Screenshot: Kim Kardashian West / Keeping Up with the Kardashians / YouTube
Would you look at that! Kim Kardashian West has, miraculously, found another way to make women feel insecure by setting an unattainable standard of beauty, while making herself a nice little profit. Thank the lord. Honestly, what would we do without her?
This time, Kim has released her own line of “skin perfecting body foundation”. Yes, you read that correctly. Just like foundation for your face, but for your arms, legs, chest, and whatever other skin might be home to the odd scar or mole. Because, as a woman, you could never walk out of the house without completely altering every single part of your body. Don’t be silly!
Before you say it: yes, I know that Kim suffers from psoriasis. And, honestly, I do feel bad for her. It sounds painful and it sucks when you don’t feel good about the way you look. It’s even understandable that she would want to cover up her psoriasis when doing public events, if that’s something she is insecure about.
But, as a woman with such a humongous amount of influence, was releasing a line of body foundation for her 143 million followers to buy for $45 USD per 118ml the right thing to do? To me, it sent a message along the lines of “I need to look perfect all the time, and so do all of you, so please send me your pay cheque and cover up every freckle on your body xoxo.”
Personally, I think it would have been really groundbreaking and important to a lot of women if Kim Kardashian, sex symbol of stratospheric levels of fame, had publicly embraced her body’s imperfections. She could have gone to the Met Gala in a dress that showed off her psoriasis instead of hiding it. She could have done a photoshoot that captured and celebrated all of her skin’s imperfections. She could have just walked out of her front door with a tiny bit of redness on her legs and it would have made international news.
I’m not saying it would have been the easier choice, or the choice that would make her the most money. But it’s the choice that would have encouraged women to accept their bodies, rather than breathing life into their insecurities. It’s the choice that would have lifted women up rather than exploiting them for profit.
In a recent interview, Kris Jenner said this about the success of her daughters: “I think when the girls (...) first started doing our show, people really responded to them because they offered an image of something that was different. It gave young women self-esteem. They started to feel better about themselves because they could embrace their bodies and didn't have to have a certain look."
I think Kris Jenner couldn’t be further off the mark here. The Kardashian sisters have done nothing to help give women self-esteem. They’ve done nothing to help women feel better about themselves or embrace how their bodies differ from the status quo. In actual fact, they seem to have done everything in their power to make women feel as bad about their bodies as humanly possible.
The image the Kardashian sisters present to the world is one of tailor-made perfection. Private gyms, personal trainers, dieticians, dermatologists, and a buttload of plastic surgery have helped to shape every photo broadcasted to their collective hundreds of millions of Instagram followers.
The sisters are constantly, incessantly shilling products to these droves of followers. Products that claim to help us average girls look just like Kim. They tell ordinary women to spend their hard earned money on glorified corsets (“waist trainers”) and literal laxatives (“flat tummy tea” and “appetite suppressant lollipops”). They make hundreds of thousands of dollars doing it, and they’ve made it perfectly clear that they’re not really worried about the consequences their behaviour could have for regular women.
That’s what their family business is built on. Telling women what we should look like and thereby potentially making us insecure about our own, regular bodies, and then selling us ways of reaching their unattainable levels of perfection.
In my opinion, Kim’s “skin perfecting body foundation” is just another on the long list of exploitative products the Kardashian sisters have used to make us feel shitty about ourselves for a buck.
Women truly don’t need another thing we have to worry about covering up or changing before we leave the house in order to be seen as acceptable. We’re already meant to shave ourselves from head to toe, conceal, contour and highlight every inch of our face, and burn our hair to a crisp. There is literally no time for anything else to be added to that list. We’ve survived this long without foundation for our legs, and I think we’ve been doing okay so far, thanks very much.
Don’t fall for it. Don’t give Kim your time or money. There are better things to spend both on.Support Villainesse