Kylie Jenner Claims She “Started” Wigs; Bewigged Women Throughout The Ages Beg To Differ

Kylie Jenner, a woman best known for nothing other than being on a reality television show about her arguably-more famous family, is one of the five “fresh faces” on Marie Claire’s May issue. In the interview, Jenner acknowledges her influence by making one of the more preposterous statements I’ve heard in a long time.

“I started wigs, and now everyone is wearing wigs,” she said. “Kim [Kardashian] just used my wig guy last night.” Let’s pull over, hop out of the car and take a look at this, shall we?

Kylie Jenner did not “start” wigs. Black women have been wearing wigs since time immemorial. Wigs, weave and all sorts of enhancements are traditionally the purview of black women. Kylie Jenner’s recent discovery of wigs and cornrows  may be new to her, but that doesn’t mean that they’re new. Don’t believe me? Here’s Viola Davis on How To Get Away With Murder taking off her wig, her makeup and her lashes.

For further reading, here’s Davis on the importance of that wig scene. Read it, understand it, move on.

What Jenner most likely meant is that she started a line of wigs and hair extensions, not the concept of wigs themselves, and is speaking in the weird, truncated parlance of fashion individuals who insist upon referring to items of clothing in the singular.

Kylie Jenner did not start wigs. Kylie Jenner did not pioneer the concept of nude lipstick and matching lipliner. Kylie Jenner succeeds mostly at capitalizing on the aesthetic of black women and using it for her own gain. Like lots of other people I know, I am in thrall to the Kardashians’ and their empire, but Kylie’s claim about “starting wigs” is indicative of the lack of self-awareness engendered by spending most of their formative years on a Ryan Seacrest-produced television program that will keep her rich for the rest of her days.

“I just do whatever I want to do, and people will follow,” Jenner told Marie Claire.  The lip kit sells out. Wefts of her weave fly off the shelves. She’s right, but that doesn’t make it necessarily okay.