After a month of reported rumors, Kylie Jenner finally announced her second pregnancy with her partner and co-parent Travis Scott. In an age of plummeting marriage and birth rates, the Kardashian-Jenner clan is surprisingly counter-cultural about having babies, but not so much in committing to their babies’ daddies.
Kylie’s unborn child will be the 11th grandchild for Kris Jenner, all from her own six Kardashian and Jenner children. Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, and Kylie are often enthusiastic in the press and on social media about how much they love being moms and all the positive ways their children motivate and inspire them, yet not one of them is married to the father of their children. Kourtney and Kim are both divorced (RIP Kimye), and neither Khloe nor Kylie have married their partners, despite both co-parenting and stating they want their children to have siblings from the same father.
Kylie gave birth to her first daughter, Stormi, when she was 20 years old, while the average age for first-time moms in America is now up to 26. Despite today’s cultural messaging to young women that your 20s are for independence, career-building, and delaying family life, Kylie has spent the first half of her 20s launching million-dollar beauty and makeup lines and making babies.
As an aside, and as I’ve written about before, Kylie does a better job than most elites in this country at using her resources to create a nurturing, family-first, work-life-home balance for herself and her daughter. Rather than advocating for free universal childcare like many feminists who want to outsource child-rearing, the Kylie Cosmetics offices are a working mom’s dream, complete with a nursery connected to her own office. Like every mom would do if she was a billionaire, Kylie builds her work around Stormi, her “biggest motivator.”
“She really comes before me so that is a lot to take in at a young age but I feel like I was definitely made for this and she has changed my life for the better,” Jenner said in 2019.
In her relationship with Stormi’s father, rapper Travis Scott, things are confusing, to say the least. Kylie and Travis often refer to each other as “hubby” and “wifey” but also go in and out of seasons of being “together,” at least to the public’s knowledge.
In a 2019 birthday post to Travis, Kylie wrote, “My real life bestie & hubby all wrapped into one. I love you and I’m so so proud of you. Happy Happy birthday. Let’s f–k around and have another baby.” While their decision to remain committed co-parents may appear mature, their on-again-off-again relationship feels much more juvenile.
Much like motherhood, marriage is an incredible and empowering venture worth pursuing – one that Kylie, her children, and the adoring followers she influences would all stand to benefit from.
The fact is that children born to married couples are better off in nearly every measurable facet of life. Children raised in two-parent, married homes are more likely to graduate from college and earn higher incomes, are physically and emotionally healthier, less likely to use drugs or alcohol, less likely to face abuse, and less likely to have their own children out of wedlock or get divorced. The same odds do not translate to children born to cohabitating, but unwed parents.
It is also extremely beneficial to women, with and without children, to get hitched. Married women are physically safer. A Department of Justice study found that never-married women are nearly four times more likely to be victims of violent crime. Married women are also better off emotionally and psychologically, with lower rates of depression and suicide than unmarried women.
Of course, a Kardashian or Jenner can easily use her fame and fortune to paper over many of these problems faced by average women and children in unmarried homes. But most of their millions of followers cannot, especially women and children of lower incomes.
Deep down, most people don’t need to hear the studies or the research to know that marriage is, by and large, a good thing, any way you measure it. Our culture gets marriage wrong, not because people don’t want to be better off financially, emotionally, etc., but because we live in a culture obsessed with the self – the antithesis of marriage as an institution grounded in self-denial.
Without projecting too much onto the intimate details of Kylie and Travis’s relationship, one can see how this issue of dying to oneself might interfere with their individual brands, Instagram followers, and even bank accounts. Perhaps this is a reason to avoid marriage for all the Kardashian-Jenner sisters. We will never know, but we can pray, for their own benefit as well as the benefit of their children, that the birth of Kylie and Travis’s second child will solidify their commitment to each other and encourage them to take the plunge.