MADDEAUX: Kardashian's Revenge Body heinous
Sabrina Maddeaux says the new reality series starring Khloe Kardashian called Revenge Body is obscene.
SABRINA MADDEAUX/ 24 HOURS
As I watched the Golden Globes red carpet arrivals on E! Sunday night, a particularly obnoxious ad caught my attention. At first I thought I’d heard wrong. No one, surely, would seriously air a show called Revenge Body.
I did not hear wrong.
E! premieres Revenge Body, a reality TV series starring Khloe Kardashian on January 12. “When life knocks you down, get even hotter!” is the tagline. It features Khloe “mentoring” (a dubious use of the word if I’ve ever heard one) men and women who have been dumped and facing other life challenges to reinvent themselves. Khloe famously lost over 40 lbs herself after divorcing Lamar Odom. Never mind that she’s almost certainly had the help of a medical professional or two (and I don’t mean a family doctor).
This is an incredibly irresponsible and harmful show to air on television. The body positive movement has gained serious ground over the last several years with more brands embracing plus-size models and Photoshopping becoming increasingly taboo. Yet E! and Khloe still see fit to perpetuate the ideal of thin, cookie-cutter bodies that are impossible to achieve for the average person. They don’t see a problem with continuing to push the message that it’s what’s on the outside that counts.
Perhaps even more disturbing is the notion that we should change our bodies to please others (let’s be frank, often men). That maybe they’ll love us again — or more — if we have flatter stomachs and firmer asses.
A so-called revenge body can’t even hide under the guise of “doing it for yourself.” You’re transforming yourself to fit someone else’s mould.
It’s bad enough to encourage unrealistic ideals based on self-hatred. It’s worse to encourage these ideals based on fear that someone else will hate us. The Kardashians so often claim to subvert the male gaze, but this show will play right into it.
For those sick of this sort of messaging, I recommend a look at local alternative weekly NOW Magazine’s third annual Love Your Body issue (also on nowtoronto.com).
I spearheaded the project three years ago, and it continues to inspire with images of real, un-retouched Torontonians of all ethnicities, abilities, genders, ages, shapes and sizes baring all for the camera and sharing their stories of body acceptance. This year’s edition includes a burn victim, a new mother and her child and a 63-year-old Indigenous actor.
The journey towards clichéd, but all-important self-love is a personal one. You won’t achieve it by looking for revenge.
Want to read more from Sabrina? Follow her on Twitter @SabrinaMaddeaux