Kim Kardashian is participating in the culture of body shaming, and her followers are not impressed.
On January 2nd, Kim Kardashian West posted about weight loss shakes on her Instagram, saying that the program was giving her “the kick in the right direction” that she needed after such a “huuuuge” Christmas and New Year’s. Kim stated that the shakes were already helping her tummy get back to flat, and that Flat Tummy Co (the company responsible for the weight loss program) was all about “getting women back on track.” Talk about a terrible example to set.
First off, Kim is very clearly only promoting the product because she’s getting paid. The beginning of her caption even starts with “#ad.” Even if she actually drinks these shakes, which is difficult to believe because she has a gym and a chef and a training program to help keep her fit, she’s not actually trying to share something she enjoys with her followers – she’s doing it because she’s getting paid for it.
Second, according to a nutritionist interviewed by Allure magazine on the exact shakes Kim is advertising, weight loss shakes don’t work. Science has literally proven countless times that cleanses, diets, pills, teas, shakes, and anything and everything in between don’t help you lose weight in a healthy, stable, long term manner. Rather, they help you lose water, nutrients, and other things you need to survive. If they do lower your weight, they do so in very unhealthy ways, and not in a way you want to maintain long term. The only way to safely lose weight is to eat healthy and work out in ways that work for your body.
But let’s also talk about the unhealthy message she’s sending to her millions of followers: eating and not having a flat stomach is unacceptable. Pretty much every single person eats a lot during the holidays. Who can resist the cookies, chocolate and wine? I sure can’t. But that’s okay. Eating, overeating, eating sweets, those things don’t make you a bad person, they don’t make you undeserving of love, and they don’t strip you from being sexy. They make you human. Every single body, no matter what it looks like, is worthy of love, especially self-love.
Women don’t need to get back on track, as Flat Tummy Co aims for. Women need to stop listening to an industry that constantly tells them they aren’t good enough, no matter what they do or what they look like.
The good thing is that almost all the comments on Kim’s picture share my perspective. Many point out her influence, and encourage her to set better examples. Others criticize her promotion of an unhealthy product. Even others reach out to those following Kim, telling them that their bodies are worthy and human, even if their stomach isn’t flat.
Among the critics is the well-known body-positive, anti-fat shaming advocate Jameela Jamil encourages followers of her i weigh movement through Instagram to voice their displeasure in the comments. The purpose of the movement is for people "to feel valuable and see how amazing [they] are beyond the flesh on our bones" (biography on the @i_weigh page). Clearly, Kim Kardashian's crash-diet, quick fix attitude and perfection centric ideals file in the face of this movement.
Hopefully this means that Kim’s message won’t reach far – but even that isn’t good enough. Her message shouldn’t reach anyone, because someone with such influence should be spreading messages of acceptance and self-love, not body shaming.
To anyone out there who saw her picture, or who struggles with the holidays, or self-love, don’t listen to an industry that aligns your worth with your waist size. Each one of us is dynamic, multifaceted, and deserving of love. Your identity and worthiness is not measured by your stomach or your eating habits.
And personally, I would much rather eat Christmas cookies than drink a weight loss shake any day.