As expected, the Kardashian-Jenner apps have given the sisters individual, unfiltered voices to talk about their lives in a frank manner that deviates from the sensational tone of their reality show. It doesn’t get realer than this.
Today, Khloe Kardashian, who had a reputation as “the fat sister” when she first became a household name circa 2008, wrote a heartfelt, introspective post to her website/app that talks about body image, confidence, the internal pressure to be skinny, and the media’s preoccupation with celebrities showing skin. From a Kardashian, it’s refreshing, honest, and so very true.
In case you don’t keep up with the Kardashians as well as I, Khloe has slimmed down considerably in the past two years because of her commitment to intense workout regimes. The media applauded her, not because of the hard work and dedication or because of her strength and accomplishments, but because she now looks “better” in revealing outfits.
Khloe’s words shed much light on what many of us already knew: that society places undue, enormous pressure on women to look a certain way, and praises them for their svelte appearances in bodycon dresses while shaming them if they put on weight.
“Honestly, sometimes I feel a lot of pressure to keep the body I’ve worked so hard to achieve. For a long time, I had insecurities about the way I looked physically. Sadly those insecurities were given to me by others. I personally felt I was beautiful ‘bigger.’”
I think it’s remarkable that Khloe felt better at a bigger size, because it shows that she has internalized all the criticism, body-shaming and vitriol hurled at her, and that simply being a smaller size doesn’t erase body-image issues. The problem is within, but it comes from without, from a society obsessed with small women.
She also expresses the concern that if she ever falters in her fitness or begins to put on weight again, the media won’t treat her like such a little darling anymore:
“Despite all my hard work in the gym, even now I have days where I might be feeling fat or frumpy (I think all women have these feelings). I think people will immediately compare me to my ‘Complex’ cover and start judging me again.”
And then Khloe’s pièce de résistance was when she called out the media for not noticing her body for its strength and power, but only noticing her body when she “shows skin.” That proves that even Khloe, an over-exposed Kardashian, feels the weight of the oversexualization of women in our society, a society that focuses on a woman’s body when it’s sexualized and engineered to please the male gaze, and not when the same body is used for athleticism, strength and power.
Likely Ronda Rousey would agree:
“Didn’t they notice me going to the gym every morning at 6 a.m.?! Not many people took notice of my body in a positive way before that shoot came out and that’s interesting to me because I’ve been working on transforming my body for the past two years. Do women really have to show skin in order to be considered sexy? Sad realization.”
Khloe ended on a positive note, asserting the fact that she’s not going to do anything to please others, but only herself.
“I work out to look a certain way and feel a certain way but I do it for myself. I did it on MY terms. It’s for my self esteem and I feel so confident and proud of my achievements right now.”
Once again, a celebrity figure that many underestimate has been able to use her platform to shed light on common female and societal problems, making us all a little bit more aware of what women face every day. These Kardashian-Jenner apps, silly as they may be, undoubtedly carry some cultural significance.