The Kardashians and the body image crisis
Kim Kardashian and her family are global stars who seemingly don't care about their impact on women.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 10 years, chances are you know the Kardashians. Simply put, they are the biggest reality stars of all time. Kim, Khloe, Kourtney Kardashian their mother Kris and half-sisters Kylie and Kendall Jenner have built an empire by sharing their life on television and through social media. Millions view their posts, eagerly awaiting the most up to date clothes, make-up, and accessories. One post by the Kardashians can see a business soar or crumble in a number of seconds. When Kylie Jenner expressed her dislike over the updated Snapchat app the company lost $1 billion In 24 hours.
sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad.
— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) February 21, 2018
But it is the online portrayal of themselves that can be incredibly damaging to their young followers. The Kardashians are seemingly glued to social media, rarely a day passes without posting multiple times on Twitter and Instagram. Looking at the products the Kardashians promote it is soon evident that the Kardashians are not promoting an inclusive lifestyle. To be frank, the Kardashians promote a lifestyle in which you can only be skinny. The Kardashian clan certainly won't be on my inspirational women of Instagram list.
You may argue that the Kardashians are business women and it is wrong of me to tear down successful women. I disagree. As someone who strongly identifies as a feminist, I did debate the same argument in my head. I concluded that it is ok to critique someone regardless if they are a man or woman if their actions are damaging to others. The Kardashians promote products and companies that depict unnatural and unhealthy lifestyles for women. That is far from empowering. Being a feminist is striving to empower women, call out sexism and continue to attack damaging depictions of gender.
Flat Tummy Co. is one company the Kardashians promote. A manufacturer of weight loss products such as shakes, tea, and the infamous appetite suppressant lollipops. Kim Kardashian posted the lollipop on her Instagram account, which has 116.4 million followers. Promoting a product which is marketed to suppress your appetite in my mind to young people is disgusting and irresponsible. This product surrounded by the images of Kim Kardashian, who is famed for her toned and slim body, is not sending the right information to girls and deceiving her follows into believing that the lollipop had a role to play in how she got her figure.
The Kardashians have chosen to promote products which mislead their followers, making girls believe they need to pay into weight loss tea, shakes, and lollipops so that they can gain ‘The Kardashian Body’. This body, however, does not exist and is usually a heavily photoshopped myth. You may say that the Kardashians can choose who and what they promote. I agree, but that won’t stop me from critiquing the conscious decisions they make which impact the lives, physical and mental health of their fans which they choose to ignore when they agree to promote such products. With a combined net worth of $1.4 billion, the Kardashians don't need the money.
Flat Tummy Co. state on their website that they are “inclusive” to women of “all shapes and sizes”. I find this hilariously offensive, how can you label your company inclusive when your sole products are weight loss items?. Flat Tummy Co. uses images of very skinny girls to promote an idea of beauty which is not obtainable. The messages being promoted only attribute to the rising numbers of people being diagnosed with eating disorders. In the UK alone, BEAT, a charity helping to raise awareness of eating disorders estimates that there are 1.25 million people of all sexes, genders, ages and body sizes that are currently struggling with an eating disorder.
The Kardashians promote unrealistic and dangerous lifestyles, products and companies. I believe they have a responsibility to their enormous fan base to promote healthy lifestyles. Their non-role model stance is laughable as they rely on their young fans for income. The image they display is harmful to young people especially young girls and women. The Kardashians are anti-feminist icons who relay damaging messages about body image. The Kardashians have built a brand which profits on the insecurities of the people who made them famous.