celebrity

Kylie Jenner gave birth five days ago. The timing of her announcement was no coincidence.

In Hollywood, nothing ever happens by accident.

A sudden influx of relatively meaningless stories about one person? Well, what are they selling? The sudden saturation of paparazzi photos of one person? Well, what are they promoting? The sudden and peculiar timing of a break-up announcement, a birth announcement or a relationship announcement? Well, what’s the news cycle like that day?

Yesterday, Kylie Jenner announced the birth of her “beautiful” baby girl, some four-and-a-half months after an incessant rumour took hold of the news cycle. A usually public Jenner all but disappeared from the limelight, the streets and social media.

And then, as if a deliberate period of hibernation was over, Jenner reared her head once again. A statement was released, her baby was here.

“I’m sorry for keeping you in the dark though all the assumptions,” she wrote. “I understand you’re used to me bringing you along on all my journeys [sic].

Listen: Is it a bit rich for a family who’ve built their brand in the public eye to ask for privacy? The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss.

“My pregnancy was one I chose not to do in front of the world. I knew for myself I needed to prepare for this role of a lifetime in the most positive stress-free and healthy way I knew how.

“There was no gotcha moment, no big paid reveal I had planned. I knew my baby would feel every stress and every emotion so I chose to do it this way for my little life and our happiness.”

Jenner went on, announcing her baby girl came into the world on February 1st and she “just couldn’t wait to share this blessing”.

Of course, when Jenner says she couldn’t wait, she still managed to wait four or five days until Sunday rolled around.

On Sunday US time, Americans united in the biggest day on their sporting and entertainment calendar. It was the day of the 52nd Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is undoubtedly the biggest American television event of every year. According to Sports Illustrated, 19 of the 20 most-watched television shows of all time in the US are Super Bowl broadcasts. (Props for the series finale of M*A*S*H for cracking its way into the top 20.)

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The day of the Super Bowl is a day, more than any other day, where people ravenously consume media. If they’re not watching the sickeningly expensive ads between play (where slots can cost up to $US50m), they’re on their phones. If they’re not tweeting about the play, they’re tweeting about the much-hyped half-time show. If there not doing that, they’re scrolling, scrolling, scrolling; searching for anything to distract them other than sport. Like a Kardashian baby, for example.

On Sunday in the US, people were sitting at home watching the game, surrounded by devices that keep them in touch with the world around them.

And so, it’s perhaps no surprise the Kardashian conglomerate decided it was a day worthy of a baby announcement. Jenner went on to demand a sizeable chunk of the news cycle on a day like no other. On a day when Americans, and in fact, the world, are engaged. After all, more than 30 million people have watched a video Jenner created of her pregnancy in the 24 hours since she went public.

That’s no small feat, and it’s no accident.

You can laugh or raise an eyebrow or be sceptical, but the Kardashian family didn’t rise to prominence by accident. They rose because of the tiny, incidental, blink-and-you’ll-miss it press opportunities: Ones born from meticulous planning and careful timing.

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