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Kim & Khloe Kardashian Are Creating A New Unattainable Beauty Standard And We Should Be Concerned

Photo: Instagram
Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian

It's no secret that the Kardashian sisters have played a central role in dictating female beauty standards for the past decade.

As purveyors of the "curvy" body that the media came to idolize throughout the 2010s, the Kardashians were once praised for expanding the playing field to larger bodies and pushing us away from the size 0 beauty standard of the 2000s.

However, as the famous sisters — particularly Kim and Khloe — publicly broadcast their drastic weight loss journeys, fans are raising their concerns about the implications of this new Kardashian-sponsored body type.

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Not long ago, Redditor “calithetroll” shared their thoughts on the positive reception towards the “skinny” Khloe and Kim, exploring how the Kardashians are creating another unattainable beauty standard by promoting a thinner body type.

The Kardashian sisters are getting skinnier, and fans love how it looks.

Between Kim revealing her drastic pre-Met Gala weight loss and Khloe showing off her shredded abs on a weekly basis, the sisters are fielding plenty of compliments from followers.

Despite many knowing that these new looks are unrealistic, people are still drawn to the “less-than-normal bodies.”

This new trend of skinniness is no different from the previous Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) trend that the Kardashians are accused of spearheading — though, the sisters insist their looks have always been natural.

The ultra-thin Barbie doll proportions the sisters now seem to be sporting are perhaps their most unrealistic image yet.

In their post, user “calithetroll” asked, “why do we find it so beautiful?”

They concluded that it was due to supernormal stimuli (or superstimulus), which is when an exaggerated trait is preferable to a naturally occurring trait, which would also extend to body types.

A 2019 study concluded that exaggerated waist-to-hip ratios are preferred even when they’re highly unrealistic—something present in our history if we look back to when hourglass body shapes were a popular fad at many points throughout history.

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Whether it was the exaggerated and often dangerous corsets that have existed since the 16th-century or the cinched waist that Kim has been promoting lately, we have long considered the hourglass to be the “‘ideal’ figure for women.”

Often this is the natural shape of the female body, we have wider hips for a reason. But adoration of this shape has reached unattainable levels.

This body type combines both exaggerated thinness and womanly curves — everything we deem beautiful in women.

Yet, we are specific about what bodies we mock and what bodies we idolize.

You can be curvy, but only in certain places. We are pressured to have bigger lips and fuller cheeks but nothing too extreme, even if it is natural.

For men, we mock thinness and idolize strength but being large without muscles is unacceptable.

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As the Reddit user points out, comprehensive beauty also plays a key role.

It is not enough just to have the exact same body as the Kardashians, you also have to be beautiful.

It is so easy for Kim or Khloe to “reset beauty trends” because they’re beautiful. People are looking at them as a whole—face and body. If they had average faces with the same body proportions, people would think of their looks as unnatural.

When it comes down to it, a pretty face can make almost an extreme body change look appealing instead of someone who doesn’t fit the public’s beauty standards.

We are obsessed with setting unattainable standards.

Novelties will eventually wear off, but unattainable beauty standards will always be something people want to “achieve.”

When we think about when BBLs made their first appearance in pop culture, Kim's body was new.

Therefore, it created a “new stimuli," but over time, the more we saw her and got used to seeing the same bodily proportions, the “initial shock” died down, and the look lost its charm.

Kim didn't debut the look, but she did popularize it to the point that other women were altering themselves to look like her.

Today, the look doesn’t stand out anymore, hence the new image.

And by worshipping a new look, idolizing weight loss (though, only in certain areas of the body), and yet again publicly declaring a new desirable body type we risk entering a cycle, once again, where certain bodies are deemed undesirable for no other reason than because they don't look a certain way.

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Ashley Darkwa-Anto is a writer at YourTango based in New Jersey who covers News & Entertainment.

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