Kendall Jenner is many things: a reckless driver; an excellent goth; a carbophobe. What she is not — as video evidence can attest — is a good dancer. Nevertheless, for a recent shoot Vogue España elected to dress the model in a variety of ballet-adjacent outfits and to film her sashaying around a dance studio. And when the ballet world caught wind of the video, it was not pleased.
“I had to grow up pretty fast, I love being a kid — to run around like a child just not caring,” Jenner says in the video. “I’ve always been adventurous, so I love doing stuff like that — I don’t know, just stupid stuff. I love walking around; being able to be free.”
“The video is, apparently, a sort of little-girl fantasy on ballerina-ness,” writes one blogger for Dance Spirit. “Which, O.K. But to our eyes, the whole thing reads as pretty disrespectful to the artists who devote their lives to this demanding craft.”
Others have spoken in support of Jenner and Vogue — Allison DeBona, a first soloist for Ballet West, wrote in a Facebook post that Jenner is “a beautiful young girl whose job is to do what she’s asked to do.”
And Vogue has historically been pretty good about hiring actual dancers for shoots; the magazine has featured ABT’s Misty Copeland, as well as male dancers such as Rudolf Nureyev and David Hallberg, and Teen Vogue devoted an entire video series to dancers at Miami City Ballet School.
But whether or not you think Vogue España messed up by having Jenner play ballet, one thing’s certain: They didn’t fact-check very well. Speaking from experience, ballet is much less about “running around” and “just not caring” and much more about broken toenails, blisters, and the grueling pursuit of perfection.