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Kylie Jenner

Photographer Group / Splash News

Now that Kylie Jenner is 18, all the social media chatter about her dressing too provocatively and acting far too old for her age will stop.


Ha, yes, wrong.

The youngest of the famed Kardashian-Jenner sisters celebrated her milestone birthday in part by posting a series of sexy photos, including one of herself lounging in heels and thigh-high stockings. And while the photo shoot wasn't particularly more revealing than any given bikini selfie from the past year, one Instagram commenter noted: "Here we go and let the games begin."

K Y L I E by @sashasamsonova

A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on


But according to the comments of many other pop culture devotees, even though she's now "legal," Kylie's flirty, teenage-fun pics all of a sudden look...way too grown up!

So instead of getting a free pass into adulthood, her birthday is now coinciding with the birth of a new narrative centered on this question: Just when did being 18 in Hollywood start looking this?

The answer is...

Kourt & Ky swim session

A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

Pretty recently.

Let's hop into the Hollywood time machine and look at how celebrities of comparable fame to Kylie dressed in public when they first turned old enough to vote, serve in the military and, in most countries other than the United States, drink alcohol:

Taylor Swift, 2008

Theo Wargo/WireImage.com

At 18, Taylor Swift was a demure shadow of her now 25-year-old "Bad Blood" badass.

And she's still a pretty demure badass.

The cleavage and short, sexy dresses of today were nowhere to be seen as she emerged from seventeenhood, still reminiscing bittersweetly about being "Fifteen." In fact, on her 18th birthday, T.Swift wore a prom-ready party dress that was perhaps her most risqué fashion choice ever up to that point.

Miley Cyrus, 2010, 18th Birthday

Jeff Vespa/MC/WireImage.com

It wasn't that long before her first twerk, but at the time, Miley, who's now 22, was still a long way from going balls to the wall with the raciness. When she celebrated her 18th birthday with cupcakes in Hollywood, her black leather pants and matching crop top was a nun's habit compared to her 2013 MTV VMAs look.

Selena Gomez, 2010

Larry Busacca/KCA2010/Getty Images for KCA

Miley's fellow Disney princess, Selena Gomez, was still very much cultivating a tween-friendly image five years ago when she turned of age—and her bikini Instagrams didn't come until much later. We always figured those were more for telling Justin Bieber to suck it than they were to be overtly sexual, anyway.

Britney Spears, 2000

ABC 2000/Andrew Eccles

Is it just us, or do Britney Spears' school-girl outfit video antics seem almost quaint? Pre-Twitter, the "...Baby One More Time" artist sparked all sorts of uncomfortable conversations about the sexualization of minors and what was appropriate vs. what was too suggestive when she turned the big 1-8. But once again...

Quaint! But the time the "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" singer was released, Christina Aguilera was getting "Dirrty" and the pop landscape was packed with provocation.

Kylie Jenner, Hair

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/ZUMA Wire

But as Kylie proves, we've come a long way, baby.

One celebrity, or one Instagram account, doesn't make a trend of course. And it should be noted that Kylie, the youngest in a large family, one who borrows looks from sisters in their 30s, has grown up quickly in front of the cameras and is far from your typical 18-year-old.

She also just happens to be one of the most public faces of a generation raised in a culture where self-worth and popularity is often equated with how many "likes" and followers one can amass.

A quick scan of Kylie's Instagram shows she gets barely a million likes for a photo in which she's dressed glamorously on the red carpet —but she gets 1.6 million for a bikini selfie.

So for every time you're about to hit "like" on one of those come-hither pics, think about it—and maybe applaud a puppy photo, or one of the shots in which Kylie and sister/business partner Kendall Jenner are promoting their fashion lines instead.

Because she's going to grow up fast enough. No need to help her rush herself along.