The question was just going to be “Hi, Kylie Jenner, do you have a minute?” or something inane like that. But 18-year-old Kylie, who tonight added Opening Ceremony to the list of front rows she’s dominated this weekend, misread the intent of my approach (iPhone in outstretched hand), turned the tables, and asked me a question.
“Do you want to take a selfie?” she asked cheerfully.
I was utterly confused, bewildered, and maybe a little scared. “Why?” I wanted to ask. Was this a way to steal my soul? Is this geriatric outreach? Part of a help-a-30-something-with-social-media program? How was it that at this moment, her solid wall of elbow-swinging security guards melted away, and the crowds and cameras parted, allowing me to get within striking range? Was this the work of God? Or the devil?
I do not know how to take selfies, but Kylie Jenner’s whole life is a social-media fever dream, so I slid in next to her and asked, “How do we look good in this picture?”
“Let’s just take, like, a million,” she said generously. And I pushed the burst button.
Pro Kylie found her angle — chin down, lips ducked, eyes smized — and held. My face went through some version of the Kübler-Ross cycle: confusion, befuddlement, horror, disgust, shock, joy, excitement.
I looked at her makeup up close, her long fake eyelashes, her perfectly filled-in lips, her layers of artfully applied products, and wondered: Does she have pores? Where does she sweat from? When your skin is that porcelain, contoured, and rouged for a healthy glow, do you forget that death is inevitable? Next to her luminous alien glow, I looked simultaneously two decades younger and two decades older than she does. I became suddenly aware that I am mortal — I sweat, I bleed, I age, my flesh is rotting.
I released the burst button and showed her my handiwork. “Wow, you look so much better than me,” she shrugged knowingly, apologetically, and quickly turned back to Tyga.
Guess we needed a million and one.