Reality television star Khloe Kardashian broke her silence on the controversy surrounding her team’s attempts to get an unedited bikini photo of her off the internet. She said that she has been subjected to unbearable criticism all her life and has struggled with body image issues. She added that she has every right to ask for an unflattering picture not to be shared.
Khloe posted videos and screengrabs from an Instagram live and wrote, “PS Yes I did a live to show you all this isn’t photoshopped.” She also shared a lengthy note defending her decision to have her image removed online.
“Hey guys, this is me and my body unretouched and unfiltered. The photo that was posted this week is beautiful. But as someone who has struggled with body image her whole life, when someone takes a photo of you that isn’t flattering in bad lighting or doesn’t capture your body the way it is after working so hard to get it to this point – and then shares it to the world – you should have every right to ask for it to not be shared – regardless of who you are,” she wrote.
“In truth, the pressure, constant ridicule and judgment my entire life to be perfect and to meet other’s standards of how I should look has been too much to bear. ‘Khloe is the fat sister.’ ‘Khloe is the ugly sister.’ ‘Her dad must not be her real dad because she looks so different.’ ‘The only way she could have lost that weight must have been from surgery.’ Should I go on?” she added.
Khloe said that people underestimate the impact such criticism has on her because of her privilege. She urged everyone to acknowledge that she is only ‘human’.
“Oh but who cares how she feels because she grew up in a life of privilege. She’s also on a reality show so she signed up for all of this. I’m of course not asking for sympathy but I am asking to be acknowledged for being human. I am not perfect but I promise you that I try everyday to live my life as honestly as possible and with empathy and kindness. It doesn’t mean that I have not made mistakes. But I’m not going to lie. It’s almost unbearable trying to live up to the impossible standards that the public have all set for me,” she wrote.
“For over a decade now in photos, every single flaw and imperfection has been micro-analyzed and made fun of to the smallest detail and I am reminded of them everyday by the world. And when I take that criticism to use as motivation to get myself in the best shape of my life and to even help others with the same struggles, I am told I couldn’t have done it through hard work and I must have paid for it all,” she added.
Khloe said being constantly torn down for her looks conditioned her to feel that she is not beautiful enough. She added that she likes to use filters, good lighting and even edits to make her photos look good, and will continue to do so ‘unapologetically’.
“You never quite get used to being judged and pulled apart and told how unattractive one is, but I will say, if you hear anything enough then you start to believe it. This is an example of how I have been conditioned to feel, that I am not beautiful enough just being me,” she wrote.
“I love a good filter, good lighting and an edit here and there. The same way I throw on some make-up, get my nails done, or wear a pair of heels to present myself to the world the way I want to be seen and it’s exactly what I will continue to do unapologetically. My body, my image and how I choose to look and what I want to share is my choice. It’s not for anyone to decide or judge what is acceptable or not anymore,” she added.
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Khloe said that though her loved ones tell her that she is beautiful every day, she has yet to learn to believe it from within. She added, however, that she has come to the realisation that she cannot live according to the expectations of others or the standards set by them.
“For those else who feel the constant pressure of not ever feeling perfect enough, I want you to know I see you and I understand. Everyday I am told by my family and friends who love me that I am beautiful but I know that it needs to be believed from within. We are all unique and perfect in our own way. Whichever way one chooses to be seen. I have realized that we cannot continue to live life trying to fit into the perfect mold of what others have set for us. Just do you and make sure your heart is happy,” she said.
Earlier this week, an assistant accidentally shared an unedited picture of Khloe posing near a pool. Her team has been working to get the photo taken down from sites like Twitter and Reddit, where it is being widely shared.