She’s a self-aware star. Kylie Jenner, who along with her sister Kendall Jenner was named one of TIME’s Most Influential Teens, told the mag in a revealing new Q&A published on Thursday, Oct. 29, that she’s cognizant of the influence she holds.
“I think people expect a lot out of us. Whether we’re influential for one reason or another, it is what it is,” the high school grad, 18, said about her famous reality TV family. Some people were outraged after she made the list last year, but Jenner wants them to understand why she deserves the title. “I know how influential I am over my fans and followers. I feel like everything I do, my hair color, my makeup, I always start these huge trends, and I don’t even realize what I’m capable of,” she shared. “I didn’t care what people had to say; I didn’t even read any of that stuff. People might have been upset because we were next to, like, young girls who started schools and crazy things. But we’re just different people! We’re influential in different ways, and that’s okay.”
For example, the reality star’s fans started a massive social media “Kylie Jenner Challenge” that erupted, and later caused backlash. (Some participants tried to mimic the teen’s infamous pout by using shot glasses to suction and swell their lips.) “With the shot glasses thing, that wasn’t even my influence, because I didn’t ever pick up a shot glass; that was a trend before my name was attached to it,” she claimed. “Then people just started calling it the Kylie Jenner lip thing. I went on social media and said I was not down for this, I don’t approve of this. So weird. But I started taking a different approach a couple of months ago.”
Indeed, the reality star started her anti-bullying campaign, #IAmMoreThan. “I thought of the idea because, almost my whole life, since I was 9, since I’ve been in the spotlight, that comes with so much bullying and attacking,” she reflected. “Everything I do, there’s a huge light on it. I’m okay with that because it is what it is, it comes with the lifestyle. [But] it has still affected me a lot.”
In fact, the teen often wishes she led a normal life like some of her lesser-known peers and pals. “All the time. I dream about it,” Jenner said of normalcy. “I never wish to have somebody else’s life — I was meant to have this life for a reason, and I’m going to make the best out of it. But I have normal friends. I sit at my house, and they practically live with me, and I watch them get ready to go to a high school party, hang out with their friends, go to concerts.”
Jenner shared a recent example to illustrate her point. “I was sitting at home and my friend said, ‘Come to this concert right now! Wait… I forgot you’re famous,'” she recalled. “I can’t just get up and go to a concert. I’ve never been to a concert like that with my friends. So there’s a lot of stuff I’ve missed out on, but there’s a lot of experiences [that I’ve had] that they were never able to experience.”
The legacy Jenner wants to leave behind is simple. “That I’ve helped people and that it wasn’t just about me,” she replied of her hopes of having a lasting impact. “That I was an inspiration for young girls. And it wasn’t just getting your lips done and having good hair, but being a good person and inspiring other people to not bully other people and do good things and be nice to everybody.”
While her famous family has millions of critics, they also interact with many loving viewers. “I just want to inspire my fans to be whoever they want to be, because that’s what I’ve always done. And they know that,” she shared. “I’ve been experimenting with my hair, with my lip colors. I have green hair one week, blue hair the other. I’m Gothic another week. I’m always experimenting and trying to figure out who I am and exactly what I want to be. I feel like it inspires them to be exactly who they want to be.”
Though some may argue otherwise, Jenner is very aware of her age. “I know I’m still young and finding myself, and I’m still growing up. But I’m okay with that, because it’s the best part of life, being a teenager,” she dished. “And I’m doing it with my fans. We’re all trying to find ourselves, growing up and making mistakes and trying something different. For me, it’s just a little different because everybody’s watching me. When I’m 25, hopefully I’ll know exactly what I want to do. But I’ll always want to have fun. That’s just my personality.”
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