What more does Kylie Jenner have to do for people to let her keep her pregnancy private? Why do people believe they have any right to it in the first place?
To this day, Kylie Jenner has not confirmed that she is pregnant, nor has anyone on her team or in her family, for that matter — only anonymous sources. That she hasn’t spoken on the matter, avoids public life and social media, and covers her stomach in photo shoots means she doesn’t want you to know. And could you blame her?
In 2013, her big sister, Kim Kardashian West, was publically shamed for the weight she gained while pregnant with North. Choosing to live a public life despite it, West was subjected to ridiculous scrutiny and cruelty, two popular comparisons included a killer whale and a couch. TMZ went so far as to title an article “Pregnant Kim Kardashian…Looks Sofa King Good!” The media nitpicking and flurry of memes that followed boiled down to jokes at the expense of a woman’s confidence. Of course, Jenner watched it all unfold at an impressionable age: 16.
In past interviews, like a recent one with V magazine, Jenner talked about her desire to live a normal life “for a second,” and, when talking about her “Sanity” tattoo, she says, “A lot of young stars who grow up in the spotlight have a really hard time. I didn’t want that to be me.” In 2015, rather presciently, she told Elle UK “Once I have a kid I’m not going to be on Instagram…You know, I’ll probably delete my Instagram and just…I don’t know, live life.”
Her decision to keep this particular aspect of her life secret then should come as no surprise, to shield herself from the critics an attempt at protecting her mental health. Alas it’s only fueled the media’s desire to know more, which is why TMZ has resorted to publishing blurry, hyper-zoomed photos and video of Jenner walking around what is very obviously a home construction site. Logic would tell you it’s a private property, one likely owned by her or her accompanying friend, Jordyn Woods. With her mom no more than a few steps behind, it’s a property she should be able to confidently walk around without being photographed by strangers.
A recent episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians covers this exact kind of invasiveness. In it, Jenner calls her mother, Kris, to say she caught an employee trying to take her picture at home. “To have somebody in her own home trying to snap pictures they shouldn't be snapping is really, really stressful,” says Kris Jenner in a talking head segment.
Despite what is a very clear boundary, tabloids have run rampant in their coverage, but so, too, have more niche publications like Teen Vogue, The Cut, W. These are sites that have built brands out of female empowerment, and yet, some still post the photos.
“Kylie Jenner’s return to the public eye was not nearly as glamorous as you would expect” wrote W in a tweet.
Teen Vogue opts for a seemingly incredulous angle of “Kylie Jenner and Jordyn Woods Enjoy a Workout in Matching Black Outfits.” They are sure to say they support her “[living] her life the way she wants to” right before publishing the photos anyways, because they’ve “kind of missed her.”
“Like everyone else on this crumbling planet, I am eager to get more information about the contents of Jenner’s womb,” writes The Cut’s Allie Jones. The title of the apparent non-story is “No One Knows What’s Going on with Kylie Jenner’s Pregnancy.” Notably, The Cut did not post the photos.
Many will argue that the Kardashian-Jenner family members already share everything about their life anyway. Except that they do it on their own terms. To conclude from their sharing that you have an entitlement to Jenner’s body or baby is wrong, even if not in the legal sense. It’s 2018, we know that women have every and any right to their bodies. Jenner could post a picture of her pregnant belly tomorrow, she could sell her baby’s first photos to a magazine a month from now, but it will be on her terms. Not yours.
Banner photo courtesy NBCU