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Khloe Kardashian’s Unfiltered Photo & How Women Are Held Up To ‘Beauty Standards’

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Khloe Kardashian unfiltered photo saga: Days after it was reported that the beauty mogul clan of Kardashian-Jenners was relentlessly pursuing the takedown of an unedited, ‘unflattering’ bikini picture of one of the older siblings Khloe Kardashian, the socialite has broken silence. Taking to Instagram with a series of raw visuals of her midriff, the 36-year-old wrote, “Hey guys, this is me and my body unretouched and unfiltered.”

It’s not every day that you hear a statement like that coming from a Kardashian. The family, for some years now, has been the gatekeeper of pushing the privileged narrative of the ‘perfect woman always camera-ready.’ Right from momager matriarch Kris Jenner down to diva tot Stormi Jenner, the Kardashian life – as they have portrayed it on social media and television – appears to exist in some sanitised, airbrushed luxury bubble that millions aspire towards but can only ever enjoy vicariously through them.

So when talk first spread of a rogue Khloe Kardashian unfiltered photo that the family was trying to pull down, the internet’s first reactions ranged from anger to ridicule.

To what unbelievable lengths can these socialites go in concealing ‘blemishes’? Are they aware of the tone-deaf class privilege their actions show? Must public personalities have exclusive power to throw their weight around to retract public information? Does her desperation to get a natural photo of herself removed mean Khloe Kardashian should be held accountable for promoting false beauty standards?

Holding The Kardashians Accountable: But How Far?

That sympathy for the Kardashian-Jenners ranks universally low is understandable, and to some extent, I find, justified. This family, after all, has raked in billions from all that sets women up for a sense of inadequacy. Each photo each Barbie-like family member shares online looks painfully filtered, almost unreal. Their Keeping Up With The Kardashians is a careful display of every ‘bitchy’ attribute women are demonised with. The range of cosmetics and shapewear they promote, claiming to cover up ‘flaws,’ ironically ends up telling women that they don’t only have supposed flaws but need to correct them too.

And let’s not even get started on the outrageously lavish splurges they made a show of through all of last year, even as the world went under with unemployment, death, poverty, hunger knocking at doors. Young Stormi was gifted a Frozen-resembling pony worth $200,000. Kim Kardashian found a “normal” moment for having hosted her 40th birthday on a private island.

But resentment for their wealth hardly yields peace of mind, let alone a solution for fixing the class rift. And does it contain wisdom with which to estimate the Khloe Kardashian unfiltered photo controversy? That probably deserves a different light to be examined under.

Making A Case For The Khloe Kardashian Unfiltered Photo Controversy

Everyone, myself included, was quick to jump on the ever-convenient bandwagon of Kardashian-berating. A non-airbrushed photo of Khloe Kardashian doing the rounds? So what? Why should it be removed? It’s internet property now; must their exaggerated finances be allowed to afford such privacy as regular people can’t? Wouldn’t taking down a natural photo – with irregularities, et al – be a blatant pronouncement that women’s bodies as they are (without flattering light and edits) are un-viewable? Well, that’s nothing new for the Kardashians to promote, but must we permit it to go on any longer?

The brutally honest post that Khloe Kardashian shared Wednesday, however, reveals that public perceptions don’t always reflect personal truths.

“For over a decade now in photos, every single flaw and imperfection has been micro-analysed and made fun of to the smallest detail and I am reminded of them everyday by the world… This is an example of how I have been conditioned to feel, that I am not beautiful enough just being me,” she writes. “Khloe is the fat sister, Khloe is the ugly sister, the only way she could have lost that weight must have been from surgery” – the socialite pulls out criticism she has heard all her life.

See her post below: 

khloe kardashian unfiltered photo

Source: Khloe Kardashian / Instagram

“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 added, with videos showing her bare, real body.

It raises a few valid questions: Notwithstanding the indignation for their other actions, should we condemn the Kardashians for being victims of a toxic culture that all women inevitably are made a part of? Can wealth always remedy mental and physical insecurities that come to women from existing in an exhausting male-gazed society? Should the paparazzi and social media mechanism be allowed to encroach privacy – of any woman, regardless of social status – in such way without her consent?

Is it not possible that your physical health journey – as Kardashian claims she has undertaken – being devalued as mere cosmetic surgery can impact mental health? Can the public not be wise enough to apply their own value judgment to the supposed ‘filters’ the Kardashians promote instead of dragging them for it? But also should the socialite family be let off the hook for the inauthentic beauty industry they have guarded and still stand for?

The Khloe Kardashian unfiltered photo controversy is layered with no easy answers. But that just means it is the start of many important conversations.

Views expressed are the author’s own. 

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