This is exactly why her recent Instagram posts have me feeling sad. Or, I suppose I'm disappointed. Jenner shared two images of herself smoking what appears to be a joint. She's half-clothed, fully made-up, and oozing sex appeal. I take issue with neither smoking nor sex appeal on their own. I do, however, dislike the association between the two. When Kylie Jenner, a woman who has a significant teen following on the internet, shares an image of herself smoking and looking cool, a fallacy is born.
Here's the unfortunate logic: What's that? Kylie Jenner, the most glamorous teen on my newsfeed, smokes? Well then, I suppose I can smoke, too. In fact, should I take up smoking to look cooler?
This is the exact logic that tobacco companies have employed in their advertising for years. Seeing as social media stars frequently advertise on their channels, Jenner's post could plausibly have been sponsored content. Granted, it's likely not, given that Jenner is probably smoking a joint. Marijuana suppliers aren't nearly as aggressive as big tobacco when it comes to advertising (because — and I don't know if you've heard this yet — marijuana's mostly not legal. It's pretty hard to advertise for something that's against the law.)
, "@KylieJenner just posted a pic smoking a joint and now I love her more." There are some problematic responses in there, too. For example, someone isn't "trashy" for smoking, okay? (Actually, while we're here, let's put a moratorium on the "trashy," period.)
@KylieJenner just posted a pic smoking a joint and now I love her more— Tizzy (@tess_bradleyy) March 1, 2017
Kylie, I respect you. I endorse your right to be autonomous. But it's disheartening to see you glamorize the act of smoking. I think we can all agree that the jury's not out on cigarette smoking — the habit is just plain bad for your health. Marijuana is still up in the air, but, hey, smoke is smoke, and the image sticks.