Despite Kim Kardashian becoming a Forbes-confirmed billionaire last week, another sister hit the headlines. An unusually unfiltered and un-airbrushed photo of Khloé Kardashian in a bikini was released last week.
The image is beautiful. Khloé looks genuinely happy, dropping the classic Kardashian pout for a smile and the goddess-like long locks for a scraped back ponytail. The photo was natural – one that you would expect from your average girls holiday rather than a Kardashian family member – and Khloé looks gorgeous.
This begs the question, why did Khloé Kardashian desperately try to have the photo taken down? Ironically, the attempts to remove it have led to a broader interest in the picture; even Page Six published it.
Irony aside, it is her right to choose which version of herself she wants the public to see, not just as a celebrity but as a human being. When even the airbrushed photos are ceaselessly torn apart and mocked, she must fear the response to an unedited photograph.
Her removal of the image is damaging to her fans. It is plainly showing that she sees one body shape as bad and another as good. Of course, the good one aligns with society’s impossible beauty standards.
I believe that the Kardashians embody everything that is wrong with diet culture. They have built an empire on encouraging girls to gain a “revenge body” after heartbreak, promoting useless diets and thinning products, and showing one body shape as desirable and another as shame worthy.
What this event has shown is that even those promoting and financially benefitting from diet culture eventually lose. By constantly adapting body shapes to society’s new definition of ‘perfect,’ once a real photo appears in the public eye, shame and ridicule naturally follow. For years society taunted Khloé Kardashian for her looks, but now she plays a part in the marketing of unrealistic body images that haunt women worldwide.
This anti-feminist system works both ways. We, as a society, need to stop tearing girls down for their looks, and influencers need to show their true selves or own up to cosmetic surgery in order to change society’s unmanageable beauty standards. Otherwise, the vicious cycle continues, and everybody loses.
Khloé Kardashian’s reaction to the publication of the image is unfortunately understandable. She is like this because of how society treated her in the past. For years she was named “the fat sister” or “the ugly sister”. Society has teased Khloé Kardashian so relentlessly that she is ashamed of her natural body shape. That is the most distressing part of the scandal.
I hope that something good comes out of this event. That self-acceptance could be encouraged as Khloé’s fans can see that her body shape is unrealistic and the images she chooses to post are ruthlessly edited.
Photo editing has damaged the world. The Kardashians promote unrealistic beauty standards that are unsustainable, and this has come back to bite them.
Image: Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay.