Jessica Ellis
November 22, 2015 8:36 am

Kylie Jenner is a girl following in her family’s footsteps to stardom, and that includes all the abuse hurled her direction.

While on the outside, it may look like she has a perfect, glamorous life, Kylie is just as subject- and even more so, in some cases- to bullying as any teenage girl, as a new video by filmmaker Will Rebein depicts. In the simple but effective video, Kylie is shown receiving a makeover in reverse. We see her first in full glamour-face, eyelashes a mile long, lips a perfect pout, then watch over four minutes as all that is stripped away, leaving a vulnerable makeover-free girl.  Over this, the video adds a running stream of hateful, cruel commentary on Kylie and her looks. “Kylie is a mess,” one comment proclaims. “Kylie looks like a used blow-up doll,” another says. There are also endless comments comparing her to her sisters, particularly Kendall, and finding her wanting. Just what every girl longs to hear- she’s not as pretty as her sister.

The sheer amount of hatred, presented in bulk, over a video of a teenager- albeit a famous, privileged, and rich one- is painful to hear.  Using an anonymous voice-over to present the comments also highlights the downside of the Internet: anyone can say hateful things without fear of reprisal. And while composing and posting a negative response can take only a second, the effects can echo into the target’s life for years.

The video also subtly raises another issue, one that gets to the root of the hatred in the commentary. The extensive makeup routine is itself kind of hard to watch, especially paired with the comments, because Kylie is a girl trying to do everything right by the standards of fashion and fame. She’s contouring every feature, highlighting every inch of cheekbone, and none of it protects her from hatred.

We love our makeup here, and don’t think there’s a thing wrong with wearing it if it makes you feel great. On the other hand, there’s a serious problem when wearing makeup or following fashion becomes something you think you have to do just to survive. The Kardashian family, Kylie included, are often a figurehead of a beauty-obsessed culture in which a face free of makeup does make you more vulnerable, but only barely so over a face full of it.

There is no right answer and no safe harbor for women in a culture where a specific, “acceptable” type of beauty is an entry-level requirement for being considered worthy. While Kylie deserves exactly none of the hate being directed at her looks, there’s something equally harmful in a culture that would attack her just the same for walking out her door with no makeup on at all.

Check out the video below:

Related reading:

What one woman learned when she dressed like Kylie Jenner for a week

Kylie Jenner just launched an Instagram anti-bullying campaign

(Images via Instagram)

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