Maybe when you've been on the cover of Forbes you lose your crowdfunding privileges?
When a young, single working mom reaches out for help, we all have a responsibility to dig deep and give what we can.
And if she's not even asking for herself but for a friend who's in need of some assistance, you know that it must be for an exceptionally good cause. But if you happen to be struggling at the time — maybe with the consequences of some sort of global health crisis that has brought on a major economic downturn — and don't happen to be the founder of your own billion-dollar cosmetics empire, what should you do when the 23-year-old cosmetics mogul and star of Keeping Up with the Kardashians asks you to pay for her makeup artist's medical bills?
There's no easy answer, but it's a situation that those of us unfortunate enough to have never been featured on the cover of Forbes will have to deal with at some point. In fact, that's exactly the situation that Kylie's more than 200 million Instagram followers were faced with over the weekend, when Jenner shared an Instagram story with a link to a GoFundMe campaign raising money for make up artist Samuel Rauda.
Her post read, "May God watch over you and protect you @makeupbysamuel everyone take a moment to say a prayer for Sam who got into an accident this past weekend. And swipe up to visit his families [sic] go fund me," and linked off to the campaign.
Rauda reportedly suffered serious injuries in a recent car accident, and his family was trying to raise $60,000 to pay for multiple emergency surgeries. That initial goal has been reached, but even their updated goal of $120,000 may not cover the absurd cost of receiving vital medical care in the United States.
Rauda, 26 years old, is a talented makeup artist who has a substantial following on Instagram and has done work for numerous celebrities, including the Kardashian-Jenner clan. So it's only natural that Kylie would want to help Rauda and his family in any way she could...other than, you know, paying all the medical costs herself.
To be fair to Kylie — whose estimated net worth is around $700 million — it would take her an average of slightly more than three hours of her life to "earn" an additional $60,000, or require her to give up around 6% of her earnings from one sponsored post. That's obviously beyond the pale, which is why she donated just $5,000 (what she makes during a 15-minute power nap).
And to make up the difference, she turned — rather than to the insanely wealthy people with whom she is surrounded at all times — to the select group of people with the privilege of having an Instagram account... But on the off chance that you somehow find yourself with the luxury of internet access but without hundreds of millions of dollars in spare wealth burning a hole in the pockets of your pleated Balenciaga tracksuit, what should you do the next time Kylie Jenner comes around asking for money?
Come Up with an Excuse
If your funds are tied up in a variety of ventures and assets at the moment, one good excuse is to claim that you're actually drowning in debt. That probably sounds crazy, but it turns out that millions of Americans owe more money to banks, credit card companies, and even hospitals than they earn in a year of full time work. Who knew?!
Some popular options would be, "I was told that my $200,000 college degree would pay for itself, and now I make $13 an hour." Or, "I've been paying off one credit card bill with another credit card for months, and it's the only way I've been able to pay for both rent and food."
This kind of thing might sound like the financial equivalent of "my dog ate my homework," but if Kylie decides to do some research to catch you in your lie, she'll find out that actually millions of people who live outside her bubble are barely scraping by. She'll find out that Americans owe nearly $2 trillion in student debt, and a lot of people can't even afford to go to the doctor for their own health concerns, let alone pay for someone else's emergency surgery with less than 0.01% of their wealth.
She might even find out that "thousands of dollars" is a real sum of money for some people, and actually requires more consideration than a throwaway Insta post. So...pretty good excuse.
Distract and Redirect
Another thing you could do is to throw out a diversion so she forgets that she was asking you for money at all.
One good way to distract her is with some unrelated numbers. She's throwing around figures like $60,000 for surgery, so you can bring up the fact that you can fit around 10 million ping pong balls in a 747, or that the median income for American adults is around $36,000 per year. Or remind her that she made an estimated $590 million in 2020, while millions of Americans were filing for unemployment each month.
If that doesn't work, try throwing some crazy geography facts at her. For example, did you know that Russia has 11 different time zones? Another good one is the fact that America is the only developed economy in the world that doesn't guarantee provide health care for all its citizens. Wacky stuff!
Remind Her Who She Is
Option three — remind Kylie who she is — seems to be the most popular of the bunch, and it comes in many forms, from memes to ranting diatribes. Here's an example of the kind of reminder that might motivate her to stop asking you for money:
"Hey Kylie, remember when you were on the cover of Forbes for being the youngest 'self-made' billionaire in history? Well, it must have been pretty embarrassing after you sold Kylie Cosmetics to have that lie revealed when it was discovered that you actually only had the measly sum of several hundred million dollars...
"You obviously still really want to be a billionaire, but that doesn't mean you have to pinch pennies. You will literally never notice that $60,000 is gone, but you will notice everyone on social media disgusted by your willingness to ask ordinary people to chip in to help someone you know when you did the equivalent of tossing in some pocket change.
"People were annoyed when Sarah Hyland from Modern Family shared a personal GoFundMe campaign, and you have about 100 times more money than her, so...maybe don't?
"Maybe consider the idea that crowdfunding shouldn't be one of the primary ways that people pay for healthcare in the United States, and just offer to cover Samuel Rauda's hospital bills...then throw $500 million behind the push for Medicare for All, to help counter the parasitic trillion dollar American health insurance industry that is fighting tooth and nail to keep driving down life expectancy and make sure that the only way to not die in America is by giving them lots of money.
"Just a thought."