Time’s annual “Most Influential Teens” issue has rankled feathers once again, and the same people who objected to a “Kylie Jenner most influential” award in 2014 remain against it now. For the second consecutive year, Time named Kylie to its list of 30 teens–which irks critics, who say that the 18-year-old is influential for the wrong reasons.
Time itself cited Kylie’s vast army of social media followers–approximately 60 million and counting–and her “ability to catalyze trends in fashion and beauty” as the reasons for her selection. And, in a wide-ranging interview for Time, the subject shared her own thoughts on the ongoing “Kylie Jenner most influential” controversy, including saying “It is what it is.”
In the interview, Kylie appeared to be both taken aback by and comfortable with the level of celebrity she’s achieved:
I know how influential I am over my fans and followers. I feel like everything I do, my hair color, my makeup, I always start these huge trends, and I don’t even realize what I’m capable of. I didn’t care what people had to say; I didn’t even read any of that stuff. People might have been upset because we were next to, like, young girls who started schools and crazy things. But we’re just different people! We’re influential in different ways, and that’s okay.
She also addressed this year’s controversial Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge, which became a Twitter phenomenon but caused dozens of injuries to bodies and body images alike:
With the shot glasses thing, that wasn’t even my influence, because I didn’t ever pick up a shotglass; that was a trend before my name was attached to it. Then people just started calling it the Kylie Jenner lip thing. I went on social media and said I was not down for this, I don’t approve of this. So weird.
And she tried to put a positive spin on her social media influence, pointing out the relative success of this past autumn’s #IAmMoreThan Instagram campaign:
I thought of the idea because, almost my whole life, since I was nine, since I’ve been in the spotlight, that comes with so much bullying and attacking. Everything I do, there’s a huge light on it. I’m okay with that because it is what it is, it comes with the lifestyle. [But] it has still affected me a lot. I wanted to take a different approach and pretty much let other people that I found who’ve been through bullying and overcome it, to use my platform and just kind of bring awareness to it.
As for the future–since she’s 18, this is the last time Kylie can be included on the teen list–the youngest Jenner expressed great optimism. “There’s a lot of exciting things coming up that I’m excited about,” she said.
As expected, though, the piece did generate quite a bit of negative attention on social media. Here’s a sample:
@KylieJenner hey glad america is stupid enough to make your fan famous for a sex tape! what you do doesn’t matter
— Julie (@juharmon) October 30, 2015
— Matthew Holmes (@mattlcholmes) October 29, 2015
How the hell is Kylie Jenner the most influential person of 2015?? It’s so stupid like what is wrong with this world?
— Charlotte (@charskipp) October 28, 2015
Kylie Jenner is nothing but a stupid ‘role model’
— mr. prince (@curIybrows) October 28, 2015
@TIME Kylie Jenner influencing a generation to be stupid
— jon (@jt_shadow35) October 27, 2015
Was Time wrong to include Kylie Jenner on its list of the world’s most influential teenagers? Or would the magazine have made a bigger mistake by leaving Kylie off the list?
(Photo credits: Kylie Jenner most influential via Instagram)