Just when the world thought Kylie Jenner couldn’t do any worse than dating a grown man while she was still in high school or donning blackface in a photoshoot, she proved that nothing is too shocking for the Kardashian brand to tackle. On Tuesday, Dec. 1, Interview Magazine released an article about the life of the 18-year-old reality star, with an accompanying photoset. A typical weekday for a teenager with a net worth of 5 million dollars, sure, but in no way was it appropriate.
The photoshoot consisted of Jenner donned in skintight plastic outfits, posed stiff like a sex doll. In two out of the twelve photos, along with the cover of the issue, she was sitting in a gold-plated wheelchair with an emotionless expression on her face.
This move was anything but surprising coming from the youngest member of the Kardashian clan, who consistently make their fortune through shocking media ploys. However, the disabled have never been properly represented in fashion. The standard stereotype of what “beauty” is — tall, thin and blonde — has been prominent in magazines and on the runway for decades, and that notion of what perfection seems as though it will always be backed by major corporations.
The editor-in-chief of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, stated in an interview with BBC Radio 2 in March of last year that she was tired of having to explain why the magazine chooses thin models and that no one wants to see a “real person” on the cover.
This concept of beauty and the fact that the spearheads of the fashion industry seem to continue to support it is utterly ridiculous. It’s even more ridiculous that people like Jenner, who have loads of privilege and an iron grip on the media can’t seem to understand why these provocative photos are wrong.
Sure, her publicist and those at Interview chose to pose her like that, but that doesn’t mean that they put a gun to her head. She could have clearly stated that she didn’t want to do it and that it would be disrespectful to the disabled community. However, due to the money hungry culture of Los Angeles and the unmistakable reign of Jenner’s mom-ager Kris, who has piloted her daughter’s careers since the very beginning, it’s not surprising that Jenner ignored the wrongdoings of her latest photoshoot just to get more publicity.
Immediately after the article was published, the disabled community responded quickly and firmly. Twitter user amysgotmilk posted, “Oh I see! When I’m in my wheelchair no one can look me in the eye but when Kylie Jenner its fashion. Silly me.” The disabled community’s outrage was definitely warranted, and proved that even though Jenner is as popular as ever, it doesn’t mean that all of her actions are accepted by her audience.
While this photoshoot will give Jenner more attention and more money, it will have a very negative affect on those who actually need wheelchairs to successfully live their lives. The disabled have been looked down upon for centuries, and the fact they are still not properly represented, now that it’s nearly 2016, is utterly pathetic and reflects the constant shallowness of society.