She and sister Kylie hosted a party for the dating app Bumble, which they almost certainly have never used and probably never will. Yet, according to Instagram, Jenner was "having so much fun" promoting it. (#Ad.)
The event, and Jenner's Instagram promoting, was aggressively generic... and that's just what the doctor ordered as she shirks responsibility in favor of a sponsor-friendly, apolitical career. If nothing Kendall Jenner touches has a hint of whatever the essential essence of Kendall Jenner is (in the past, she has claimed that not wearing bras is Her Thing, which, great!), then the blame can't really fall on her.
Journalists covering the event were reportedly barred from any questions even slightly referencing Kendall Jenner's soda pop bumble (pun intended) or their outlet will "forever be persona non grata," according to TMZ. Questions had to be submitted in advance of the event and if the reporter deviated, they would allegedly lose all Jenner access.
Jenner herself hasn't said a peep about the controversy, and probably won't until she opens up in a GQ cover story or an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Or, ideally, do Mama Kris' beloved cross-promoted combination of the two — Exhibit A: Famousgate.
Following the controversy, Pepsi pulled the ad and issued a ludicrous apology reading, "We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.” That position she was in, of course, was accepting cash and then cartwheeling out of the situation without accepting any personal responsibility for co-opting political movements. Never mind the actual pain people deeply affected by the use of such loaded imagery.
Of course it's believable that Kendall Jenner had no stake in the content of the ad until things went awry. It's not like anyone actually believed Kenny's an actual Pepsi customer. Does Kendall Jenner even know what Pepsi tastes like? This is a girl who painted her walls Pepto Bismol pink because the color is supposed to be an appetite suppressant.
And hey, at least it's better than when Kardashian prototype Paris Hilton posed, peace sign blazing, in a "Vote or Die" shirt, although it later came out that she didn't actually cast a ballot herself. (Hilton did end up voting in the 2016 election to support longtime family friend Donald Trump.)
As noted by The New Yorker in "The Profound Silence of Kendall Jenner," Jenner's always used her relatively ambivalent attitude towards the family business of oversharing to cultivate an air of mystery. That's why she's able to be a fit for Bumble — she never discusses her personal life so people can project all they want.
At an Apple store event announcing the sisters' lifestyle apps, one slide in the presentation was particularly telling:
Good for you, Kendall pic.twitter.com/oVyRiFRL8P
— Tricia Gilbride (@tricia_gilbride) September 14, 2015
Kendall's trying to be a blank canvas for brands' projections, and for the most part, it's working. Like all her brushes with cultural appropriation, it will pass as long as she remains the tall member of a very famous family.
To paraphrase the now departed Girls, Kendall Jenner isn't the face of her generation. She's a face of a generation. And a bankable one, at that.
Hey, are you on Bumble? Kendall says it's great!