Oh, Cosmo. I wonder if you’re just trolling us now.

America has a First Family. It lives in the White House. Calling these ladies “America’s First Family” and handing them a cover that’s air-mailed direct from one of Kris Jenner’s wildest dreams feels like trying to break the Internet again. Also, there is no way to show us the Kardashians “like you’ve never seen them before” unless the theme is “in medical school” or “working in a toll booth.” Kylie continues to look like a dead-eyed, tousled Kim 2.0, and half of Kris Jenner’s face look like it came from a completely different picture.

Using the words “epic ass” on the cover in the same orbit as one of the most infamous rumps on the planet was an interesting piece of whimsy, though. Or was it an accident? I just noticed the word “sex” is not on this cover anywhere, so maybe “epic ass” was an attempt to keep things genital-adjacent.

Beyond those things, though, I have larger notes.

1. Consider the quote being sent around for publicity, from Ryan Seacrest: “What’s more, they present acceptance. You look at Bruce and now Caitlyn — you see the power of a family to come together when it would be so easy to fall apart.” I would indeed love to look at Caitlyn. Where is she?​

2. I’m not saying everything this family does has to involve both parents. I certainly can’t presume to know the nitty-gritty of that relationship, what it ever truly was, or how it might have changed. But it’s fact now that a Women of the Jenndashian Family cover isn’t complete without one particular woman. Think of the statement it could have made, having Caitlyn on here. Not even at the center — obviously Kris would give up that spot over her own mummified body — but just there, present, part of the crew Cosmo is presenting as the ultimate in powerful and bonded women. It would illustrate the statement Ryan Seacrest made in words. A picture would’ve been worth a thousand of them.

3. The absence of Caitlyn on this cover is therefore striking and, to me, pointed. Yes, I realize the story itself probably touches on her, but that’s buried inside. That’s not the image being peddled. Everything these people do is studied and calculated and coordinated, and Caitlyn’s transition magnified the microscope on these people in a way I doubt even they realized was possible. They know people are watching. Most of them used the same combination of words in their tweets and quotes about Caitlyn’s Vanity Fair cover, as if there was a family social media strategy meeting about it (which there probably was). And I guarantee it has not been forgotten that Caitlyn went public with that the same day Kim announced her pregnancy, overshadowing it completely. In underlining this exact image as being representative of their family unit, they know exactly, exactly, what they’re doing, and the question is why and what it means. As I mentioned in point 3, Kris certainly doesn’t have to do everything with her ex, and the kids don’t have to do everything with Caitlyn, who both is and isn’t their father (and what that was like for them, only they truly know). But again, this isn’t just some random family photo. This is one of the most managed families in the world proclaiming THIS group, right here, as the one true Kardashian/Jenner Family Unit. It’s just… I keep coming back to “intriguing” and “pointed,” because it’s both.

4. Yes, Cosmo is a lady mag, but consider what any of this means to Rob, too. Do they even remember he exists? Because it certainly comes across as if they hope no one else does.

[Photos: Cosmopolitan]