Last week, Kim Kardashian West posted a photo on Instagram promoting these lollipops that were also appetite suppressants. I would like to point out that Kim has more than 111 million followers on Instagram (I am proudly not one of them). I saw this post through Twitter.
We live in a society that glorifies weight loss, starvation, extreme body modification (plastic surgery), a petite yet curvy figure, among many other things. Very rarely do you see people loving and accepting the bodies that they have – granted the body positivity movement has made some strides in the past few years but the pressure to have the perfect body has not changed. And here is where I am going to call out Kim.
Kim, you are a mother, daughter, sister, idol, and a social media icon. You have created a massive platform for you and your family – and most of that has been based on your looks and fashion. I may not agree with your extreme focus on fashion and looks and I can ignore that. However, when you advertise something that suppresses an individual's appetite, you have gone too far. As someone who has struggled with negative body image and eating disorders, seeing a celebrity promote an appetite suppressant would be music to my eating disorders ears.
My disordered thoughts would tell me that if Kim K is doing it then I can, too. But let's just say you didn’t have an eating disorder or negative body image, and you were just a young 13-year-old girl whose body is starting to change and you’re actually becoming aware of what you look like. And you see a well-known celebrity, such as Kim K, promoting something that suppresses your appetite. Your immediate thought is probably going to be something like well if she is doing it I can, too.
During my undergrad career, I have taken one very basic, albeit hard biology class. If there is one thing that I still remember to this day it is that our bodies need food to survive and function. In food there are macromolecules and these macromolecules are broken down and allow our bodies to perform certain functions. If you do not eat your body cannot function properly. If someone wants to be a productive and happy individual they have to eat. Suppressing an appetite is hurting your body in the long and short term.
Kim K has a massive platform that could be used to promote so many things such as body positivity. This post just reinforced the social stigma that people, especially women should be ashamed of being hungry and wanting to eat. Being hungry is natural and normal. I wonder how much money she made from that Instagram post – because is it really worth it if it is feeding into a culture that teaches women to hate their bodies and to deny themselves of what their body needs? I personally don’t think so.