Culture

Kylie Jenner's Picture of Her New Baby Is the Most-Liked Photo on Instagram Ever

Should We Be Surprised?

By Cait Munro ·
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It's official: Kylie Jenner's latest Instagram post, an image of her newborn baby's tiny hand holding her own perfectly-manicured thumb is the most-liked photograph on Instagram. Posted just yesterday, the picture also reveals the infant's name, Stormi Webster. So far, it has received over 15 million likes—a far cry from the whopping 65 million views her baby announcement video got, but more than, you know, literally any other image on all of Instagram. Sorry Beyoncé, Rumi and Sir. Sorry Cristiano Ronaldo. (Apparently a picture of him with his newborn twins actually has slightly more likes than Beyoncé's. Who knew?!) And sorriest of all to anybody who had grown kind of accustomed to Kylie's relative absence.

To be fair, Jenner made something of an admirable statement in keeping her pregnancy to herself. In a separate post on Instagram, she explained the decision to her followers thusly: "I knew my baby would feel every stress and every emotion so I chose to do it this way for my little life and our happiness." Aside from the ridiculousness of referring to her highly public life as "little," the sentiment is pretty hard to argue with. The way our culture picks apart famous women's pregnancies—from analyzing the slightest changes in their bodies to harshly judging their future parenting abilities—is pretty gross. I wouldn't want to participate in it either, and the Kar-Jenners don't really have to. Sure, in the past some of them have, but thanks to factors like Instagram and the reality shows they both produce and star in, the sisters wield an unprecedented amount of control over their own images and the narratives they choose to present to the world. They also definitely have the money to pay off anybody who threatens to reveal anything they don't want going public. Kylie's ability to more or less hide an entire pregnancy only proves that fact.

But at the end of the day, the Kardashian family is also a business and everything they do is about serving their bottom line; because their business is inextricable from their private lives, even the things they do that seemingly aren't business-motivated tend to affect their business, anyway. In choosing to keep her pregnancy a secret, Kylie simultaneously got a much-needed break from fame and stoked the flames of our collective curiosity for a very long nine months. Fans and non-fans alike are so used to knowing every single detail of her life that when, suddenly, they didn't, everybody freaked out. People want what they can't have, even if it's just information about a 20-year-old reality television star's potential pregnancy. 

So what does it mean that we apparently live in an era that prioritizes—in the currency that is Instagram likes, at least—Kar-Jenner offspring over that of more, shall we say, traditionally talented people like Beyoncé? It means that the smartest, most sure-fire way to get attention, especially for someone as otherwise over-exposed as Kylie, is to pretend like you don't want it—to abruptly refuse the people what you've so generously given them in the past. Even Beyoncé's perfectly staged, insanely regal maternity glamour shots were no match for the sweet satisfaction that comes from finally knowing that Jenner was, indeed, pregnant this whole time and that her baby is finally here and that it's name is something as objectively absurd and instantly meme-able as Stormi. I mean, come on. It was the perfect PR move that maybe wasn't even really a PR move (although probably was a PR move).

But now, of course, Kylie is back, and she not only has herself and her lip kit empire to promote, but also the newest addition to the clan. If anything can be gleaned from sister Kim's recent, thirsty post-baby social media behavior, which has included everything from almost-nude pics to culturally-appropriative braids (sigh), Kylie may be about to lean in hard to the business of being Kar-Jenner. So strap in, because if there's one thing these sisters love, it's one-upping each other.

Cait Munro is a freelance writer, editor, and digital content creator who obsesses about art, fashion, entertainment, and culture both pop and otherwise. Her work has appeared on Vice, New York Magazine, Artnet News, xoJane, BULLETT, and elsewhere.

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