Forbes recently released its 2018 “Self-Made Women” edition, discussing women who’ve built successful businesses on their own. The cover features Kylie Jenner and describes her as a “self-made billionaire”; it’s a surprising choice of words considering we’ve been watching her wealthy family all over our TV screens for the past decade.
Dictionary.com’s Twitter account replied by simply defining the word “self-made.”
Self-made means having succeeded in life unaided.
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) July 11, 2018
While it is true that Jenner has achieved something incredible in building a $900 billion dollar empire out of a large social media following, the word “self-made” implies that Jenner did everything on her own, which isn’t the case. Starring on a reality TV show since she was a teen clearly bolstered her popularity, helping her get to where she is now. And that’s without taking into account the fact that her family was wealthy before she developed her line of cosmetics.
Dictionary, show me the definition of “savage” https://t.co/J4PMytUtah
— Karisa Maxwell (@KarisaMaxwell) July 11, 2018
It is not shade to point out that Kylie Jenner isn’t self-made. She grew up in a wealthy, famous family. Her success is commendable but it comes by virtue of her privilege. Words have meanings and it behooves a dictionary to remind us of that. https://t.co/2HzIJbLb8q
— roxane gay (@rgay) July 11, 2018
People all over Twitter were quick to join in on the conversation, laughing over Dictionary.com’s “shade”, which seems like another inappropriate word to use since the site was simply defining a word that was used incorrectly. What’s most surprising is the fact that a renowned publication like Forbes put out this cover without anticipating some backlash.