The Decline and Fall of Caitlyn Jenner - Heat Street

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By Ashley Pearson | 10:46 pm, August 3, 2016

The occasion was an early celebration of Kylie Jenner’s 19th birthday.

The birthday girl strutted past the cameras last Sunday in a sheer jumpsuit that was both age inappropriate and overly sexed; her sister Kendall arrived but left her bra at home. As for her half-sisters, Khloe Kardashian sauntered in looking skinnier than ever in a floor-length fur and purple cornrows, while Kim preened in a corset with a new wig.

A typical night out then for TV’s most infamous reality family. What was also normal, and becoming increasingly more so, is that dad Caitlyn Jenner appeared to have been left off the family guest list.

Formerly an integral part of the tight knit clan, it seems that Caitlyn is currently on the outs. She was also a no show at the various Fourth of July celebrations that her family proudly showcased on social media, and she was absent from Kylie’s high school graduation. At the time, Caitlyn’s ex Kris Jenner explained: “Usually people that get a divorce don’t do everything together. It wasn’t malicious, it didn’t intend to hurt anybody’s feelings, but my feelings still weren’t healed.”

Even more tellingly, on Father’s Day, taking to Snapchat with daughter Kylie, Caitlyn revealed, “There it is, my favorite daughter right now. Why? Because it’s Father’s Day and she’s the only one who invited me over. We’re watching the NBA finals!”

Kendall didn’t forget about her dad completely, it should be noted, as she took to Instagram to share a throwback snap of Bruce with her as a toddler, and added a heart emoji.

❤️

A photo posted by Kendall Jenner (@kendalljenner) on

There was nothing from Kourtney, Rob, Khloe or Kim, the latter of which praised her late biological father, Robert Kardashian, saying: “You were the best dad in the world!”

A far cry from last year, when Caitlyn was feted by all her children, from all three marriages. It seems emotions are still running high over the way Caitlyn has spoken about her ex Kris in the press. Speaking of the current climate at home, a family insider told People: “Things aren’t going great with Caitlyn. The way she threw Kris [Jenner]under the bus so badly [in the Vanity Fair cover story last June] made the girls so mad. Khloé still isn’t in a good place with her, and hasn’t really forgiven her. The whole situation made them so close to their mom.”

But it’s not just the family that appears to be giving her the cold shoulder. Recently Caitlyn was hit with a massive backlash from the LGBTQ community after she declared she would like to be Ted Cruz’s ‘trans ambassador.’

Of Ted Cruz, she told The Advocate, “I think he’s very conservative, and a great constitutionalist, and a very articulate man.”

Meanwhile, being an outspoken Republican who has openly praised Donald Trump has hardly endeared her to the famously Democratic entertainment community. Last year, she even managed to run afoul of hugely popular talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, when she admitted she was not in favor of gay marriage.

“I’m a traditionalist,” Jenner said during the 2015 pre-taped interview. “I’m older than most people in the audience. I kind of like tradition, and it’s always been a man and a woman. I’m thinking, ‘I don’t quite get it.’”

Days later, speaking to Howard Stern, DeGeneres, who is married to actress Portia De Rossi, complained: “You’re wanting people to understand and accept you—this is like, really confusing to people. And you still have a judgment about gay people and marriage.”

Caitlyn later admitted she’s changed her views. But subsequent comments she made in an interview with Time only further infuriated the LGBTQ community. She said, “One thing that has always been important for me, and it may seem very self-absorbed or whatever, is first of all, your presentation of who you are.

“I think it’s much easier for a trans woman or a trans man who authentically kind of looks and plays the role. So what I call my presentation. I try to take that seriously. I think it puts people at ease. If you’re out there and, to be honest with you, if you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable.”

Others were less charitable: “In other words, trans phobic stereotyping from a woman who’s just been awarded one of the magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ awards thanks to her transition and resulting position as a figurehead for the trans community. Great!” wrote Cosmopolitan’s Alex Rees.

Twitter was even less kind.

Caitlyn also at one point joked that she’d discovered that “the hardest part of being a woman is figuring out what to wear.” And there was heated criticism when Glamor named her one of its Women of the Year in 2015.

One furious protester, the widower of a previous winner, a police officer who died on 9/11, shipped back his wife’s award saying: “Was there no woman in America, or the rest of the world, more deserving than this man?”

In fairness to her, it can’t be easy to be thrust into the spotlight overnight, heralded as a spokesperson for a group you’ve never previously spent any time with.

And make no mistake, Caitlyn’s announcement about her gender switch was a world-wide media event. Roughly 17 million people watched her identify as a female in a riveting interview with Diane Sawyer.

It was just one year ago that Vanity Fair’s website crashed from billions logging in to see a corseted Caitlyn announce her new name. The same day, Caitlyn signed up for Twitter and had a million followers in four hours—beating President Obama’s record.

But a lot has changed in two years. Where has all the goodwill gone? Have the missteps she’s made poisoned people against her?

Or perhaps it’s just the less sensational but undeniable fact that Caitlyn, who frequently comes across on camera as surly, passive aggressive and just plain grouchy, simply doesn’t have the ‘magic’ that makes good television?

You see, it’s not just her family or her community that appears to be turning its back —it’s her viewership too. While Keeping Up with the Kardashians is going strong after nine years and 12 seasons, Caitlyn’s reality series I Am Cait may be facing the axe. (E! will neither confirm or deny the cancelation rumors.)

Viewers appear to be turning away in droves. According to The Hollywood Reporter, just 745,000 people tuned into the last season premiere in March, a far cry from two years ago when her first episode was watched by an estimated 7.7 million.

Perhaps that’s because following the initial heady rush of her big reveal, clothes shopping and closet organizing with Kim, the transgendered star has settled into a life that is in its own way mundanely normal.

Last week, as her family members were excitedly preparing for Kylie Jenner’s 19th birthday, Caitlyn was spotted alone grocery shopping at her local supermarket in Malibu buying a frozen pizza for one.

It remains to be seen how Caitlyn will navigate the challenges of her new life going forward. But ‘it’s complicated’ seems like an understatement.

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