There's no levels to what Calabasas royalty (the Kardashians) will do for money. They've hawked most products at one time or another, and most of the time people admire the hustle. If you could pay your rent with a #spon post about gummy bear hair vitamins, wouldn't you?
However, a post from Kim last week took whatever bar was previously there and smashed it to smithereens. The promotion of a so-called appetite suppressing lollipop was slammed by previous Kardashian-defender Jameela Jamil, and the rest of the internet followed suit.
No. Fuck off. No. You terrible and toxic influence on young girls. I admire their mother’s branding capabilities, she is an exploitative but innovative genius, however this family makes me feel actual despair over what women are reduced to. ☹️ pic.twitter.com/zDPN1T8sBM— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) May 16, 2018
The product itself is alarming and confusing. Also the sexual #suckit hashtag and pose gave off an uneasy image - buy this, and stop being hungry, and become sexy.
Kim is fully aware of her influence. She spoke on the Business of Fashion podcast about just how powerful her social media following makes her - not that it takes a genius to work that out since she has 111 million followers on Instagram alone. As i new Vicky Pratt pointed out, that's more than Vogue (US and UK), Grazia (UK), Elle (US and UK) and Cosmopolitan (US and UK) combined.
However, I'm always wary to call anyone a role model when they didn't ask to be one. Kim is 37 years old, Keeping Up With The Kardashians is rated 15 here in the UK, and lest we forget her first foray into fame was on Ray J's dick. There's nothing wrong with any of these things, but it's hardly as if she's marketing herself to children or as whiter than white. Let her live.
That said, we can't ignore how dangerous these diet products are. You should never feel that being hungry is wrong, and eating a lollipop to starve yourself is the exact opposite of healthy. Many of the skinny teas and drinks touted on Instagram also contain laxatives, promoting and perpertuating disordered eating and the cycle of binging and purging.
#ad Fuelling up with my @flattummyco meal replacement shake before getting my workout done today. You guys need to do yourselves a favor and get on these Shakes because I’ve been seeing some seriously good results. I’m doing the Green Tea Matcha Shake which is part of the flat tummy bundle program. If you’re looking to give yourself a tummy makeover too, check these guys out because their 20% sale is on right now!
It's also not like Kim needs the money. Some rumours online stated that she earned about $100,000 for the post. That's a lot of money to you or me, but not to someone with $175 million in the bank. There really isn't a need to do it.
My guess is that Kim was too uninterested to even notice how damaging something like this could be, what with all the body shaping and sculpting products out there. I get about 50 PR emails a day about cellulite cream and liposuction and useless vitamin supplements. I - a random pleb - find it hard to differentiate between the bullshit and the good stuff. Add to that that she's being body-shamed constantly herself, and told she needs to be skinnier or smoother or whatever else is important.
The fact that these products are even available over the counter (or in these cases on the TL) is disgusting. But Kim is a cog, not the whole machine. And, although she's a fallible person and although we can't lay all society's failings at her feet, she can't keep her head in the sand about the role she plays in peoples lives any longer.
Above and beyond Kim Kardashian-West, though, is an industry out there to tell you your body and its functions are wrong... And they're willing to pay very highly for people to disseminate that message. The buck should stop with them.
Kim owes everyone a sincere apology. So do these toxic diet companies peddling us all a lifestyle of unhappiness.