The term "self-made" refers to people who've become successful all on their own. When we think of self-made celebrities, we're generally talking about ones who "made it" without the help of family wealth or connections. While money and connections don't negate talent, they definitely give aspiring performers a leg up in the entertainment world.
However, since being self-made is often associated with being hard-working and "deserving" of your success, many celebs claim to be self-made....even though they aren't really.
Here are 14 out-of-touch-comments celebs made about being self-made:
1.Kylie Jenner, who was 10 when her family's first reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, began, found herself at the center of debate when Forbes named her the "youngest self-made billionaire ever" in 2019. At the time, she told Interview Germany, "There’s really no other word to use other than self-made because that is the truth. That is the category that I fall under. Although, I am a special case because before I started Kylie Cosmetics, I had a huge platform and lots of fans."
She continued, "I did not get money from my parents past the age of 15. I used 100% of my own money to start the company, not a dime in my bank account is inherited… and I am very proud of that."
However, she later backtracked, telling the New York Times, "I can’t say I've done it by myself...If they're just talking finances, technically, yes, I don't have any inherited money. But I have had a lot of help and a huge platform."
In 2020, Forbes took away her billionaire status.
2.Addressing the backlash to her little sister's "self-made billionaire" title, Kim Kardashian — whose late father, Rob Kardashian, was a well-known attorney with a reported net worth of millions of dollars — told Refinery29, "I really didn't get it, because she is self-made — we are all self-made. What, because we came from a family that has had success?"
She continued, "To me, that doesn’t really make sense... I know so many people like that [who] haven’t turned out to be as successful as Kylie. If anything, I've seen the complete opposite...Me, Kylie, not one [of my siblings] has ever depended on our parents for anything besides advice. That’s how I lived my life with my dad. He never gave me anything."
3.Paris Hilton, the great-granddaughter of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton, told Refinery29, "I think of myself and anyone who does business as being self-made. Everything I've done, I've done on my own, and yes, I do come from a last name, but there also are many children I know that come from families who, you know, take the choice of not doing anything with their lives."
She added, "I work harder and travel more than any CEO I'm friends with. The same with Kylie [Jenner]. I think any woman who is going to get into business and be an entrepreneur and make a big name and brand for themselves, they are self-made."
4.Brooklyn Peltz Beckham — the son of millionaires David and Victoria Beckham and the son-in-law of billionaire Nelson Peltz, was interviewed from his $1.2 million car Daniel Mac's "What Do You Do For a Living?" TikTok series. He said, "I'm a chef," essentially insinuating that's how he afforded the car.
Offering advice for other aspiring chefs, he added, "Just follow your passion, whatever makes you happy."
5.Lourdes Leon — who's a singer like her mother, Madonna — told The Cut, "I want to feel like I deserve things and not just like I’ve been given things. And, yes, there's undeniable privilege that I'd be stupid to not realize. Nepotism babies are pretty awful usually, and my mom and my father raised me to be so much smarter than that."
She also said that she paid her own college tuition, but she reportedly used the money she earned from launching a clothing line with her mom at 13.
6.Lily-Rose Depp — whose first two roles were alongside her father, Johnny Depp, in Tusk and Yoga Hosers — told Vogue Australia, "It is obviously a really easy assumption to make to think that I would just have roles landing on my doorstep because of my name, but that’s an idea I've always kind of rejected."
She continued, "I’ve always been under the impression that I have to work twice as hard to prove to people that I'm not just here because it's easy for me. I feel like you're not what your name is. If you're not right for something, they're not just going to hire you because your name looks good on the post."
7.Hailey Bieber — whose dad, Stephen Baldwin, and uncles Alec, William, and Daniel are all actors, and whose cousin, Ireland, is a model — told Grazia, "‘I want to do everything on my own without my name being a factor. I try to keep myself separate from it."
She continued, "‘Kids that already have a famous background are just following in their families' footsteps. My dad and all of his brothers have done this. This is my family business."
8.In his 1998 song "Cowboy," Kid Rock sang, "I ain't straight outta Compton, I'm straight out the trailer." In reality, he's reportedly straight out of his millionaire parents' six-acre estate in Michigan, where they own several car dealerships.
His real last name is, rather appropriately, Ritchie.
9.Natasha Bure — who's acted alongside her mom, Candace Cameron Bure, five times — told Today, "A lot of people will kind of assume that if I get any job or work at all that it's from her. Or it's given to me or it's handed to me, and it's honestly quite literally the opposite."
"I work hard for everything that I do, and I'm out here like everyone else just grinding and trying to follow my dreams and make them come true. So I think that’s one misconception that's a little bit frustrating to see," she said.
10.In response to producer Franklin Leonard's tweet calling out a short film almost entirely written, directed, and starring famous people's children, Ben Stiller — the son of actors Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller — defended them. He replied, "Show biz as we all know is pretty rough, and ultimately is a meritocracy."
Stiller also said, "Too easy @franklinleonard. People, working, creating. Everyone has their path. Wish them all the best...Just speaking from experience, and I don't know any of them, I would bet they all have faced challenges. Different than those with no access to the industry."
11.O'Shea Jackson Jr. — who played his dad, Ice Cube, in Straight Outta Compton — tweeted, "My dad told me in a perfect world, I would play him in Straight Outta Compton. I was already in college for screenwriting at USC. I accepted the challenge. And auditioned for two years before getting the role. After that it was up to me, he couldn't hold my hand through my career...I say this to say. To the people who are second, third, or any number of generational talent/wealth. Embrace that shit. Because it's something that's been happening for centuries. Do not let anyone get it in your head that you should feel bad or your accomplishments are less than what they are."
He continued, "Bust your ass! Do the work! And leave something for your kids to do the same thing! It is not a shadow for you to get out of! It is an empire to which you are growing! But it all starts with love of yourself. Love of those before you. A strong mind & WORK."
12.Scott Eastwood had several early roles in films directed by his father, Clint Eastwood, while acting under his birth name, Scott Reeves. He told Route Magazine, "It wasn't really about being in those films with my father, but trying to get some roles on my own, and see if I could do it. Really, to be honest, though, what I realized, and I think that's why I started to go by the other name, was that it didn't really matter. You still have to go in the audition room, you still have to win a role, you still have to be good enough to get it."
He continued, "No one’s going to hand it to you. It doesn’t matter what your name is. You have to go in and face the fire and do it, because no one’s going to hand it to you."
13.Gwyneth Paltrow — whose early work includes High, which was written and directed by her father, Bruce Paltrow, and Hook, which was directed by her godfather, Steven Spielberg — told Glamour, "People think, 'She's just a rich kid.' Until I was 18, I was. Then I was broke. I've never taken a dime off my parents. I'm completely self-made."
She continued, "I went to UC Santa Barbara, and when I quit to try to be an actress, my dad was like, 'That's great, but I'm not gonna help you.' I was like, 'Yeah, right.' And he was like, 'No, I'm not.'"
14.And finally, on Hailey Bieber's YouTube show Who's In My Bathroom?, Gwyneth Paltrow said, "As the child of someone, you get access other people don’t have, so the playing field is not level in that way. However, I really do feel that once your foot is in the door, which you unfairly got in, then you almost have to work twice as hard and be twice as good."
She continued, "People are ready to pull you down and say, 'You don't belong there' or 'You are only there because of your dad or your mom.'"