter spent her own money to seed her cosmetics line, fans scoffed at the idea that one could separate the money Jenner earned for her appearances from the fact that she got launched into fame as a child because of her family.
Setting aside the technicalities of the “self-made” status, the real scandal over Jenner’s billionaire status is that it appears to have been faked from the beginning. In an article Forbes printed in May 2020, they officially stripped the young star of her title and claimed that both Kris and Kylie Jenner had overinflated the value of Kylie Cosmetics in order to make it appear more successful than it really was.
They even went so far as to accuse Kris Jenner of forging tax documents to further the scheme.
Fans suspect some of Kylie Jenner’s Instagram followers are also fake
It isn’t just Jenner’s financial status that some fans think is fishy. They’re also suspicious of her Instagram account. Certainly many of the nearly 200 million accounts following Jenner on the platform are actual people, but fans wonder how many of them might just be bots.
Part of the evidence for this comes up in a Reddit thread discussing the eerie similarity between many of the comments left on Jenner’s posts. The original poster pointed out that many of the comments on Jenner’s birthday post contained the same odd phrases such as “the most selfless” and “I need everyone to know.”
A commenter came in with a quick theory: “they are bots.”
If Jenner’s followers do include several fake accounts, it’s difficult to know whether she’s intentionally seeking them out or simply dealing with the reality of being famous on the internet. After all, back in 2019, a deep dive found that almost half of her sister Kim Kardashian’s followers were fake accounts, but there’s no clear sign of where the bot accounts came from in the first place.
Perhaps Jenner is paying to beef up her followers and prestige, or maybe her account is just popular enough to attract bots created for their creator’s own purposes.
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