When her unretouched photos leaked onto the web, Khloé Kardashian moved heaven and earth to remove them as soon as possible. Fans accused her of having problems with self-esteem, she defended herself with the right to create an image. This dispute on social media is a good opportunity to think about what self-acceptance in the Instagram era is possible at all.
“The assistant’s mistake,” explained Khloé Kardashian, disclosing unauthorized photos to the public. In frames that have traveled around the world in a matter of hours, Khloé poses in a spotted bikini and appears to be a few kilos heavier than in the rest of the Instagram posts. You can see cellulite on her thighs, there is no radiator on her stomach, and her face looks like an ordinary girl, not one of the most powerful influencers in the world.
Before Khloé, pissed off, removed the photos, scaring the lawyers who copied them, fans raved about the natural image of her favorite. They congratulated her on her courage, praised the rounder shapes, and were glad that she finally drifted away from the unattainable ideal. After the post disappeared from the web, they accused her of having a problem with self-esteem. She replied with another series of photos signed “without retouching”, although showing a completely different person than the withdrawn ones. The six-pack returned to its place, no stretch marks were found on the oiled skin, and the face was covered by the phone.
Khloé Kardashian: It’s hard for me to live up to the expectations of the world
Khloé also made an official statement. “This is my body with no filter and no retouching. The photo you saw earlier is beautiful. But as a person who has struggled with self-esteem all my life, I have the right not to want to see a frame on the web in which my body was captured unfavorably and in poor lighting. I’ve been ridiculed all my life. Called the fat and ugly sister. I was blamed for saying that I couldn’t be my dad’s daughter since I look different from the rest of the girls. They were humiliated, claiming that I did not lose weight, but underwent plastic surgery. I am not asking for sympathy, but to treat me like a human being. I’m not perfect, but I try to live with honesty, empathy and goodness. It’s hard for me to live up to the expectations that the world sets. Each of my defects is assessed. It is impossible to get used to constant criticism. Over time, you start to believe that others are right when they speak badly of you. I like photos with good lighting, filter and a bit of retouching. I treat it like makeup, manicure or wearing high heels. This is how I want to be seen. My body and my image are my choice. Nobody has anything to do with it. I understand everyone who is fed up with the pressures of excellence. “
Since then, Khloé has posted more photos – from True daughter’s birthday and Sister Kourtney’s party – where she looks like a superhero. Legs to the sky, waist-length hair, wasp waist. Everyone’s face is a bit different. Plastic like an avatar.
Khloé did not take up the challenge. She did not become the advocate of the body positivity that fans wanted to see in her. “You don’t have to be like others want to see you,” she commented in one of the posts.
Khloé is not an activist. She is a businesswoman, a one-man company, a personal brand. It grew into the reality show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” amplified by powerful sisters, expanded through ad campaigns, own businesses including Good American, jeans of all sizes, and outrageous private lives.
Observed on Instagram by almost 140 million people, the influencer does not try to be a friend of her fans. She is a guru for them, an unmatched role model, an idol. It is largely due to the body. Once the “fattest of the sisters”, thanks to diets, murderous training and probably costly treatments, she was matched by Kim, Kourtney, Kendall and Kylie. No wonder she guards an image that includes a hairstyle with tweezers, huge lips and precisely defined eyebrows.
When you compare photos of several Kardashianas, it is sometimes unknown which one we are looking at. When you compare the photos of several influencers, it is also difficult to tell them apart. Instagram beauty has its own rules – it must look good in photos.
The case of Khloé Kardashian: is body positivity possible?
This image, although based on the body, somehow broke away from it. The body has ceased to be tangible, it has become visual. Instead of matter, we get a clear picture. The skin has no pores, discoloration or wrinkles. The silhouette looks like it was molded by a single sculptor.
At the same time, the movement of body-positivity is growing in strength. It is supposed to release from the obligation of perfection, and even more broadly – to allow those who do not submit to the canons to create their own, and for those who want to look stereotypical, chase the image in an attractive way. In the instagram version, the manifestation of self-acceptance often comes down to one photo without makeup in a sea of retouched.
A few days ago, the unretouched act was published by rapper Lizzo, one of the advocates of body positivity. She showed off all the folds on her stomach, prompting an immediate reaction from the fans: “Thank you for your courage!” As long as we consider it courage to show your true self, self-acceptance will remain the Holy Grail.