Kendall Jenner is once again claiming that her lifelong fame and, specifically, the E! Network reality show her family produces made it challenging for her to become a model.
During the second part of KUWTK reunion special, Kendall Jenner said she appreciated the platform that the show gave her and “never took that for granted.” But the eldest Jenner sister went further, saying, “people probably didn't want to hire me because I was on a reality TV show.”
Back in 2014, Jenner stirred controversy when she told Love: “What I have has almost worked against me.” She continued: "I had to work even harder to get where I wanted because people didn't take me seriously as a model. Because of the TV show."
Jenner’s interest in modeling first became a plot line in Keeping Up With the Kardashians in 2010, when her mom Kris Jenner booked the then 15-year-old a meeting with Wilhelmina Models. A year later, Kendall stormed out of a runway coaching session arranged by her sister Kim Kardashian because she was frustrated with the lesson, explaining in the episode that "Kim originally wanted to do runway but she was too short for it, so I think she's taking her fantasy out on me.”
By the time she turned 18, Kendall had shot campaigns and magazine covers for Forever21, Sherri Hill, Seventeen, and Teen Vogue. By 2018, she had become the highest paid model in the world.
In the KUWTK reunion special, Kendall explained that she’s often offended by people’s assumptions that she didn’t work to get to “the position that I’m now as a model.” She added: “I went to every single casting, ran all over not only New York City but all over Europe trying to get a job and make my way." The 25-year-old also said that she dropped her last name from her modeling portfolio in order to book jobs.
Back in 2018, Jenner angered modeling colleagues when told Love Magazine she was “super-selective” about which shows she’d book: “I was never one of those girls who would do like 30 shows a season or whatever the fuck those girls do.” Professional fashion models including Daria Strokous, Jac Jagaciak, and Amber Witcomb took to Instagram to call out Jenner for her entitlement. “Whatever the fuck those girls do' is do 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 on Instagram stories.
Strokous also pointed out that most models walk in over 70 shows per season, while Teddy Quinlivan hinted that models are often in financial debt to their agencies. "Models don't just come from Calabasas...they come from Somalia, the Siberian Tundra, a rural village in China, a trailer park in Tennessee," wrote Quinlivan. (According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median salary for a model in 2020 was just $31,910.)
Kendall later took to Twitter to explain her comments, writing: “My words were twisted & taken out of context. I want to be clear. The respect that I have for my peers is immeasurable!”