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Kylie Jenner has had enough. The reality star’s plump lips have been a topic of conversation at the tips of everyone’s tongues but it’s time to change things up. On Monday, the teenager took to Twitter to tell her 7.45 million followers to “just talk about something new” because she’s “bored” and it’s time to talk about “some more important shit.”
The 17-year-old has fueled lip injection rumors lately by posting multiple selfies flaunting lips that seem much larger than what fans of the Keeping Up With the Kardashians castmember are used to. While the fuller appearance is most likely created by applying lip liner above the natural lip line and then filled in with lipstick, that hasn’t stopped people from harassing her photo posts with commentary on the exaggerated look. But while the world wants to know if she has gotten plastic surgery or just has an amazing retouching app, the did she or didn’t she talk opens up a larger discussion on social media conduct and how teens harness its power.
Cyberbullying expert Robin Kowalski tells Yahoo Style that any young person who is the subject of media scrutiny — or any person regardless of age for that matter — runs the risk of experiencing negative consequences of that type of exposure. More importantly, when it comes to dissecting someone’s appearance, especially someone who is underage, can certainly have negative effects. “Many cyberbullying comments tend to be directed at aspects of people’s appearance and we know that cyberbullying can lead to heightened feelings of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, reduced academic performance, and suicidal ideation.”
Kylie’s comments might be fairly innocuous and are deflective rather than defensive but it still probably would have been better for her to hold back from fitting her remarks into 140 characters or less. “Given her position in the spotlight, anything she does or doesn’t do is going to be open for scrutiny,” she says. “So, while in an ideal world, people would have better things to do with their time than comment, that is not real life, so it would probably be better for her not to comment.” Instead of silencing the debate, she just prolonged it — and even injected a shot of adrenaline.
But up-and-coming mogul social media presence might not need such extensive analysis. According to a report last year by Common Sense Media, one in five teens said social media makes them feel more self-assured. If plump puckered lips and sultry selfies boost the teenager’s confidence, more power to her.