by Rebecca Smeyne/Getty Images.
Since their show first premiered in 2007, the Kardashian family has built an empire through making themselves accessible to fans. They’ve taken this accessibility cross-platform, sharing personal details of their romantic and professional lives across every social medium. But on Tuesday, Kylie Jenner might have made the first move to tarnish her family’s carefully constructed authenticity. After her app team published an unauthorized post about her relationship with rapper Tyga, Jenner tweeted that she’ll be changing the way she goes about sharing details of her personal life from now on. It’s a statement that has further-reaching implications, though, because it threatens the integrity of the close relationship that all of the Kardashians have worked so hard to create with their acolytes.
“Hey guys from now on I won’t be posting personally on my app anymore . . . ,” she tweeted. “A post went up today quoting something that I NEVER EVER said or saw. A very personal post that I would never ever approve. And it’s unfair to me and you to think that those were my words. I’m sorry and I know we will figure something out so we can all be satisfied. Love you.”
The post at the center of Jenner’s decision was a revealing account of her relationship with her boyfriend, which went into detail about their sex life. And though this post was not written or approved by Jenner herself, her app does often reveal personal information that one would assume comes from its source—the description promises “premium paid content from Kylie’s world, bringing you closer to her than ever before.” Jenner’s statement is somewhat confusing (will she stop posting personal information, or will she never again post something to the app herself?), but it’s unclear what added value a $2.99/month subscription would offer to someone wanting to hear from her directly.
Her sisters make similar efforts to reach their fans, with both Khloé Kardashian and Kendall Jenner posting regularly on their sites. Prior to Kim Kardashian West’s Paris robbery and subsequent break from social media and public life, fans flocked to her app for information they believed to be more intimate than what she shares with everyone on Snapchat and Instagram. Even when Kardashian West had friends and family members posting on the app during her break, most of the posts were about Kim. It’s relatable and personal information (old photos, for example), and it demonstrated that the Kardashians know how to draw in fans no matter what unforeseen circumstances may exist.
Jenner’s revelation that a post had gone up without her approval pulls back the curtain on the machine. It forces followers to question the authenticity of the image she’s presenting on her app. In Kardashian land, that’s a huge problem, because even though it’s been years since their lives were actually relatable, their sleight of hand relies on fans thinking that they’re just like us.
Vanity Fair has reached out to Jenner for additional comment.