This may seem like a strange item to post on a food blog, but this blog is as much about food issues as it is about recipes and restaurants and body image often goes hand in hand with food, as I well know from my own personal journey.
Dear Kim Kardashian,
I love you! No, really I do. I actually love your whole family, though you’re my favorite (but don’t tell Kourt and Kim, ok?). I’ve defended you many times because I love how family oriented you are and I admire your work ethic, but when you burst on to the scene a few years ago I first loved you because you seemed to fully embrace who you were and how you look.
Now, I know that some people will read this and say, “Um it’s easy to embrace all of you when you look like Kim Kardashian,” and they’re right to some extent. I mean even the biggest Kardashian haters out there agree that you are truly stunning. Beautiful as you are though, when you and your gorgeous sisters entered the public view thier were few people in Hollywood who looked like the three of you. Where all we had was a sea of washed out bobbleheads, here you were with your knockout curves and jet black locks and you were proud.
I loved hearing you talk about your body with such acceptance, I applauded you when you proudly attributed your assets to your Armenian heritage and I delight in watching you on your show as you order sandwiches, soups and hearty salads rather than the macrobiotic lettuce leaf with a side of ice cubes that your contemporaries seem to subsist on. I thought then, as I still think now, that you could be a positive influence on young women who can’t see their own beauty just because they don’t look like the All-American ideal.
Last night I settled in to watch the latest episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians and be entertained by your boisterous family and their crazy antics. As usual the episode put a smile on my face. That is except for one scene that left me frustrated. As you, Rob and Scott looked at pictures of your vacation; you looked at a picture of yourself and declared, “I look so fat!”
No, Kim! No! There are young girls out there thinking, “Wow if Kim Kardashian is fat, I must be…” and, “Well if Kim criticizes her body, I guess it’s cool that I criticize mine.”
Of course you did not create this problem, Kim, it’s the way girl’s a socialized in our country. Do you remember the scene in Mean Girls where Cady witnesses a ritual in which the girls stand in front of the mirror and make negative comments about their appearance and Cady is encouraged to join in? It struck a chord with me because I think most women in America have had a similar experience. Most of us, especially adults, don’t have Mean Girl friends, but even the nicest among us have engaged in body bashing with our friends (“My thighs are so fat.” “What you’re crazy! You’re perfect, but my nose is too but.” “Oh stop it, both of you are so hot and I would kill for your tiny waists, I’m so big in the middle“). It’s how young girls are taught to relate to each other in our culture and it extends in to adulthood.
And then there’s the media. Ugh! Forget about it! Young girls in this country are constantly bombarded by unnatural and unattainable images of what they’re supposed to look like. Body image for young women is truly a crisis in this country.
So no, you didn’t create the problem, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be part of the solution! You have a public voice so use it the right way.
Though I adore you there are definitely a few things we disagree on like some of your endorsements and some of the language you and your sisters use when talking to each other (bitch, whore… I shudder), but for the most part I think you’re great and I think this is something we can come together on. So please, stop criticizing your body, it sends a terrible message.
Stop going through every picture of your gorgeous amazing self or looking in the mirror only to point out flaws. Appreciate how lucky you ate that the body you do have, even with imperfections, is a healthy one. Make sure your young fans know that you’re proud of yourself for your work ethic, for being a great friend/sister/daughter or being smart, funny, tenacious, kind or whatever it is that makes you most proud, so they know that way women look is only a fraction of who they are and there is so much more that makes a person beautiful.
Make a pledge today to start changing the conversation.
Thanks for listening.
Still a fan,