Submitted Date 04/08/2019

The Kardashians are huge figures in popular culture today and most people either love them or hate them. Personally, I wouldn’t have much of a problem with them if they weren’t constantly selling unhealthy “weight loss” products. You know the products that I’m talking about and let’s be honest, everyone acts like it’s completely fine and normal to advertise something essentially promote eating disorders. Not eating isn’t healthy and when we normalize products like this, people start to believe that it is.

About a month ago, I watched an interview with British Actress and activist Jameela Jamil where she spoke about her problem with the Kardashians and their promotion of appetite suppressants and unattainable body standards. Jamil called out the Kardashian’s as “double agent(s) for the patriarchy” and I am, for one, here for it and damn glad she did. For too long, I’ve watched the Kardashians advertising appetite suppressants and waist trainers and wonder how the hell they’re not being called out more often for promoting unhealthy beauty standards to their massive social media following.

With all of their money, you’d think they wouldn’t need to sell such ludicrous products and ideals. These are women that young girls look up to and I think that they hold some responsibility to set a good example and be mindful of their influence. No doubt, you can always claim that you didn’t ask to be a role model, but the fact is that you still are one and that needs to be taken into consideration. They know full-well what they’re doing by promoting these products, it certainly isn’t a secret.

The age of social media is upon us today and I’m sure that we can all agree that it’s not entirely always a positive force in our lives. With the rise of “Instagram models”, beauty standards are as out of control as ever. However, I can’t say all of it has been bad. Personally, I’ve found so many body positive and amazingly inspiring women to follow on social media who have truly helped me feel more confident and proud of my body and who I am. However, I see just as much, if not more, of the complete opposite.

On January 2nd of this year, just a few months ago, Kim Kardashian advertised to her 126 million followers that she just can’t get enough of her *insert company here* meal replacers. She gloats about how she just feels so much better with a flat stomach. I mean, give me a break. Advertising to young girls that they should have “flat tummies” in order to feel good about themselves is just plain anti-feminist. She even claims that the company in question is “all about getting women back on track.” Suggesting that women need to starve themselves to get “back on track” is not only ignorant, but completely insulting to women everywhere.

Now, I don’t hate the Kardashians or anyone selling this unhealthy and damaging narrative, but I do think that they need to be called out for it. In fact, Kim Kardashian claims to be a feminist, but I’m not certain that she even knows what they means. It is not feminist to sell starvation. It is not feminist to use your influence to promote unhealthy and unrealistic beauty standards. Period.

And I get the confusion, trust me, but feminism has become so watered down by people like the Kardashian’s that it just seems more like misogyny disguised as feminism at this point. I hate to say it, but just claiming to be a feminist doesn’t make it true. Being a feminist means supporting all women, no matter their race, size, socioeconomic status, or what they have between their legs. It means encouraging girls to be themselves, not encouraging them to starve themselves. The Kardashians can claim to be feminists all they want, but I don’t see them as feminist icons. I see them as frauds, trying to pander to all audiences. If you’re going to be a feminist, be one, don’t just say it. Words mean nothing if right action doesn’t follow.

As a culture, I hope that we move away from harmful messages about women’s bodies that promote the patriarchy and towards a future that loves and accepts us as we are. I hope that the Kardashians and the social media community can recognize the hurt and damage that advertising unhealthy diet products causes and become true feminists through their actions.

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