Why the world needs to see more (Kardashian) cellulite
Either you’ve been living under a rock or you’ve heard about the candid shots of Kim Kardashian on holiday in Mexico that almost ‘broke the internet’ for a second time.
The wife of Kanye West was not caught in the act of straddling another egocentric rapper on a secluded private beach while drinking a bottle of Ciroc. Mrs. KKW wasn’t photographed neglecting her children in favour of securing the best light for a new collection of selfies, nor was she snapped sniffing lines of coke through a limited edition Balmain hundred dollar bill.
No, while all of these scenarios may well be more plausible than the truth, what these shocking images reveal is that – pause for dramatic effect – SHE HAS CELLULITE!!!
Well thank God for that. Finally.
It shames me to admit this, but I have had discussions with my (all of us) university educated friends on numerous occasions about how Kardashian and her ilk have managed to evade the curse of us mere mortals that is cellulite and stretch marks etc. The debate generally ends with the reluctant acceptance that “it must be great genes”.
Great genes… Great genes?!?! More like a hired entourage of ‘candid’ photographers, industrial strength lighting and the latest version of Paint Shop Pro. Give it up girl, stop airbrushing your arse. (Whether it's even real or surgically altered is a post for a whole different day.)
The sad thing about this ‘revelation’ that Kim Kardashian has (wince) cellulite is that it is even a revelation in the first place. Of course she has cellulite – I’d be a bit concerned if she didn’t. 98% of women have it in some form or another, ranging from a little to a lot, barely visible and everything else in between. It’s a sad reflection of the society we live in that these doctored images have become the absolute norm, what we expect to see at the expense of our own self-worth.
A generation of young girls are growing up with a false, unrealistic, no, excuse me, LUDICROUS expectation of beauty, and Kardashian & Co. are public enemy number one. An entire cosmetic empire spanning the length and breadth of the globe has been built on impossible aspirations towards a bodily perfection that has never and will never exist. We live in a world saturated in fake – fake news, fake lips, fake imagery. Bad news for the retailers of weight loss teas and ass-enhancing creams endorsed by A-Z list celebrities alike, but using these products will certainly NOT result in looking like Kylie Jenner’s twin – because, as we have seen, Kylie et al don’t even look like that themselves. It’s a global epidemic of smoke and mirrors.
When I was 13, I cried for months over my lionesses’ mane of bold, brash, curly hair. The imagery I was exposed to as a young teenager adorning the front spread of magazines consisted exclusively of pristinely manicured, PHOTOSHOPPED young women with sleek, poker straight tresses, and so I believed that I was ugly; that I would never be good enough. I hated my pale skin, and I couldn’t figure out why practically everyone else at school had developed a perky set of boobs while I remained as flat as the Netherlands, waiting patiently to wake up one morning with a pair of 32Ds (still waiting, FYI).
I can’t go back and tell my 13 year old self what I know now. But I can speak to the young women of 2017 who are despairing over their attributes (or lack thereof) just as much as I once was.
The carefully edited images we are endlessly exposed to on social media are just that – edited, and it is more important than ever before to remind impressionable young girls of this fact. Women cannot live their lives through the lens of a Valencia filter with the brightness turned up and saturation on full blast. And nor should we.
Females are more educated now than we ever have been before; we have a voice, we have a chance. So give your body a chance, too, and walk away from reading this maybe not loving, but accepting your marks as a badge of your individuality. For every girl that has a stretch mark, there is another with dimples on the back of her thighs, somebody else with saggy skin.
Perfection is unattainable, it's inhuman, and it is also wholly subjective. We spend so much time and energy aspiring to a standard of beauty that never existed in the first place that we are neglecting the important aspects of ourselves. Be the best version of you, but never compare your best to somebody else’s.
It’s high time that modern culture worried less about how a woman looks in a pair of Levi shorts and more about her intellect, her strength and her character. Give us the Mona Eltahawy’s, the Cassandra DePecol’s, the Malala’s, the Joanna Palani’s, the Louise O’Neills, incredibly innovative and inspiring females (and none of whom extol the hair-lengthening superpowers of fizzy blue gummy bears – look them up).
Yes to cellulite, yes to stretch marks and yes to reality.