Although many of us have been spying on the life of Kylie Jenner for years through Instagram and Snapchat, E! finally made our voyeuristic tendencies official by premiering Life Of Kylie Sunday night. The series is supposed to give viewers an #unfiltered look at the youngest KarJenner daughter’s experiences when she’s not debuting new hairstyles on The ‘gram or inciting Twitter drama. Essentially, Life Of Kylie is supposedly a chance to meet the real young woman behind the lip kit. While a good portion of the one-hour premiere "Nineteen" parts 1 and 2 deals with Kylie’s trip to prom and her best friendship with Jordyn Woods, we do get an unexpectedly honest deep dive into the cosmetics mogul’s inner life. The most surprising reveal from Life Of Kylie’s debut? Kylie Jenner admitting she’s really just playing a character. The Kylie Jenner we think we know isn't real.
Life Of Kylie is out to prove the Instagram selfie artist we all know as Kylie Jenner is a simple mirage created as a self-defense mechanism. "I just feel like for so long I’ve been putting on this like, different persona to the world," she tells an unseen specialist during her first-ever trip to therapy. "I feel like I have to kind of keep up this idea about who I am. I think I lost a lot of parts of myself."
This erasure started happening even more rapidly as Kylie's celebrity got "bigger," and the social-media trolls began pouring out of the woodwork. "When that started happening, that really affected me. So I was like, ‘I’m not gonna show people that side of me.’" As a way to protect herself from criticism, Kylie explains while her classic Snapchat OOTD videos play, “I’m kind of putting up a version of myself to the world that isn’t fully me … [criticism] doesn’t really hurt me because I know that that’s not really me.” Technically, that means Kylie is outing the life of Kylie — and therefore The Life Of Kylie — as a complete fabrication aimed at garnering the highest number at fans. This is the most accidentally honest any KarJenner family member has ever been about the clan's expansive TV empire. It also might be the closest we'll ever get to the inner workings of Kardashian-Jenner image manipulation.
While multi-millionaire Kylie admits "a lot of people have it worse," her confession is seriously alarming for a 19-year-old young woman. The E! star is barely an adult, and she’s already complaining to her therapist at near-tears, "Sometimes I’m like, ‘This is it, I’m going insane.’ Like, I’m going crazy."
After looking back at old social media videos of the longtime reality TV star, it’s pretty clear she did ditch her "funny" and fearless personality for the glammed-up one now dominating social media. In one old video, the teen swings around in a children’s park. In another, she jumps in a hallway, hits an overhead light, and falls on the floor — it’s 110 percent the kind of physical comedy one can’t safely do in Christian Louboutin heels. In others she giggles loudly, uses weird voices, and screams with abandon. Where Kylie has now perfected pouting on video while listening to the latest rap songs, she used to belt along and make purposefully hilarious faces with BFF Jordyn. Although Kylie should feel free to love her new persona, it’s pretty clear she desperately misses her old one. Sadly, she’s too afraid of haters to pull the “Old Kylie” out of the mothballs and back into the public light.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Kylie has admitted to covering up her personality to deal with life as The World’s Most Famous Teen (who's about to turn 20). “On Snapchat I show people what I think they want to see. That’s not me. It’s a projected image. A brand. I’m not a different person. I just don’t show all of me.” she told Allure in July 2016."I usually don't show my true personality to the world, because when you open yourself up so much, there's more room for people to say things about you." At the time, it was unclear how far Kylie was willing to go to keep the haters at bay. Life Of Kylie shows its star has been slowly cutting her true self out of her public image amid countless bouts of extreme anxiety.
At least we can understand why Kylie, who’s seemingly pretty unhappy leading a double life, is still pretending to play a character for the crowds. During a midnight trip to the beach with Jordyn, Kylie ponders whether she’s actually made out for this “fame thing.” She points out that older sister Kendall Jenner, along with friends Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin, make millennial celebrity look effortless. The Life Of Kylie lead, on the other hand couldn’t be having a harder time getting comfortable with fame, all these years later. In fact, Kylie would rather sport her sweats and Heelys roller sneakers over the body-con, Instagram-ready outfits she’s now known for. Yet, she says, “the only reason why I keep it up a little bit is [for] Kylie Cosmetics." So, Kylie apparently believes the only way to keep her company successful is to stay in the spotlight. Ergo, the only way to stay relevant is to keep up appearances on the requisite social media sites. So, Kylie is currently ready to trade in pieces of her emotional well-being to sustain her “passion,” as she’s repeatedly called her beauty business.
For those worried about Kylie’s well-being after these huge bombshells, there is a little bit of hope. During her heart-to-heart with Jordyn, Kylie prophesies, “This fame thing is going to come to an end sooner than we think.” Only time will tell if that’s the truth or a wishful mantra.