The simple explanation.
First we have to understand what a billionaire is. A billionaire is a person who has a billion units of a valuable currency, such as the dollar. Having a billion of the currency of Uzbekistan is not the same thing. That just means you have enough toilet paper for a few months. To be a billionaire in this sense you should have a billion dollars, euros, or pounds.
Yes, it is kind of racist that they only use this kind of money. No, not even Yen. A billion Yen is only eight million US dollars, so a Japanese billionaire is just Kylie Jenner’s personal assistant’s legal assistant’s intern’s assistant.
Next we have to understand the second part of the question.
What is a Kylie Jenner?
A Jenner is a species of American that includes Kaitlin, Kim Kardashian, Tristan Thompson (for now) and a revolving cast of unfortunate minor black athletes and celebrities.
The Kardashians, to use their scientific name, can be traced to a video recording of one of them dancing a special dance with an associate while unclothed. This original Jenner is known as the “Kim”. The Kim incorporates various others such as Kourtney (pronounced properly), Khloe (Chloe) and Kris (which should be Chris). These feature in regular televised performances of a programme called Keeping up with the Kardashians, where they act interesting.
This is known as Reality TV. Reality TV is a new genre of entertainment where writing teams and directors micromanage every detail of several concurrently running plotlines all the while pretending there is no scripting staff and that it is all spontaneous.
Kylie is one of the many Jenners that have been identified in their natural habitat of tabloid media.
How does she make money?
She stars as the character “Kylie Jenner” in the show, primarily, but also plays the same role in paid engagements and endorsements. Which means that in America, if you are famous, people give you money just for being. If you be at their club, they pay you. If you wear a shoe they make, they pay you. They pay you just for being and doing fame. Especially if you do it on social media, where companies pay Kylie Jenner up to a million dollars to have her staff post their brand name in one of her tweets.
In addition to this, she buys lipstick, cosmetic highlighters and eyeshadow which, after appending her name to the packaging, she resells for a lucrative markup.
It is through such means that she makes money.
Does she make money from being the child of a rich family, i.e. Kris and Caitlin Jenner?
Not anymore. She did until she was 15 years old, after which, BBC reports, she claims to have been disinherited and asked to earn her own money. There is no word on whether this incident of child neglect is being investigated by the American Social Services system.
So to answer the question that brought us here. Is she self-made or not?
If by “self-made” you mean what everybody else in the world means by self-made, that is, making yourself a billionaire having started from poverty, then no way is Kylie Jenner a self-made billionaire.
Forbes Magazine, which started this whole confusion, says “To be clear, Forbes defines “self-made” as someone who built a company or established a fortune on her own, rather than inheriting some or all of it.”
In that context, I guess she’s a self-made billionaire. But the question you may ask next is, does this mean if I stole half a billion dollars, not inherited, but stolen, from Kylie when she wasn’t looking, and invested that money in Kylie Jenner’s companies, and reaped double returns, would I count as a self-made billionaire as well?
To which the answer is yes.