Expert reveals why Kylie Jenner’s eyebrow-raising Instagram pic influenced voters

No matter where you stand on the Kardashian-Jenner family, it’s hard to deny their influence. For better or worse, they know how to reach people with their message and when that influence is used for social good and to sell lip kits, it’s sort of hard to write the five women off as mere “reality stars.” Especially Kylie Jenner, who posted one of her standard thirst trap pics in a bikini on Sept. 28, 2020. But instead of some cheeky caption, the young mother and businesswoman wrote, “but are you registered to vote? click the link in my bio.. let’s make a plan to vote together.”

That simple caption drove a 1,500% boost in traffic to the Vote.org website, per TMZ. And people weren’t just stopping by to check it out, the org also saw an 80% increase in total users of its registration and verification tool from the day before, resulting in a total of 48,000 users going to Vote.org simply through Kylie’s own “link in bio.” That was all just data from just two days after the original post — it’s entirely likely that traffic only continued to trickle onto the site. That’s a big deal, even though Kylie isn’t normally someone people might associate with politics or even activism.

We spoke to psychologist Dr. Reneé Carr, who is also a political and corporate advisor, about why Kylie’s bikini shot resonated so deeply with people. 

Kylie Jenner is more politically active than you might think

It’s easy to assume that the Kardashian-Jenner sisters lounge around their all-white homes all day, shaking salads and taking selfies. And if you just watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians and their social media accounts casually, that’s what it looks like. But the truth is that the sisters do seemingly make an effort to use their influence and money for good.

Psychologist Dr. Reneé Carr, who is a political and corporate advisor, pointed out to Nicki Swift that Kylie Jenner also “publicly supported voting in the 2016 presidential election,” so this isn’t the first time she’s taken an interest in national politics. In addition to that, Carr noted that the whole family has been more active in addressing social issues recently.

“Her sister, Kim, has been effective in advocating for criminal reform and successful in having the ears of President Trump to release wrongfully convicted persons,” Carr said. She added, “It is likely that Kylie is inspired by her sister and other celebrities to use her own influence — and bikini pictures — for the good of the country.” It’s worth noting that Kylie or Kim or their other sisters haven’t been vocal about supporting any specific party — though Kanye West is on the ballot in some states as a presidential candidate for his new third party, the Birthday Party.

Kylie Jenner's followers are extra devoted to her

Psychologist Dr. Reneé Carr, who is also a political and corporate advisor, told Nicki Swift that Instagram is already a powerful platform when it comes to influencing people, but political ads are largely viewed as “disruptive” since users largely use the platform as a way to distract or entertain themselves. This is why getting celebs like Kylie Jenner to encourage people to vote is so effective.

but are you registered to vote? click the link in my bio.. let’s make a plan to vote together ??

A post shared by Kylie ? (@kyliejenner) on Sep 28, 2020 at 1:58pm PDT

“When a young influencer like Kylie directs people to vote, she will already have the attention of her followers who eagerly await each day to see what she will post. Her Instagram followers are already “in position” to take orders and to be influenced by her. In addition, her sexy bikini picture will grab the attention of people who do not follow her on instagram but their eyes are drawn to her picture,” Carr explained. But it’s more than just people engaging with Kylie. There’s another reason her post was so effective.

Kylie Jenner has a way with words

It wasn’t just the “sexy” bikini picture that got so many people to click thru to Vote.org via Kylie Jenner’s post. The caption was also particularly effective. Psychologist Dr. Reneé Carr told Nicki Swift, “She used enticing language. By writing, ‘let’s make a plan to vote together,’ she is stirring the sexual and friendship imagination of onlookers. Kylie alludes to the possibility of there being an ‘US’ if you vote; and if the onlooker or follower votes then, the act of voting will be one Kylie and the person can do ‘together.’ She also added the visual of two hearts — a subtle addition to the fantasy of being with Kylie either as her lover or as her friend.” 

Carr added that Kylie’s encouragement could have lasting consequences. “It’s possible that persons who voted merely because Kylie encouraged them to do so, may become lifelong voters especially if the candidate for whom the person voted is the winner,” she explained. “Not only will the new voter experience a sense of ‘togetherness’ with Kylie, but s/he will also likely experience a sense of accomplishment and personal power by seeing the direct cause-and-effect of his/her voting.” Carr noted there’s an extra bonus of the candidate they chose wins: “The new voter will conclude, ‘Kylie told me to vote. I did it. And my candidate won.'”

Even though she might not know it, Kylie Jenner’s thirst trap might actually influence the 2020 election — whether her followers are voting for Joe Biden, Donald Trump, or her brother-in-law, Kanye West. 

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