Yes, it is shocking to see celebs like Kim Kardashian endorsing appetite suppressants instead of body positivity. Kardashian is facing a lot of criticism for posting a photo of her, on Instagram, sucking a Flat-Tummy lollipop, which promises to curb food cravings. She captioned the product to be “literally unreal”. But following a massive backlash from her fans, Kardashian deleted her post on Wednesday. For those who do not know, the reality TV star enjoys a humongous fan following on social media. She is considered to be a major trend setter and social media influencer. In fact, the Council of Fashion Designers of America announced last week that it was honouring the reality TV star with its first-ever Influencer Award.
Eating disorders are a very real issue for a lot of young people and to see Kim Kardashian actively encouraging her fans to develop an unhealthy relationship with food is terrifying and gravely concerning. pic.twitter.com/hhFYBbm8hL
— Liam Hackett (@DiageoLiam) May 16, 2018
One would expect a celebrity with such a command on her followers to select her endorsements responsibly.
One can be pretty sure that Kim is fully aware of what her endorsement is capable of doing to a product’s sales. Instagram influencers like her receive hefty pay cheques and luxurious treats from sponsors to merely point their finger at a product. Social media endorsements are like business deals for influencers. In this deal, their followers get reduced to just a giant number. Faceless virtual followers who will bring in more money and power to them.
Does the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star not know that her 111 million followers on Instagram are made of flesh and blood?
In a time when even the fashion industry is making an effort to prioritise health over weight does she not realise that numerous young girls would choose these appetite suppressing lollipops over a healthy diet, because their beloved icon recommends them? Icons and women around the world are fighting the stereotypical idea which equates being thin to being beautiful. But it seems these issues are of no concern to celebs like Kardashian.
Celebs should keep in mind, what kind of trend their endorsements may start. Kardashian is not endorsing appetite suppressing pills. She is endorsing a diet fad which tells girls that they can pop a lollipop and have a flat stomach. She is endorsing an unhealthy lifestyle and the belief that you are not beautiful if you don’t have a flat stomach. If even one of these girls becomes anorexic or develops health issues due to the product, will Kim own responsibility?
Had such accountability come so easily to our celebrities, then there wouldn’t have been the need to write this article. The truth is Kim Kardashian and many others don’t care how such a product may push millions of young girls on the path of physical and mental health problems.
Thankfully, this time, her social media followers hammered in some sense.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.