In the words of Tyra Banks: We were rooting for you Khloe (Picture: Backgrid – Khloe Kardashian)
Earlier this week I caught wind of a photo circulating – dubbed, ‘the image Khloe Kardashian doesn’t want you to see’ according to some spicy headlines – which showed the reality star rocking a leopard-print bikini and looking damn gorgeous while she did it.
Ignoring the swimwear bottoms that would seldom stay held up so high after a few pin drops and cannonballs into the blue waters behind her, it’s the most, dare I suggest, ‘natural’ we’ve seen Khloe on social media.
While the original source of the image is contested, with some reports suggesting Khloe’s grandmother MJ took the image, and others claiming an assistant accidentally posted it to Instagram, as quickly as it was uploaded it was deleted. Some social media punters went so far as to allege they’d been slapped with ‘take-down’ notices for using the ‘copyrighted’ image.
I don’t want to use it here if it’s her wish for it not to be further distributed, but in the image you can see the natural creases of Khloe’s actual limbs, she isn’t as tanned, and you can see where her swimsuit digs into her skin – because all of these things are how people actually look and quite frankly this is the most stunning I’ve ever seen her.
Her hair isn’t half on her face, it’s up in a *gasp* ponytail, she’s not pouting, she’s not trying to look smouldering and ‘rip off my clothes now we’re in the middle of the sea’ sexy – she looks genuinely happy. I want to be her.
Seeing as the Kardashians are not known for projecting the most natural of existences on their Instagrams, it might come of little surprise it’s been taken down. But the allegations swirling that the family had gone into some sort of damage control over a flippin’ unedited image is just, well it’s sad, isn’t it?
I’m not shocked this family may seek to have complete control over its image and pays no mind to the steps needed in order to have such control, but managed by the formidable and savvy leader that is Kris Jenner you’d think they could have spun this one a touch better.
Especially as for many, Khloe, despite her joking about her ‘weekly face transplant’ after fans recently dubbed her ‘unrecognisable’, was arguably seen as the ‘real’ one of the family.
Feel free to read into why we thought that (was it because she wasn’t as ‘petite’ as her sisters? Was it because she seemed more honest in the family’s reality show? Was it because she appeared to make mistakes in life like, well, any other human?), but it clearly stings when someone you once related to, in a world of make-believe, suggests even she doesn’t believe anything less than ‘perfect’ is allowed.
This whole palaver, which has only made the image much, much more public, may I add, suggests Khloe buys into this warped world, which has millions desperately trying to live up to such benchmarks of unreal beauty.
Rather than deleting and hoping no one notices (PAH! That doesn’t happen when you’re a Kardashian) Khloe could have owned the shot and, as one of the most-followed people in the world, placated a load of people who feel they need to portray such filtered perfection in order to find success.
But instead of using this moment as a grand way to flip the whole filtered world of influencers on its head and admit that, no, she does not look like that carefully curated image in real life, it just perpetuates the idea that if you don’t look perfect then why the hell are you on Instagram.
It’s so easy to get caught up in this projection and perception to the point you believe you’re the weird one for having a wrinkle, a stretchmark, a roll.
But, Kardashian’s advocate, I also understand why she may not want the photo out there.
I can’t count how many times I’ve untagged myself from unflattering Facebook photos from the dancefloor, mid jive to Polka Face or something as boppy – face red, forehead sweaty – or asked a mate to take it down. Or cropped a beach photo to limit what Instagram sees before allowing it to be shared to only a couple hundred people who have definitely seen me head-to-toe in real life.
To some extent, most of us are in control of our public image, even if we’re not celebrities who have founded a following based on said ‘image’.
Why should Khloe not be allowed to dictate what we do and do not see in regards to photos of her on Instagram, even if what we do see is arguably incredibly filtered and Photoshopped?
Khloe’s allowed to share what she wants, but I can’t deny it is a shame this palaver wasn’t turned into a moment so much more worthwhile.
She still may do that and is crafting the big moment now, but I won’t hold my breath.
Well, not any more than I usually do in any photo posted to Instagram, anyway.
Credit: Original article published here.