The Kardashians are easily considered to be the most influential family in the world. From their wardrobes to their cars, everything about their lifestyle is enviable in some way.
In one of the finale episodes of their long-running series ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’, they were asked if they think they are promoting unattainable beauty standards to the public. Now, there’s no doubt these women are privileged. They have access to the best chefs, personal trainers and surgeons. Everything they could possibly ever want is simply a click away. I’m not going to pretend that Kylie, Khloe and Kim have au naturel hourglass figures, we’re not stupid, but even without that obvious surgery, they would still be accused of setting the standard ‘too high’.
Kendall and Kourtney have the most natural body of all their sisters. I personally don’t believe they have had any major surgery to alter their figure or fat deposits. Yet, that picture Kendall posted in the tiny red bikini at a Skims shoot got a lot of backlash. Hate me, but that criticism was pure jealousy. It’s okay to be jealous, but if that picture felt like a personal attack, that’s your issue to unpack, not hers. Kendall is ‘fortunate’ enough to have a body that allows her to easily attain a Barbie-like figure. She’s not a freak of nature or surgically enhanced, she just happens to be long and lean. Anyone accusing her of editing her pictures or getting surgery just needs to watch the earlier episodes of KUWTK, Kendall has always looked like this. If anything, her skin in the image was just abnormally smooth, but studio lights hide a multitude of sins. You will be amazed at what good lighting from all angles can do for your skin.
This is less about actual bodies and more about the lifestyles that allow for the bodies deemed unattainable. While the typical ‘desirable body is often picked apart and is declared to not be a ‘real’ body, this is only heightened when the owner of that body is rich and beautiful. Kendall is not the only one to be targeted in this backwards attempt at body positivity. Zara McDermott, a former Love Island contestant and girlfriend of Made in Chelsea’s Sam Thompson, has been accused of setting an impossible standard for the figure she has quite clearly attained through eating well and working out. Her physique is pretty similar to Kendall’s, she’s tall, thin and has a very small waist. Unlike Kendall, she shares her workout routine and ‘what I eat in a day’ on social media. Her body is not ‘unattainable’, it just requires the time and mental focus that the average 9-5 doesn’t allow for.
Toxic positivity has become more of a common topic of discussion recently, but, I consider toxic body positivity to be just as bad. It’s taken a concept that was supposed to make people feel comfortable in their skin and turned into something that looks for flaws in the bodies of others. I agree that if a body type has been attained by surgery then that person should be more public about that, especially if they’re making money from their body. But, at the end of the day, it’s not really anyone’s business. If seeing someone else’s body makes you hate your own, that’s something you need to work on. No amount of ‘photoshop breakdowns’ is going to reverse the inferiority you feel when faced with a body like Kendall or Zaras.
The Kardashian’s are fortunate to have the time to go to the gym and the money to pay for a chef. This is not about their bodies, it’s about the lifestyle that allows them to achieve and keep them. It’s fine to envy that, but it does not make them responsible for ‘promoting unattainable beauty standards’.