Remember that time Kylie Jenner said she wanted to “go more natural” in 2016? Well, either she forgot about that or Paper Magazine deliberately ignored her wishes, because there’s nothing natural about her cover for their YOUth issue. Unless you think looking like a Katy Perry-esque blow-up doll is natural, in which case, well, I have some questions for you.
The cover, which features a very exaggerated, plastic-looking Kylie, is set up to look like an Instagram photo, making the fact that Paper posted to the cover to its IRL Instagram page earlier this morning eerily meta:
The overdone Barbie-on-steriods-ness of it all vaguely reminds me of the highly controversial editorial spread that Kylie did for Interview, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. The youngest Jenner seems to have a knack for playing off of the media’s long-time criticism that she’s all fake, what with her wigs, lips, and stiletto nails, the latter of which she has replaced with a shorter, more neutral shape.
Here’s the thing: while I absolutely hate this cover (I’m sure Paper was just trying to be cute and ~artistic~, but it just makes me a bit uncomfortable, and I prefer it when teenagers actually look like teenagers), what I hate even more is the fact that Kylie felt the need to defend her appearance on it. When she posted the photo to her own Instagram, this is how she captioned it [author’s note: emphasis is my own]:
“Wow wow wow my @papermagazine COVER on newsstands 4/12. This is so amazing. Photographed by @erikmadiganheck styled by @rushkabergman #YOUth (and yes my eyes and lips are edited to look bigger)“
I mean, OBVIOUSLY Kylie’s features were edited to look bigger. She’s literally wearing a plastic pink wig, for crying out loud. What I hate is that, if she didn’t include that little disclaimer in her caption, you know that ignorant firestarters would be putting her on blast for “getting extreme plastic surgery” and “setting a bad example for girls.” It’s sad that, because of her own personal choice to have cosmetic procedures done, which she’s totally in her right to do whether or not anyone else thinks so, she has to live her life explaining away every little artistic detail of even an intentionally over-the-top magazine cover for a publication known for its weirdness.
So say what you will about this particular cover. I maintain that I hate the concept and hte way it was styled and don’t really see any artistic value in it, and you may or may not agree. But don’t bash Kylie’s physical appearance. Just be glad that they never made a character on LazyTown look like this.