beauty

Is it time to stop listening to Kim Kardashian?

“If you told me that I literally had to eat poop every single day and I would look younger, I might. I just might.”

They were the words from the mouth of Kim Kardashian, uttered to The New York Times last week as she did the press rounds on the release of her new skincare line, SKKN by Kim. 

And you know I could tell you about all the things that are problematic with that statement. 

…Like, how one should never contemplate an intake of poop – daily, or otherwise – for one. 

But let’s talk about what a comment like that really says: 

There is absolutely nothing worse in this world than actually looking your age.

And yes, in addition to the insecurity I have about my jiggly thighs and cellulite, let me now turn my attention to another unavoidable shortcoming that comes with… being alive. 

My face. And how dare the faces of us women actually reflect our age?

Kim Kardashian debuts on Saturday Night Live. Article continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

We can study hard; create and bear life; wake before the sun just to squeeze in some exercise; excel in our career; run a business, or a company or country; be a daughter, partner, wife or mother – all while being paid less – but God forbid, you should see a crease on our face.

I've always thought that to grow older is the greatest privilege of all. 

But Kim’s words speak to that ghastly, antiquated idea that I optimistically hoped we were getting close to burying all together: that, the older a woman becomes, her value decreases.

Please bear with me one moment, as I regain my composure.

You know what I mean, because it’s a message too often reinforced through the vanishing faces of women of a certain age, particularly in the public eye.

Not because they’re not there; more confident, capable and accomplished than ever before.

But because someone – here’s looking at you, patriarchy – decided she doesn’t look as “pleasing” and therefore doesn’t deserve to be seen or heard.

And call it conscious or unconscious bias, but I’m sure you’ve heard from your mum, or even experienced yourself, times where you were ignored in a shop, or cut in front of in a queue. 

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Invisible.

Meanwhile, an older man steps into the realm of silver fox or “a fine wine”.

And despite the steps of progress taken against the ageist sentiments expressed in Kim’s words – think, the mature faces increasingly represented on runways, beauty campaigns and on-screen – there are still much-needed strides yet to come. 

But this kind of comment is a step back; and amplified by one of the world’s most “beautiful”, iconic and revered women.

And if Kim actually feels insecure about the way her face looks, with her team of dermatologists and makeup artists, then good God, how of the rest of us plebeians meant to feel? 

Particularly, teen girls. 

Because, remember; Kim is one of the world’s most influential people too.

And here’s the thing about influencers – of which Kimmy, is the Queen and reigning monarch of them all. Their words actually have influence.

And while some of her 317 million Instagram followers will surely fork out for the $700 nine-piece skincare regimen based on nothing more than trust, let’s be real: no skincare will give anyone a face that looks like Kim's, no matter how much serum or cream you lather on.

Not even Kim could manage that. 

Australia already spends $1 billion on cosmetic surgery – more than 40 per cent than the US, per capita, according to the Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery.

While I have a problem with Kim’s toxic messaging, she is a repeat offender at putting her foot in it.

In May, she boasted about the 16 pounds she lost in three weeks to fit into one of Marilyn Monroe’s famed dresses for the Met Gala. 

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That came just months after the 'advice' she issued for women in business: “Get your f***ing a** up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.” 

In 2018, Kim posted videos on her Instagram stories of her sisters commenting on how “skinny” she had become and that she looked "anorexic”; comments that Kim delightfully received. 

And in the same year, Kim also promoted appetite-suppressing lollipops. 

So, where do we draw the line? If Kim’s not changing, is the onus not on us to stop listening?

As I’ve written previously, Kim’s rise to fame – the celebration of a curvy woman – was instrumental to my self-acceptance in my early 20s. But I’ve also had to accept that her relentless pursuit of perfection is not the “real” Kim from Calabasas with whom I fell in love. 

But, if the people gave Kim the power of influence, then the people can take it away too, right? Or at least, put the pressure on for some accountability.

Because I’m done with the toxic messaging. 

So for me, I think it's time to break up with Kim. 

And unfollow, I did. 

Keen to read more from Rebecca Davis? You can find her articles here, or follow her on Instagram.

Feature image: Instagram/Mamamia.

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