Keeping Up with the Kardashians first debuted in the fall of 2007. The 20th and final season of E!’s blockbuster reality TV show premiered in the spring of 2021, and its series finale is set to air in June 2021.
For more than a decade, audiences have watched the Kardashian and Jenner families navigate life’s dramas, and they’ve observed Kylie Jenner — the youngest sibling in the reality TV family — grow up in front of the cameras.
Now that it’s all coming to a close, many fans are re-watching past seasons of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and coming to a startling conclusion: While Kylie Jenner used to be portrayed as having a sweet personality in early seasons, something changed in later years. And these fans think they know why.
Kylie Jenner is the youngest member of the famous Kardashian-Jenner clan
While Keeping Up with the Kardashians features a revolving roster of celebrities and guests, it primarily focuses on family matriarch Kris Jenner’s daughters: Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian and Khloé Kardashian, and Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner.
Kylie Jenner was born in 1997 and is the youngest of all of Kris Jenner’s daughters.
According to Entertainment Weekly, she was only nine years old when the show started. Many of the early episodes feature her being playful and silly, and highlight her sweet nature. However, both Kylie and her older sister Kendall have openly shared how difficult it was to grow up on television.
In an interview with People, the siblings point out that their older sisters were already in their 20s when fame struck, whereas Kylie and Kendall were put under intense scrutiny at a very young age.
“[Kim, Khloe and Kourney] lived it normally and then once they were already grown up, they went through what we’re now going through,” explained Kendall. “They even say to us: ‘If I was in your position, I would not be able to handle it.’”
Kylie Jenner has had her share of controversies as an adult
This aforementioned scrutiny has led to Kylie Jenner’s own share of controversies over the years. For example, Forbes accused the reality star-turned-skincare-mogul of lying about her wealth and influence, and spinning a “web of lies.” Teen Vogue also notes that the youngest Jenner has often been accused of cultural appropriation and other race-related problems.
And that doesn’t include any of the interpersonal drama and celebrity gossip that’s inherent in the world of reality television. Much of this is centered on paparazzi rumors and social media comments, causing Kylie Jenner to post on Instagram that all of it causes her a lot of anxiety.
“Growing up in the light with a million eyes on you just isn’t normal,” she wrote, as quoted by Business Insider. “I’ve lost friends along the way and I’ve lost myself too sometimes,” she said, adding that “life is not perfect” and asking those who follow her online to “be gentle.”
Now, fans think there’s a connection between the sweet, innocent portrayal of Kylie Jenner at the start of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, her string of more recent controversies, and the intense pressure that comes from growing up in the spotlight.
Some fans think the change in Kylie Jenner is due to social media and Hollywood pressure
After re-watching the first 13 seasons of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Reddit user the_skintellectual posted that, “It’s so crazy rewatching knowing that Kylie eventually becomes a billionaire. She seems like a robot on the show. It’s like she’s not a real person, more so a caricature of a person. I feel like we don’t know her at all.”
Many Redditors immediately agreed, although some pushed back with their own theories of Kylie Jenner’s on-screen and online personality. “When I rewatched I was surprised to find that Kylie once did have a personality,” commented Reddit user hopefthistime. “In early seasons I thought she came off as quite a sweet and upbeat kid.”
“She used to be really active in Vine with fun videos that showed a lot of her personality,” added user WhisperInWater. “Unfortunately she got a ton of negative comments which I’m sure contributed to her being so reserved now.”
This perspective isn’t relegated solely to Reddit. The critics at the Washington Post recently declared that “Kylie Jenner is now an adult, but reality TV ensured she never had a childhood.”
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