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19 Jan

Why Khloe Kardashian’s ‘Revenge Body’ is borderline fat-shaming

It’s particularly upsetting to see mixed messages on body positivity from women who have themselves been fat shamed or bullied because of their weight. Khloe Kardashian is one such woman. Even though the term ‘Revenge Body’ was first coined by tabloid magazines, it has been given more popularity by the Kardashian sister who is nowadays almost more popular than her other sisters because of her dramatic fitness makeover. While it’s great that she decided to get fit, Khloe has time and time again stated that she was tired of being called the ‘fat’ Kardashian. Her show, titled Revenge Body is now on air and has been giving mixed reviews, where some feel that the concept of the show is harmless while others claim otherwise.

On the show, participants are invited to go through a fitness regime to get in shape. This is apparently done to take ‘revenge’ from anyone in their lives who made them feel fat. Many participants of the show have declared that they’re taking revenge from their mother, or their teacher, or even a friend.

The problem with this lies in the fact that the word ‘fat’ is being termed as derogatory. Firstly, it’s making it sound as if being fat is a bad thing (even though there is a difference between being fat and being obese.) Secondly, we are being forced to accept the fact that Khloe was indeed the ‘fat’ Kardashian, which she wasn’t. If Khloe listed her motivation as something else, that would be an empowering message for other women because that means that Khloe’s motivated by her own desires and interests. But the fact that her bullying is being glamourized in this way, where she made an entire show on how she succumbed to the pressures of her exes, or society in general, then it reiterates the message that people are right for calling you fat, and you should feel bad about it.

Also, it’s a confusing message: You used to call me fat so now I’m going to prove you wrong by losing a ton of weight. Doesn’t that mean that you also agree with the bullies? The right way to take revenge for being called fat is to love your body the way it is and not care what others think.

There are also many people who think being fat means being unhealthy. This isn’t true. As long as you’re active, have all your vitals in order, it doesn’t matter if your thighs are fatter than Gigi Hadid, a model who also was bullied in the beginning for not being thin enough to model. If Gigi Hadid can be called ‘fat’, then you know the problem lies in the way this word is being used, not the way your body looks.

Manal Khan

The author is Deputy Editor at Something Haute who has studied film and journalism from SZABIST. Will be found at the gym if not in the office.