Kim Kardashian Says Pregnancy Body-Shaming 'Killed My Self-Esteem'

by Christina Marfice
Gary Miller/Getty

Kim Kardashian says media body shaming “killed” her self esteem when she was pregnant, and it’s easy to see why

Looking back, Kim Kardashian‘s first pregnancy, with her daughter North, was one of the most iconic times in her life. She and Kanye were maybe the top power couple in Hollywood. Her reality show was wildly popular. She came to slay in every outfit she put on (seriously, there were some downright iconic looks that year). But underneath it all, Kim was fighting some seriously heartbreaking battles that she’s only now opening up about.

Kim appeared on a recent episode of Kristen Bell and Monica Padman’s limited series podcast, We Are Supported By, where she opened up about the intense media scrutiny — and relentless body shaming — she received while she was pregnant with North.

No matter how you feel about Kim and the Kardashians in general, it has to break your heart to hear her refer to herself as, “not a good pregnant person,” and that she “hated” how she looked during that time, which should have been so joyful.

“I was so used to seeing my mom pregnant, my sister pregnant, and everyone looking so cute and having these easy deliveries, and it was great, and they snapped right back,” Kim explained. “That wasn’t me.”

But it’s really no wonder she feels that way, after how she was treated by the press at the time. Remember when reporters literally compared her to the performing whale Shamu? I mean, what the fuck. It didn’t help matters that Kate Middleton was pregnant at the same time as Kim, so the two women — and their pregnant bodies — were being compared at every turn. Kim talked about that on We Are Supported By, and it may have been the most heartbreaking part.

“It was really, really crazy,” she said. “The Waif versus the Whale. It was so nasty…I can’t really believe it. I don’t think it would really fly today, but it killed my self-esteem. I can’t believe that this was acceptable and that this was OK.”

Meanwhile, amid all this hate, Kim was dealing with some scary pregnancy complications. She suffered from preeclampsia and placenta accreta, when the placenta attaches itself too deeply into the uterine wall. She revealed that she was forced to have an emergency delivery six weeks early because her complications could have turned fatal.

Luckily, at 40 and with all that shaming behind her, Kim said she feels more sure of herself now. She also uses that experience to examine how much of herself she wants to “give” to social media.

“There is definitely a side of me that’s like, ‘Be who you want to be and post what you want to post,'” she said. “Then there’s the other side of me that’s like, ‘Oh, I’m a mom, I’m 40, I gotta chill.’ I definitely wrestle with that idea in my mind.”