The Transformation Of Kendall Jenner From 12 To 25 Years Old

Kendall Jenner is often called the "normal" member of her very famous family. In a world of Kardashian-Jenner candid confessionals, Kendall remains more closed off than her famously open sisters. But that's not to say she's circumvented the limelight entirely. Typical of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kendall is no stranger to being in front of the camera, knows a thing or two about the rumor mill, and has landed in hot water more than once. 

For starters, Kendall's modeling career has sparked backlash, with some noting how few shows she works in and how she gets credit for being the highest-paid model, when her income comes from many different revenues. She was also a part of an infamous Pepsi ad, and her involvement generated a lot of criticism. In 2020, Kendall's birthday celebration also drew censure, as the party took place in the middle of a global pandemic when safety guidelines urged people to avoid large gatherings.

Suffice to say, Kendall (pictured above KIIS-FM's Wango Tango when she was 12 years old) has remained a much-talked-about member of pop culture; there's no denying that the Kardashian-Jenners know how to stay in the spotlight. But the family has also evolved with the years, and Kendall's transformation is a remarkable one.

Being a tomboy suits Kendall Jenner quite well

While most of us grew up with camera exposure in the form of home video camcorders that came out on birthdays and holidays, Kendall Jenner grew up with a bit more familiarity around lenses and lighting rigs and whatnot. When Keeping Up With the Kardashians premiered in October 2007, Kendall was a few weeks shy of her twelfth birthday and younger sister Kylie Jenner was 10. "We were normal kids," Kendall recalled in Harper's Bazaar. "The cameras barely even fazed us."

On top of that, mom Kris Jenner told the outlet that Kendall had no interest in anything overly feminine. "She wore those shorts every day," the momager said. "She wasn't the little frilly girly-girl." Kendall described herself as being "a huge tomboy," adding, "I had a phase where I wore boys' clothes. I was always hanging out with guys. I've always connected with guys more."

Even as an adult, Kendall prefers a less-glamorous look. "The reason I like dressing like a boy is because I'm... comfortable that way and feel like I can do anything and everything," Kendall told Elle in 2018. "I think it's fun to be able to dress up, in heels and dresses, and I like to have a sexy vibe." Even so, she has her limits. "But I honestly can't wait to take my heels off. Just ask my hair and make-up team," she shared. "Every day I'm like: 'can I get no make-up and minimal hair?'" So it seems her style from childhood remained!

Kylie Jenner cried about Kendall Jenner's acne struggle

Kendall Jenner has opened up about her acne struggles throughout her teenage years. In fact, in a "Drunk Get Ready With Me" video featuring Kendall and Kylie Jenner that went up on March 17, 2021, the pair of siblings spoke about Kendall's epidermis-related struggles.

"Every morning we would show up to school — Dad would drop us off and we'd be walking up the stairs — I'd look at you and I'd be like, 'Can you see my acne?'" Kendall recalled to her sister. "Every day you would say, 'No you look beautiful.' I would be like, 'Okay.' I knew you were lying but I appreciated you."

The memory made Kylie cry, noting that acne was her sister's "biggest insecurity" when they were growing up. "It always made me so sad to even hear you talk about it," Kylie said. "I'd be like, 'You're so beautiful,' trying to help. But then I had to go away by myself." The experience made Kylie think of her daughter, Stormi. "It makes me feel bad. When you have your own daughter you just think about this."

Kendall spoke about adult acne too in an interview with Bustle in June 2019. "As women, our hormones shift every six to seven years and everything changes. [Acne as an adult] is not any less painful, for lack of better words." But Kendall found facials and laser treatments to lessen the burden.

How did Kendall Jenner become a model?

Kendall Jenner knew when she was really young that she wanted to pursue modeling. In 2016, Kendall chatted with Helena Suric on The Vogue Podcast (via Us Weekly) about how she convinced her mom, Kris Jenner, that she was serious about achieving this dream. "I remember being 13 [or] 14 and making the funniest little book for my mom of photos of me that I took," Kendall said. "I was like, 'I want to be a model and you need to help me."

At the WWD's CEO Summit in 2017, Kris said that she wanted to help her daughter but she didn't really know "anybody in the modeling industry." However, on a flight, Kris came across a documentary about photographer Russell James, who just so happened to be "the guy who could really discover [Victoria's Secret] models." Ten days later, James was at their house. That's the power of Kris Jenner!

In 2015, Kendall walked in her first Victoria's Secret runway show. Hey, when you've got the ultimate momager in your corner, dreams really do come true.

Kendall Jenner has always felt different from her sisters

Despite being super close as a family, Kendall Jenner sometimes feels like the odd one out. "I remember crying in my bedroom about the fact that Kylie [Jenner]  had so many friends and I didn't," Kendall recalled to Vogue in 2016. And that's only one piece of it. "I've always been super different from all my sisters, especially my Kardashian sisters," Kendall told the publication. "They've always been into the glam thing and dressing up every day and being in the thick of it. Part of me loves that, but at the same time, I love dressing down and having my private life."

But it's not just Kendall's penchant for privacy that makes her feel different from her sisters. In an interview with The Telegraph in 2019, Kendall spoke about her physical differences, too. "My sisters are a lot curvier than me," Kendall said. "They have boobs and I don't have boobs. Growing up being this little twiggy girl, I saw my sisters and always thought, 'Oh no am I supposed to be more sexy like them?'"

Thankfully, there was a mental transformation in all of this. "I like that I have a different vibe to everyone," Kendall said in acceptance. "I like to do different things. And that's OK."

The plastic surgery rumors surrounding Kendall Jenner

It wouldn't be a proper discussion about Kendall Jenner's transformation without touching on the plastic surgery rumors that have popped up. When Kylie Jenner shared a video of her older sister to show off a make-up look in 2017, the clip left some wondering if Kendall had any work done. As E! News noted, Kylie clarified that she'd overlined her sister's lips, a strategy to make them look bigger. 

Kendall jumped on her now-defunct app to address the matter. "All of a sudden, photos of us came out with headlines like, 'OMG Kendall got her lips done and got full facial reconstruction—look at her cheekbones, look at her nose!'" she wrote (via E! News). "It's all so exhausting. As a model, why would I have my face reconstructed? It doesn't even make sense. It's crazy because sometimes I feel like people just want me to lose."

Kendall also reminded others: "People forget that they're talking about real people who have real feelings and actually live their everyday lives (for the most part) just like everyone else."

While Kendall has continued to deny these rumors, that doesn't mean people aren't speculating about a potential nose job, lip fillers, and brow lift, according to Life & Style. People will always talk. Only Kendall knows what's true.