Earlier this week, Khloe Kardashian’s name was in the news…yet again. But this time the 32-year-old wasn’t making headlines because of her relationship with Lamar or one of her many television programs; this week, Khloe Kardashian was in the news because of her body. And while Khloe’s weight has been a topic of conversation before — the “fat [Kardashian] sister” has been slammed by the media for many, many years — the latest headlines, like those from Radar Online and OK! Magazine, were proclaiming Khloe was “scary skinny” and “wasting away.” The latest headlines were questioning if Khloe had gone too far in her pursuit of perfection. The latest headlines were implying Khloe was unhealthy.
I know some of you may be thinking, who cares? I mean, Khloe’s life does not affect your own and you may or may not give a damn what the Kardashians do, but the most recent attacks on her body prove this problem is greater than Khloe. There is an ongoing problem in our culture in how we see the human body.
There is an ongoing problem in our culture in how we talk about, and shame, the human form.
Make no mistake: body shaming is nothing new. In fact, Amy Farrell — a professor at Dickinson College and the author of Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body — once noted the “trend” can be traced back to the mid-19th century, when the world’s first dieting books were published. But contrary to popular belief, body shaming doesn’t just affect those who are “big” or “obese” or even “overweight.” Body shaming doesn’t just affect celebrities, or those in the public eye. Women — and men — are shamed each and everyday, regardless of their race, weight, or even their pant size.
How do I know this? Because I am a small woman. I am a tiny woman. And I am a thin woman.
I have been mocked and ridiculed and told I should “eat a sandwich.”
I have been called anorexic, in real life and online.
And, like Khloe, I have been made to feel as though my body is unhealthy or wrong.
I have been “skinny-shamed.”
Of course, Khloe took to social media to address the media:
But not everyone who is body shamed is able to stand up and speak out. Not everyone is able to turn their personal struggles into a public fight.
Of course, I don’t fault Khloe for doing so. In fact, I applaud her for speaking out, but it is time we, as a society, do more. It is time we, as a society, stop using terms like “fat” or “disgusting,” “scary” and/or “sick.” It is time we, as a society, stop accepting “shaming” is just another part of our lives. And it is time we, as a society, say this is not OK.
Enough is a enough.
So as a woman — a smart woman, a strong woman, a beautiful woman, an empowered woman, and a woman who is also a mother (the mother of a young girl who still finds joy in food and pulls on her “fat”) — I have to say this: we deserve better. We can do better. And we have to demand better, of ourselves and of others.