The Kardashians are so well groomed (ahem, photoshopped) that when a photo comes out that’s less than perfect, the world takes notice. Everybody has cellulite… but when it looks like a Kardashian has cellulite – it makes front-page news. Which would be awful! Imagine having your cellulite blown up on a news site that has over 2 million readers – and that’s just one news outlet! Everybody sees in oversize detail a portion of your body that you’re insecure about. A nightmare made reality.
I’m not denying that 1) the media is harsh as hell, 2) they do encourage unrealistic beauty standards, and 3) having your insecurities broadcasted and then commented upon would be awful beyond words. But the fact that Khloé Kardashian, when a photo of her was released accidentally by an assistant, immediately blamed the public…? Slightly unfair, if you ask me. To blame the media is one thing, but to blame the public (of which mostly consists of impressionable young women) is another.
“In truth, the pressure, constant ridicule and judgement my entire life to be perfect and meet other’s standards of how I should look has been too much to bear. […] It’s almost unbearable trying to live up to the impossible standards that the public have all set for me.”Khloé Kardashian
Now, no one can deny that Khloé has had her fair share of criticism from the media… But excuse me, the impossible standards that the public have set for you? A tone-deaf statement considering her, and her family, are the ones that are constantly perpetuating impossible beauty standards for common folk like you and me. Women (and men) are injecting their bottoms with unsafe amounts of fat to emulate the Kardashians; lips are getting fuller, noses are getting straighter, boobs are getting bigger, tans are getting deeper. Plastic surgeons in the past decade have been getting increasing amounts of requests to look like them – when the Kardashians hardly even look like that themselves.
Not only do the family spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on plastic surgery (I’m sorry, that’s not a natural bottom), the best make-up artists, the top-of-the-range hair extensions, the best manicurists – they also spend countless amounts of money getting experts to photoshop every picture released. And I’m not just talking about their Instagrams, but their paparazzi photos too. Every photo released of them is staged and photoshopped, and when a photo accidentally gets released that isn’t photoshopped to within an inch of its life, they resort to cease-and-desist letters.
The Kardashians make their living off of looking unattainable. Their job is putting themselves out there for the world to see. They control the narrative of how they portray themselves, and they portray themselves to be wanted. Women want to look like them, men want to be with them. Those are the beauty standards they have set for themselves. It takes a village to be looking like that all the time: they spend endless hours in hair and make-up, they have stylists picking out what they wear, and tailoring it to their body type; they have contracts with paparazzi, where they’ll let the paparazzi know where they are for an exclusive picture in exchange for the image to be tweaked before it is released to media outlets. The list goes on. It’s unrealistic for women to expect to look like the Kardashians, when we don’t have millions to spend on surgeons, make-up artists, stylists, hairdressers, and photoshop experts.
At the end of the day, those are the beauty standards that the Kardashians have set for themselves. They choose to portray themselves as flawless, and when something comes out that suggests differently, the world can’t help but take notice. Because that’s the Kardashians’ job! Their job is to be watched, to be emulated, to be a standard to strive for – and when all those young girls can’t help but fall short of their standards, of course we’re going to take notice of a photo that shows your cellulite. Because most of us have cellulite too, and we’re tired of feeling like we don’t make the cut.
I’m not saying that you’re not allowed to wear make-up, and do your hair. If you want to Facetune your selfies for Instagram, go right ahead – it’s your life. But pretending that you look like that when you wake up in the morning sets unrealistic beauty standards for young women.
I love Instagram filters, and use them often on my stories. But I don’t all the time, and I don’t pretend to look like that in real life. I have never photoshopped any photo of myself on my grid, and I don’t pretend that my waist/nose/thighs are smaller than they are in reality (as much as I wish they were). I have my first forehead wrinkle, which unfortunately, is there for life – and you can check up on how it’s doing on my grid.
How gutting would it be to meet someone in real life, only to be told that you’re hotter in photos. Hell no, I’m hotter in real life. I’m the real deal, baby! Even with my forehead wrinkle (perhaps especially with my forehead wrinkle).
Even Kendall, with the most quintessential-model-body-type of them all, photoshops her photos. Remember that video at Kim’s Valentine shoot with her wearing a tiny red thong and legs longer than an actual daddy longlegs? I do! (Kind P.S.A.: videos can be photoshopped too – don’t be fooled by a moving image…) If Kendall Jenner (Kendall super-sexy-supermodel Jenner!) wants to photoshop her body to look skinner/taller/more attractive than it already is… what kind of message does that send to the rest of us?
You cannot blame the public, i.e. mostly young girls, who aspire to be the Kardashians for setting unrealistic beauty standards. Khloé’s candid photo… She looks amazing! And yes, you can also see her real face, and her liposuction-ed belly, and everybody’s comments say she looks incredible anyway. Because she does! Young women would have infinitely more respect for the Kardashians if they came out and said,
“You know what? Yes, that is what I look like! That’s my body, and I work at it all the time.”
A little bit of honesty goes a long way, and it might just show people that our authentic self is infinitely more important than the mask we show to other people. You were born with that body; you were born with that face – it’s who you are. If you want to work on it, to constantly make it better? Hell yes! Let’s do it! But lying about what you really look like isn’t helping anybody. We all have a body – a human, real body, with stretch marks and butt dimples and love handles and boob job scars. Own it. Or at least be honest about it.