CW: May be triggering for those with body dysmorphia, eating disorders and low self esteem.
Traditionally I am not one to way in on drama that surrounds the internet but the one that popped up over the weekend really got me thinking. So, if you didn’t know Kendall Jenner posted photos of her at a shoot for Skims (Kim Kardashians brand), in what looks like set of underwear (I say ‘looks’ because that thong is pretty much made of nothing). Now you might be thinking ‘why is this scandalous, she’s a model’, well it took the internet by storm when eagle eyed viewers believed the shots were photoshopped. To add to this several people added their opinions to the mix, and by several I mean a lot (including Piers Morgan).
Now, before I start digging into this I must add that I don’t condone photoshopping, in a world where self esteem is at an all time low, the least people can do, especially supermodels, is present their authentic self so people looking up to them don’t gain bad attitudes towards their body. More people in positions of ‘power’, in other words those with a large following and those who are impressionable on the ‘masses’, should openly refuse photoshop rather than presenting fake ideals. I’d like to also note that when writing this I have no idea if these images are photoshopped, and if I’m honest that’s not what I am trying to get at.
The above photos are what sparked the outrage alongside a video of Kendall on the pink podium posing. I want to address my own personal opinion before I get into that of others. Like many people I have a troubled relationship with my body, details I’ll go into another time, so when looking at Kendall it’s hard not to have pangs of jealousy or self reflection. However, I have started to learn, especially when looking at models, that they live in a world where they can spend every hour working out, getting tanned, preening their bodies, eating extremely healthy (especially before big shoots), whereas ‘normal’ people do not have the time. This is their job, of course they will do everything they possibly can to make themselves look the absolute best, wouldn’t you if millions of people were going to examine your body? In fact the whole scandal makes it even more obvious how our culture is built on examining and finding jealousy in women.
When looking at the remarks made about Kendall, and once I got over the whole ‘how the hell does someone look that good?, Look how flat her stomach is’ remarks, I remembered that the person everyone is attacking for having a body is a human being. I think we can all agree that money and fame does not buy you the ability to switch off your emotions. Has anyone considered that maybe Kendall herself has insecurities and if the images are photoshopped maybe its because she doesn’t have a lot of confidence in herself? Maybe because her job requires her to look ‘perfect’. I purposely don’t want to put words into her mouth because that would be adding to the problem, however I do want people to appreciate the fact she is a human and looking at these photos in a different light might create a society which is more understanding.
You also have to appreciate the fact that her body is probably covered in foundation, oil, highlighter and contour powder to accentuate her figure. To add to this she is the curator of her Instagram feed, like everyone else she is going to put out the best photo of herself, I don’t think we can vilify someone for doing what everyone else does. Yes transparency and promoting a body which is highly unattainable isn’t necessarily a good thing, however Kendall has every right to share herself on social media how she wants. Therefore, I think its her industry and the culture we have created that is to blame.
Nevertheless, we’ve seen numerous celebrities die because of the pressures of the media yet we still can’t use the words we preach to treat the next ‘victim’. Piers Morgan for example at the weekend tweeted ‘If I were Kim & Kylie, I’d stop being photographed with Kendal.’ This is the man who just interviewed Gemma Collins about the pressures of fame, especially surrounding body image. He also slams journalism and twitter a lot of the time for ‘cancel culture’ and berating people. So why is it suddenly okay to comment on women’s figures and pit them against each other?
If anything Kendall, Kylie and Kim are examples of different body types, all extremely ‘fit’ because of their jobs. To pit one against the other is enforcing this stereotype that everyone should look like Kendall. Haven’t we come to a point where we recognise that everyone is different? Aren’t we supposed to be celebrating difference, or has Piers also missed this on his scroll through Twitter?
I shared a post regarding this on my Instagram stories (@sophieseditblog) at the weekend from @Johnsmithhosts if you want another take on this.
When typing up ‘Kendall Jenner’ on google, 8 out of the 9 top stories were about her body, the other was a post about her going horse riding, which is just as bad considering the reputation of paparazzi. Can we just agree that commenting on peoples image and their bodies is unsolicited. I don’t see men getting harassed for the way they look. For example when you type up ‘The Rock’ on google, not one news story is about the way he looks. This argument has been happening for as long as I can remember, whether it is about Britney Spears, Caroline Flack, J-Lo, Beyonce or any other female in the limelight. Yet we never seem to understand that their bodies are for them to do what they wish, it shouldn’t warrant conversation or sparks of outrage.
Body image is a construct which so many of us share the burden of because the way society, especially social media, enforces stereotypes and moulds expectations. We’ve come to a point where we are believing that we need to look a certain way to be loved. I recognise that it is a daily struggle and these pictures are never going to help anyone feel better. However, it is also important that we recognise these thoughts are coming from a place of being uncomfortable within ourselves, it’s not Kendalls fault that she looks the way she does, and its not our fault that we don’t look like her. No one should be pointing the blame at anyone but the expectations we have created.
I’d love to have children, specifically women, growing up and living in a world where they can do what they want and feel empowered by the way the look, no matter the shape or size. I’d also love to see the end of the media comparing women, addressing their bodies like they are objects and most importantly leaving the conversation at the door; if someone wants to have that conversation it should be from the human being themselves.
I hope you understand that I am not trying to pick apart the image for photoshopping or address the negatives of that because I am not a trained professional and if I did that, it would be going against what I believe in.
This is a conversation I will continue to address and come back to, I want to have this conversation as openly as possible and hopefully instil a different outlook onto my readers. The concept of body image is a constantly changing one and my relationship with my own body is always evolving. If this helps the narrative and encourages more people to be open to new ideas and have a better relationship with themselves, then I’d say it’s doing a small part in changing the picture.
Are you willing to be a part of this narrative? Do you agree with the comments I’ve made? Let me know below, as always this is a safe and respectful space, I’m sure we can all learn from each others points of view.
Sending you all the love in the world,