September 12, 2017

Why Comparing Kylie Jenner to Rihanna Supports a Vicious Cycle

The day Rihanna dropped Fenty Beauty, Kylie Jenner hinted at new products for her namesake beauty label. No big. Coincidences like that happen such as Taylor Swift planning to drop Reputation on the death anniversary of Kanye West’s mother. It’s just how life goes.

Netizens have a different take, however. They are trying to prove Rihanna is out to get Kylie. Or perhaps they are projecting their dislike over Kylie by proving how Rihanna’s brand is going to kick lip kit butt.

This is not the first time that successful women are pitted against one another in social media or in everyday life. Hollywood has a history of making up feuds, making the women go at lengths to disprove it. Jessica Chastain faced it when she was being compared to Jennifer Lawrence. She said, “There has been a stigma out there that women don’t work well together. I’ve never seen women like this. I remember growing up hearing this myth, that women fight when they’re together and it’s completely inaccurate. I’ve never seen it.”

The idea that women need to battle each other out for other people’s approval is a culture that we aren’t even aware we are raised in. It’s apparent in the “You’re not like other girls” comment to half the plot of every other clique against clique film. Recently, we lauded Korina Sanchez for looking good at 52 years old. Some of you shared in our admiration. But a few “I’ve seen better” comments came up. It’s as if Korina can’t be just who she is, she has to beat another person. It turns out beauty isn’t in the eye of the beholder, it’s in the eye of who you are better than.

This why Mean Girls remains an eternal reference. That movie showed how the concept of having a Queen Bee besting everyone is not really a choice of an individual woman, it’s an expected role society wants to keep a sick mechanism going.

Lily Allen also once addressed the issue. “It’s annoying being a woman since everyone pits us against each other,” she said. She also pointed out how one woman’s accomplishment is only good when it is seen against another woman’s achievement. This shows how women are also programmed to always compare themselves to one another. Women can’t be just recognized for who they are.

We expect women to be successful only when they take other women down. We call them names when they are assertive which denote how they take other people out for their own gain. We only think that women want to achieve great things so that they can prove that they are better than the rest of the pack. In some cases, a woman is expected to “rise up” and set apart from other girls so that she can be more like a man. How sick is that?

There is such a thing as women doing things for themselves. There is also such a thing as women supporting other women. Notice how prior to this issue, Kylie Jenner and Rihanna never shared a headline. Isn’t that an indication of how sick we make women relate to one another? See, it’s clear that some of us support dated notions. We have to stop the cycle of comparing women and make them go at each other for the sake of our entertainment. It downplays women’s strengths. It also perpetuates an idea that young girls are exposed to and unknowingly support in their latter years. Imagine girls growing up thinking they are only worth something if they take down others. [Shudder]


Art by Lara Intong

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businesswomen, culture, feminism, Fenty Beauty, girl boss, Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner, makeup, Rihanna

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