Whether Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy announcement came as a shock to you or not, there’s no doubt that the speculation surrounding her nine-month hiatus from public life drummed up a lot of talk around the lip kit queen. Now that the truth about Jenner’s pregnancy is out in the open, the world can’t get enough: The video announcement now has more than 55 million (yes, MILLION) views on YouTube, and baby Stormi has taken the world by (ahem) storm. With all this attention, it’s hard not to wonder how this happy event might affect Jenner’s young fanbase. We talked with Dr. Lauren Brim, author of The New American Family ($22), to find out.
Dr. Brim says that Jenner’s pregnancy reflects a changing American society, especially when it comes to marriage and families. “Women are free to start having children and growing their families without getting married because of lessening social taboos around marriage and sexuality,” she says. The question, then, is if Jenner feels comfortable about her pregnancy because of these changing social norms, or if social norms have changed because of her pregnancy and others like it. In reality, it’s probably both. Dr. Brim says that while Jenner’s experience is indicative of an increasing number of American women, it’s important to note the privileges she enjoys in contrast to the average American.
“I’m very happy for her and her family, as motherhood is one of the greatest gifts a woman can experience,” Dr. Brim says. “She has the health, financial stability, and family support to have an amazing pregnancy and journey to motherhood and the resilience afterwards to continue on with whatever she desires.”
All relationships — and therefore, all motherhoods — are different. Moms come from all different age brackets and social classes. However, for Jenner’s young audience, seeing someone their age move gracefully through pregnancy is a double-edged sword. On one hand, they see an example of a woman who handled a challenge in a mature, thoughtful, resilient way. On the other, watching Jenner’s successful, glamorous life with a child might give them an unrealistic ideal of what young motherhood really looks like.
Dr. Brim also notes that Jenner’s pregnancy reminds us of the realities of fertility. At 20, Kylie is at her most fertile. At this age, Dr. Brim says, women have less of a chance of genetic abnormalities in their babies; less risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, or low birth weight; and fewer health complications and gynecological problems like diabetes or fibroids. Younger mothers also tend to be more resilient after giving birth. While this early-in-life spike in fertility is by no means any reason to rush into motherhood, Jenner’s journey is still a reminder of how fickle fertility really is.
Regardless of her follower’s feelings, social trends, or women’s fertility as a whole, we wish Kylie and Stormi the best of luck as they begin their journey as mom and dot.
How do you think Kylie’s young followers will react to her announcement? Let us know @BritandCo!
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(Photo via Frazer Harrison/Getty)