Entertainment And News

Why Khloé Kardashian's Push For Body Positivity Rings Hollow — From A Former Laxative Abuser

Photo: Getty
Khloe Kardashian

After a rare unretouched photo hit the internet, Khloé Kardashian went into full damage control mode, threatening legal action against any outlets who publish the photo.

According to Tracy Romulus, chief marketing officer for KKW Brands, “The color edited photo was taken of Khloé during a private family gathering and posted to social media without permission by mistake by an assistant."

Having seen the photo, it's... fine.

Pretty. Paler than we usually see her in her more "color-corrected" images. But it's a perfectly lovely image. So what's the big deal?

Well, the Kardashians have curated a very specific image over the years, and perhaps none has worked harder to do so than Khloé.

Long mocked for her appearance in comparison to her sisters, Kardashian has been open about her struggles with her body image, a deeply relatable topic, and something many are praising her for delving into in her follow up posts on social media.

RELATED: Will Khloe Kardashian Forgive Tristan Again? Why Even Smart Women Forgive Men Who Are Caught Cheating

"For over a decade now in photos, every single flaw and imperfection has been micro-analyzed and made fun of to the smallest detail and I am reminded of them everyday by the world," Khloé shared.

"And when I take that criticism to use as motivation to get myself in the best shape of my life and to even help others with the same struggles, I am told I couldn't have done it through hard work and I must have paid for it all."

She continued, "My body, my image and how I choose to look and what I want to share is my choice," adding, "It's not for anyone to decide or judge what is acceptable anymore."

Yes. Couldn't agree more.

Body positivity does not need to be a blind celebration of our bodies, but rather a way of taking ownership of and understanding our insecurities while still appreciating ourselves.

But there is a wrinkle to the otherwise airbrushed perfection of Kardashian's lovely post that strikes me as hypocritical on her part.

"You know how I do! Getting my day started with my fav @fittea!"

"YES, I also use a personal trainer and nutritionist, but THESE SHAKES WORK to help get your tummy back to flat. Trust me you guys."

"OK you guys...I've been putting in work, adding in @flattummyco meal replacement shakes and I'm seriously feeling so good. My energy is up, my cravings are controlled, and I actually feel like I'm a total tummy."

"This @flattummytea is working the bloat out! Don't be mad, just go order you some tea!"

These are just a few of the sponsored posts Khloé Kardashian has shared on her Instagram for various products that promise to give consumers a "flat tummy" or to ease bloat thanks to their special blend of ingredients.

The ingredients in question? Laxatives.

For me, this is personal. You see, from the age of 18 until... well, I must admit to you right up until today, I have struggled with eating disorders, namely bulimia.

Part of that bulimia has included laxative abuse.

It seems so simple. You are bloated. You want to get rid of the bloat. You take a laxative, maybe in the form of a tea or a chocolate or a powder or yes just the standard pill form.

Within a few hours, you're not bloated anymore. It's like magic.

And magic is very easy to become addicted to. But magic, any magic, is just an illusion.

RELATED: Did Khloé Kardashian Have Plastic Surgery? Alleged Before & After Photos

Over the course of my laxative abuse, I went from taking two laxative pills a day to a handful of seven or eight in order to elicit the same effects, and to diminishing returns.

My body had grown so dependent upon the stimulant in these tiny, sugar-coated pink pills that I could no longer function without them — but I could also no longer function with them.

So excuse me, Khloé, but I am struggling with your impassioned ode to body positivity.

I realize that in a lot of ways I'm lucky to live my life, with my body, out of the public eye.

But I do exist in the same society that has created the same rules with the same shifting goalposts that Khloé and the rest of the Kardashian family have helped push.

As women, they are victims of the relentless pressure to be thin but curvy, astonishingly beautiful but in a seemingly natural and effortless way, and they have done what they've had to to maintain and thrive in that environment.

But in doing so, given their power, they have also created new and impossible standards for the rest of us.

That's why teen girls have caused significant damage to their lips trying the Kylie Lip Challenge, and plastic surgeons have seen an increase in requests for butt implants and lip fillers.

At the end of the day, all people should just be allowed to live as they wish.

Plastic surgery, workouts, diets, even detox teas that give you diarrhea — I mean, I don't recommend it, but that's your journey.

So long as you know the risks and what the products you're considering using contains — these are all things that are entirely up to each individual person to decide if they want to try and either succeed or fail or abandon like the many, many fad diets and products that came before. (Do you know where your ThighMaster is?)

What matters is that we each appreciate our bodies for better or worse.

But profiting off of potentially dangerous products that hit on our deeply vulnerable desires for our bodies to meet an impossible standard you and those closest to you are actively helping set, then complaining and asking for compassion when an image you just don't like was posted by your own team?

That's not body positivity. That's entitlement and capitalist cynicism.

RELATED: 20 Photos Of Young Kim Kardashian 'Before Plastic Surgery'

Courtney Enlow is Editor of Pop Culture and Good News at YourTango. Her work has appeared at Vanity Fair, Glamour, Pajiba, SYFY FANGRRLS, Bustle, Huffington Post, io9, and others. She is the former co-host of Trends Like These with Travis McElroy and Brent Black. She has two kids, two dogs, and requires more wine, please.