As a teen, like so many other kids my age, I struggled with my body image. Before I knew it, I had a full-blown eating disorder — anorexia. Having an eating disorder means you go through great lengths without caring about how much damage you are causing to your body because you loathe yourself that much. I felt lonely, confused, and helpless.
Recovering from an eating disorder is a long hard process, and for the rest of your life, there are triggers. It could be a weight loss contest or a headline in a health magazine, but you will need to battle these triggers for a long time — maybe forever.
I now have a teenage daughter. Her eyes and ears are soaking up all the things television and social media has to offer. It all has a profound effect on her. So when someone like Kim Kardashian publicly thanks her sisters for telling her she looks “anorexic” and they speculate she’s probably only eating “celery and oxygen” and she takes it as a huge compliment? Well, this is a big problem. A big problem.
And quite frankly, she should know better.
She knows she has a huge platform.
She knows she’s a role model to so many young boys and girls.
She knows she has the capacity to use her platform for the greater good.
She knows the struggles society puts on people to look a certain way.
And yet she decided to take being called anorexic, which is a serious eating disorder that affects and takes the lives of many, as a compliment.
But Twitter wasn’t having it.
First, stop glorifying skinny like it deserves some special type of recognition.
Second, and more importantly, there are so many other things someone in Kardashian’s position could have said. Perhaps, “I look good no what size I am, bitches.” Or maybe, “‘Don’t talk about someone looking anorexic like it’s some sort of compliment.”
All of Kardashian’s excited “thank you so much” responses are actually promoting a serious, and potentially deadly, eating disorder that many suffer from. It was ignorant, and responding that way is a huge trigger for a lot of us.
Kim K. knows what she says online affects people, and while some can block her or turn away and not let her words affect them, there are those who don’t have to mental capacity to handle things like that and who look to people like the Kardashians as role models.
All it takes is for one dangerous comment to make someone feel less than. If you are someone who’s feeling bad about yourself for eating too much, or not happy about where you are in life, and see someone giddy after being told “I’m really concerned, I don’t think you’re eating. You look so skinny,” it can have an big impact.
How many young girls watched that and thought eating practically nothing was the answer? My guess is a lot.
Every woman deserves to be celebrated for their accomplishments whether it’s having a child, starting a new workout program and feeling great, or simply making positive changes to be a stronger person.
But what doesn’t need a positive reaction is when someone says you look like you aren’t eating food in order to be the size that you are. Nope. Nuh-uh. No way.
We need influencers and celebrities to focus on body positivity and health. Not about being skinny. Our young kids are watching — including her own.
So for fuck’s sake, Kim, you can and should do better. In fact, we all should.