We Need More Unfiltered Pictures Like the One of Khloe Kardashian
A candid photo of Khloé Kardashian in a bikini started circulating the internet a few days ago.
And it sparked a lot of drama.
According to the chief marketing officer for KKW brands, it was mistakenly posted to social media by an assistant.
The picture in question is visibly different from the typical photos appearing on the Kardashian clan social media feeds. Most of them are carefully posed, lit, styled and curated pictures with heavy use of filters.
But not this one. It doesn’t include the typical image manipulation we’ve come to expect, and it shows a different side of Khloé: happy, relaxed and authentic.
Many fans have been resharing the photo, praising the Kardashian sister for finally showing the world the “real” her. But Khloé’s team is now threatening legal action against accounts who post the picture online (and that’s why I can’t include it in this article).
There is a lot to unpack about this situation.
Khloe’s public image has been under scrutiny for years
For years, Khloé Kardashian has received a lot of media backlash and bullying for her looks. Her every single flaw and imperfection has been micro-analyzed and made fun of to the smallest detail. And she was often referred to as “the fat, ugly sister”.
Khloé’s looks are definitely her vulnerable point, and she understandably has struggled with body image issues for years.
But I find it quite depressing that an unedited picture of her, where she looks anything but ugly, has sparked such an outrage. And it has sent the Kardashian lawyers into overdrive to get the image removed from the web.
The thing is, there is nothing wrong with that photo.
If anything, it is a much-needed reminder that even the celebrities and influencers we consider the golden standards of beauty don’t look perfect every single day.
The reality is, no one actually looks flawless
Kardashian sisters have long been accused of setting unattainable beauty standards. And not surprisingly so; their multi-million dollar empire has been built on and powered by their image. It is their brand.
But the Kardashians aren’t alone in doing that. Many celebrities and influencers alike rely on their carefully curated and heavily Photoshopped images to make a nice profit.
And I get that; it’s a business like any other. Everyone should be free to post whatever they want. But the problem begins when those highly unrealistic beauty standards start to impact women’s self-esteem negatively.
We get bombarded with dozens of images of perfect skin, luscious hair, big butts and full lips every day. But we seldom see what happens behind the scenes. We don’t know how many filters were used. We don’t know how much money the person spent on plastic surgery. We can’t even be sure if that’s their natural hair.
It’s easy to forget that what we see on social media and advertising isn’t exactly real. Even people that post those pictures or videos don’t actually look like that in real life. And that’s saying something.
Yet, we constantly compare ourselves to what we see in media. And that can be dangerous and damaging to women’s mental health, in particular younger girls.
Seeing unedited pictures is a refreshing change
When I was a teenager, I used to be obsessed with my flaws. I had acne, eczema, and I thought I was fat (even though I wasn’t).
It was the mid-2000s, and most of the models and actresses of that era were incredibly skinny. Anyone who didn’t fit that ideal was immediately labeled as “fat”. And the skin we saw in magazines and advertising was spotless, poreless, glowing, and, most likely, highly Photoshopped. But I didn’t know the latter.
Like many other teenagers in that time, I thought there was something wrong with me. I didn’t look normal. I didn’t look like those pretty ladies. What we see, especially from a young age, matters a great deal. And it can dramatically impact our self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
Luckily, the body positivity movement has been around for a few years now. And besides promoting different body shapes and sizes, it also encourages women to show their “real” self.
More and more influencers and models aren’t afraid anymore to show off their “imperfections”, like cellulite, stretch marks, acne, fat stomachs, wrinkles, grey hair, etc.
It is so refreshing to see. I hope it won’t be long for the mainstream media to follow that trend as well.
Khloé Kardashian might not want to have unedited pictures of herself circulating the internet due to her long history of being bullied.
Still, I do think we need to see more real, authentic, unedited and unfiltered content. Content that even the “ordinary” people can relate to.
I don’t want another generation of girls to grow up thinking they don’t look the way they are “supposed to”. We ALL have imperfections. We are human, after all.
And those imperfections don’t make us ugly, weird or unnatural.
If anything, they make us more beautiful.