Khloé Kardashian is finally addressing the backlash from followers and fans after she and her team worked overtime this week to scrub the internet of a supposedly unflattering (and unedited) bikini photo that was posted without her permission. And because she’s Khloé, she did it in the most show-stopping and social way possible.
The 36-year-old reality star and influencer took to Instagram on April 7 with a live stream in which she wore a string bikini. She also posted a selfie video in her underwear aiming to further prove what looks like "unretouched and unfiltered." She accompanied the post with a heartfelt letter.
“Hey guys, this is me and my body unretouched and unfiltered,” she wrote. “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.”
The personality then revealed she’s long struggled with her body image having spent so much time in the public eye. “In truth, the pressure, constant ridicule and judgment my entire life to be perfect and to meet other’s standards of how I should look has been too much to bear,” she continued. “’Khloé is the fat sister.’ ‘Khloé is the ugly sister.’ ‘Her dad must not be her real dad because she looks so different.’ ‘The only way she could have lost that weight must have been from surgery.’ Should I go on?”
In the post, Kardashian also points out that she’s not asking for sympathy but “to be acknowledged for being human” and she says that she knows she grew up in a life of privilege. She also reveals that she’s taken the criticism she’s faced in the past and tried to use it as motivation to get into the best shape of her life, but then she has also been criticized for that.
“You never quite get used to being judged and pulled apart and told how unattractive one is, but I will say, if you hear anything enough then you start to believe it,” she continued. “This is an example of how I have been conditioned to feel, that I am not beautiful enough just being me.” The personality then refocused her attention to the photo that sparked all of this in the first place.
“I love a good filter, good lighting and an edit here and there,” she wrote. “The same way I throw on some make-up, get my nails done, or wear a pair of heels to present myself to the world the way I want to be seen and it’s exactly what I will continue to do unapologetically. My body, my image and how I choose to look and what I want to share is my choice. It’s not for anyone to decide or judge what is acceptable or not anymore.”
Immediately Khloé’s friends and family sent her love in the comments, with everyone from Kylie and Kendall Jenner and Kim Kardashian to Ariana Grande and Kimora Lee Simmons adding emojis and positive words.
On Twitter, where Khloé began trending following the post, people weren’t so kind. Many accused the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star of being hypocritical for the post, since they feel she and her sisters perpetuate those same impossible beauty standards with their posts.
On April 5, the photo of Khloé in question found its way to social media when an assistant accidentally posted it without permission. Shortly afterward it was taken down, but not before people saved it or took screenshots. “The colour edited photo was taken of Khloé during a private family gathering and posted to social media without permission by mistake by an assistant,” Tracy Romulus, chief marketing officer for KKW Brands, said in a statement to Page Six at the time. “Khloé looks beautiful but it is within the right of the copyright owner to not want an image not intended to be published taken down.”
Since then social media users who have shared the photo have found their accounts locked. Meanwhile, Kardashian wrapped her own social media response with a call for people to love themselves as they are.
“For those else who feel the constant pressure of not ever feeling perfect enough, I want you to know I see you and I understand. Every day I am told by my family and friends who love me that I am beautiful but I know that it needs to be believed from within. We are all unique and perfect in our own way. Whichever way one chooses to be seen. I have realized that we cannot continue to live life trying to fit into the perfect mold of what others have set for us. Just do you and make sure your heart is happy.”
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