Keeping up with the Insecurities: What Is a Revenge Body Really About

Whether you love them or hate them, or like, literally could not even care less about them, no-one can deny that the Kardashians are our current celebrity royal family. The TV show – and multiple spin offs – have never appealed to me but I’ll admit to following the whole Klan on Instagram and knowing a worrying amount of trivia about them all. I may not be their biggest fan, but I respect that they have built an empire around being themselves and have brought the idea of embracing curves back into mainstream culture.

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So considering the sisters have such a dominant presence in the world of social media, Khloe Kardashian’s dramatic weight loss has been something we have all witnessed, through her regular gym snaps and selfies. We’ve all been able to marvel at the wonders that personal instructors, nutritionists, glam squads, waist trainers and essentially, money can do to change your body. While Khloe has always been naturally curvy, it has been well documented that her old figure consisted of “bad” curves, but due to her weight loss, she has entered the mythical realm of “good” curves.

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And just as the new year diet culture swept in, Khloe launched her new television show: “Revenge Body”, encouraging weight loss to get back at former partners. With a tag line of “Let your haters be your biggest motivators” Khloe promises that by the end of the 12-week period – or episode in the viewer’s case – the contestants will have a body that will show their exes what they are missing!
While I do think that promoting a healthier lifestyle and body positivity is a good message to promote, I can’t help but notice that the subliminal message of the show is not about revenge, or self-satisfaction – it is about trying to impress the person who hurt you, implying that you still need validation and approval from others to truly feel confident. In the promo for the show, Khloe asks the contestants “This revenge body, who is it for?” and the answers range from “Ex-fiancé, Mom and friends” but not one person in any of the episodes says “It’s for me.”

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We already live in a society where women are constantly made to criticize their own body due to the constant scrutiny of others. But if life changes are to be made, it should be that person’s conscious decision, not because someone else expects them to change. Too often are we told that the perfect body leads to happiness. This warped version of body image only leads to internalized hate because how do we know when the changes we make are ever “enough”? “Revenge Body” isn’t about leading a healthy lifestyle, letting go, or living for yourself. It is about other people influencing how you should live your life

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Troubled relationships with family and friends are trying enough. People have emotional attachments to food, which means that when these relationships break down, binge eating or dieting is a natural response. But maybe instead of focusing on how your body affected your past, we should focus on what we really want from ourselves, instead of what others expect of us. We should learn to dispel the negative opinions about us, instead of proving them to be true. Your body should never be the reason that you don’t feel worthy or accepted, and a “Revenge Body” is certainly not the solution to the problem.

Jess Simpson

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