Kim Kardashian’s body is constantly up for public discussion.
Some would even argue that her figure is the reason for her immense fame. Her “unconventional” shape is often subject to mass scrutiny, but Kardashian herself, like most in this day and age, has an up and down relationship with her body.
This is evident in the latest scandal the Kardashian family has been involved in. In July, Kim posted a video of her and her sisters Khloé Kardashian and Kendall Jenner joking on Instagram about how thin she looks.
“Your hair extensions, your a**, your t**s, everything, they’re heavy, ’cause she’s voluptuous,” Khloé remarks, “but she’s anorexic here,” she continues as she points at Kim’s waist and arms.
Khloé then notes that, “[Kim’s] arms are like, pin-thin, they’re like my pinky.”
Kim chuckles, seemingly taking Khloé’s comment as praise. Later, in a separate clip, Kendall lightheartedly tells Kim that she’s concerned about her.
“I don’t think you’re eating,” Jenner jokes.
“What?!” Kim reacts excitedly. “Oh, my god, thank you,” she replies, appearing flattered.
Though this controversial clip was posted in July, it is making headlines once again after Kardashian most recently expressed her apologies for her comment trivializing anorexia.
In an interview with Ashley Graham, Kim expresses that her comments were made in jest between sisters, and that she now realizes her comment was insensitive.
“I know people that have serious eating disorders that have been in and out of the hospital for 15 years—close people,” she said. “I have experienced it enough to have, like, known better,” Kardashian told Graham.
With a following on Instagram as large as Kardashian’s (118 million followers), consisting of mostly women, she should have known better. Her comment made was reminiscent of a January incident in which Kim was criticized for posting an ad promoting a weight loss shake. Again, in May, she faced backlash for posting an advertisement selling appetite-suppressing lollipops.
Kim claims that she posted these controversial clips when she was feeling most confident after working hard to lose weight.
“I had spent an entire year working out with a bodybuilder, literally six days a week, lost 20 pounds, and it hasn’t been easy. It’s been a year coming,” she said.
Kim Kardashian’s large following consists of adults and impressionable adolescents alike. If an adult wants to partake in the same dieting techniques as Kim’s, or if an adult wants to look like her, that’s for their own discretion. But when she has young female fans who idolize her (and her body), it is imminent that she uses her fame responsibly.
Kardashian knows this to be true, at least in regards to her children.
“As North gets older, she’ll start to be more aware of herself and her body. Her attitude toward her body is directly related to my own, so it’s my responsibility to make sure she understands that positive body image comes from having a healthy self-esteem,” she writes of her daughter. “We all have our hang-ups and things we might want to change, but my curves make me who I am. So I embrace my body and the changes I’ve gone through. If anything, those changes remind me of what I’m able to create with my body: two little angels that I love beyond words.”
Though she clearly realizes her responsibility of upholding a positive body image in regards to her daughter, it is vital that she understand the dangerous messages she may be spreading to her fans. Though she is human, her social status gives her the power to influence, and with this influence comes a great responsibility to the young girls who idolize her.
Though Kim is responsible for her own words, her and her sisters need to reevaluate their influence as a whole. None of them were bothered by Kim’s comment enough to say anything which shows a great lack of self-awareness between the sisters. By making this statement, she is essentially reinforcing the unachievable societal ideal that being thin is more important than being healthy.
Kim Kardashian has built herself an incredible empire with loyal and devoted fans. She could use her influence to show fans that a positive, healthy body image is a necessary and attainable goal, such as celebrities like Beyoncé, and I’m sure that her fans would love to hear her take on the importance of self-care and self-acceptance instead of furthering the societal standards of unattainable beauty.