Kylie Jenner just ushered in a new Jenner-ation, welcoming a little baby girl to the world after almost nine months of unprecedented secrecy from the Kardashian Klan member.
Jenner announced she’d given birth to a healthy 8lb 9oz baby girl on February 1 at 4:43pm via YouTube and Instagram yesterday, (February 2), after a long social media hiatus from the self-titled cosmetics ‘baby boss’.
You can watch the sweet video, titled ‘To Our Daughter’, below:
While the Internet loses its collective mind, after months and months of Keeping up with Kylie and a greedy consumption of all things Kardashian rumour-mill, the 20-year-old new mum is presumably sitting at home enjoying the company of her baby girl.
She shared a message to all her fans, who she’d ‘kept in the dark’, which read:
I’m sorry for keeping you in the dark through all the assumptions. I understand you’re used to me bringing you along on all my journeys.
My pregancy was one I chose not to do in front of the world.
I knew for myself i needed to prepare for this role of a lifetime in the most positive, stress free, and healthy way i knew how. [sic]
The sweet – but totally unnecessary and undeserved apology – illustrates just how much pressure there is on Kylie Jenner to live a life which isn’t always her own.
Speculation over the beauty mogul’s uterus has been weirdly rife online in the passing months and, for someone who grew up on the TV, Kylie’s silence baffled the masses.
We’re all guilty of forgetting she’s a living, breathing human, deserving of respect, even if she’s a product of nepotism – just like her new baby daughter.
Jenner’s story is a damning indictment of how we, as a society, treat expectant mothers.
Frankly, it’s no surprise she wanted to keep her pregnancy quiet.
For a young woman in the public eye, a private pregnancy is a safe-haven from the relentless judgement, criticism and trolling which is inevitable, not only as a consequence of Kylie’s fame, but also with the very fact of motherhood.
Rachel Waddilove, author of The Baby Journal, among other parenting advice books, told UNILAD about the minefield of advice for those new to motherhood.
From ‘practical pressures’ to the ‘chaos’ of introducing routine, as well as choosing whether to breastfeed, ‘attachment parent’ and ‘co-sleep’, Waddilove, who also runs a consultancy service offering help and advice to parents of babies and toddlers, said there’s ‘huge pressure’ on young mums – particularly those in the public eye.
Waddilove, who’s worked with other celebrity mums, added:
We live in a time when everything is public, right down to what your child had for tea. It’s crazy. We’ve lost the plot. It’s so important – whoever we are – to be able to be private. I take my hat off to her.
Birth is a great leveller and whether you’re a celebrity mum or Mrs Bloggs from round the corner, you’ll go through exactly the same emotions.
Moreover, when celebrity mothers come back into the magazines, it puts pressure on a new mother, particularly with pregnancy and the aftermath.
In the past few years, with the dissemination of divisive social media commentary, expectant mothers are increasingly subjected to systematic structures in our society which alienate young pregnant women both online and in their day-to-day lives.
Waddilove believes Jenner’s decision to extricate herself is ‘sensible’:
Social media can be incredibly damaging because the younger generation spend most of their time looking at a screen – and it’s like gospel truth to them.
Even though there’s lots of good stuff about social media, if it’s not used properly, it takes away a person’s ability to make a free choice.
For young women, it can be quite dangerous as social media can bring your stress levels up and down, especially if someone says something negative about you.
Pregnant women – particularly women as controversially capitalist as Jenner – are no stranger to negativity.
Whether it’s judgement online for lifestyle choices during pregnancy, age and body shame, the unwanted attention from strangers in the street who grab at bellies, demonstrate a lack of spatial awareness and perpetuate the assumption baby hormones make women act or behave in an anti-social way, expectant mums get it from all angles.
The life of Kylie is a strange and sad case of self-censorship, self-objectification and self-preservation.
You can hardly blame her for her distant and stoic social media aesthetic, considering she’s unfairly hounded left, right and centre by tabloids, while remaining utterly reliant on press for her livelihood.
Kylie has spoken out before about the pressures of her highly-curated social media existence:
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So, at a vulnerable time in the 20-year-old’s life, perhaps she retreated from the limelight for her baby’s health and for her own sanity?
Confirming the decision was not one undertaken for financial gain, Kylie added:
There was no gotcha moment, no paid big reveal I had planned. I knew my baby would feel every stress and every emotion so I chose to do it this way for my little life and our happiness. [sic]
Thanking her fans for their ‘understanding’, Kylie concluded by saying she’ll miss pregnancy, calling the experience ‘the most beautiful, empowering and life changing experience I’ve had in my entire life’.
Maybe she’ll miss the peace and quiet; the break from an unrelenting and perpetual job; simply being Kylie Jenner?
An 11-minute video, released yesterday, shows Jenner and her partner, the rapper Travis Scott, go through the highs and lows of pregnancy together, attending sonogram appointments and hanging out with the future grandparents of the couple’s newborn.
While many expected Kylie to stay quiet after the birth, it seems she’s back on social media, with many well-wishers welcoming her with open arms.
Khloe Kardashian, her sister who’s also expecting, shared this message:
The video with which Kylie announced the birth of her baby girl is trending on YouTube. Her Instagram post has been viewed 40.7 million times, at latest count.
It seems Kylie – whether she likes it or not – will both court and boast the benefits of her public persona.
Let’s be honest, she was damned if she did and damned if she didn’t.
Maybe those who – bizarrely – believe mums with pregnant bellies rather than babies are public property, will finally stop shaming the young woman for her brave choices now she’s mother to a beautiful bouncing baby girl?
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.