It’s no secret that everyone in the Kardashian-Jenner clan wears many hats. For the past several years, however, Kendall Jenner’s main hat read “big-time model.” Unfortunately for Jenner, it’s a recent comment about her career that has Jenner not-so-popular right now amongst her modeling peers.
Jenner, who has appeared in a slew of high-profile ad campaigns and has walked in shows for nearly every huge designer in the industry, recently sat down with Love for their 10th anniversary issue. During the interview, Jenner stated that she is a bit more choosey with her modeling than some “other girls” might be. According to an Instagram caption posted by Love, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star reportedly said:
“Since the beginning we’ve been super selective about what shows I would do. I was never one of those girls who would do like 30 shows a season or whatever the fuck those girls do. More power to ‘em. But I had a million jobs, not only catwalks but everything else. The whole combination was very overwhelming and I started to freak out a little bit and needed to take a step back.”
Jenner added that she was “on the verge of a mental breakdown.”
“Since the beginning we’ve been super selective about what shows I would do. I was never one of those girls who would do like 30 shows a season or whatever the fuck those girls do. More power to ‘em. But I had a million jobs, not only catwalks but everything else. The whole combination was very overwhelming and I started to freak out a little bit and needed to take a step back,” says the 22-year-old, admitting that she “was on the verge of a mental breakdown.” #LOVE20 Photographer @alasdairmclellan Fashion Editor @kegrand Make up @ctilburymakeup Hair @jamesspecis Casting @bitton Interview #MurrayHealy
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In 2017, Jenner was reportedly the highest paid model in the world, earning around $18 million dollars that year from contracts. Not only is Jenner a model, she’s also a name, courtesy of her place in the uber-famous Kardashian-Jenner family. The reality is, Jenner can afford to be a bit pickier than other models — something other models were quick to point out.
According to W, which shared screenshots of posts that have since expired or been deleted, model Daria Strokous took to her Instagram Story to share the Jenner caption with a note of her own written over the photo:
“‘Whatever the fuck these girls do’ is their very best to make their way up AND try to make some money so that they can provide for themselves and their families,” Strokous wrote. “Oh and it’s 70 shows a season by the way. And we are all fucking proud of every single one of the girls that did that.”
Amber Witcomb simply wrote “I have no words” over Jenner’s Love image, while Teddy Quinlivan shared a longer message about Jenner’s interview to her Instagram Story:
“We all work extremely hard to pursue our dream, even the ‘girls who walk 30 shows a season or whatever the fuck those girls do.’ If you are lucky as a model you might make enough to not be in debt to your agency; maybe even move out of the model apartment… if you’re lucky. I’m privileged, I’m white, I’m a passable trans woman, my family doesn’t rely on my paycheck to survive. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for a vast majority of models who have to leave everything behind including their families in pursuit of a better life,” she wrote.
Of Jenner’s Love interview, a representative for Jenner shared a statement with Refinery29:
“Not what she meant to say. The quote was taken out of context. Mid-thought [Jenner] realized the number of shows some models walk a season is closer to 80. The point was that it’s their path and ‘the more power to them.’ She admires their hard work and dedication. It’s an accomplishment.”
Jenner’s modeling comment was also about noting the toll that modeling takes on her own mental health. Jenner has long been open about her struggle with anxiety, and in a February episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Jenner’s mother Kris tells the camera that her daughter’s anxiety issues are much worse during fashion week, and when she’s traveling a lot for work.
Despite the reality of what Jenner meant, the response to her comments by other models brings up a truth about the industry. While there are many women who find great success in the industry (like, say, Jenner’s friends Bella and Gigi Hadid) there are many other lesser-known models for whom work is a constant grind, and money does not come in excess. It should make us look at those glamorous runway shows in a different light.
If you are experiencing anxiety and are in need of crisis support, please call the Crisis Call Center ’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.