Kim Kardashian recently took to Instagram in support of Britney Spears and recalls her own experiences with the media body-shaming her during a difficult pregnancy. She also cited South Africa’s YOU magazine as one of the culprits.
“It really broke me”.
Framing Britney Spears is a New York Times documentary about the Queen of Pop’s “public unravelling” more than a decade ago. Here’s what Kim Kardashian had to say about it.
Kim Kardashian speaks out about body shaming
Supporting Britney Spears
She said that type of media exposure “can really break even the strongest person”. Kardashian explained:
“No matter how public someone’s life may seem, no one deserves to be treated with such cruelty or judgment for entertainment”.
A difficult pregnancy
Kardashian then recalled her own traumatising experiences from a “time when [she] felt this way” – during her pregnancy with North, her eldest daughter with rapper and entrepeneur Kanye West.
The reality star explained that she was suffering from preeclampsia at the time, which made her “swell uncontrollably”. She gained 27 kilograms during the pregancy and delivered North almost six weeks early.
“I cried every single day over what happening to my body mainly from the pressure of being constantly compared to what society considered a healthy pregnant person should look like, as well as being compared to Shamu the Whale by the media”.
Body shaming on the cover of YOU
She added that the magazine covers made her feel insecure during a time when she really didn’t need the stress. Kardashian said the weekly cover stories and tabloids “made [her] insecurities so painful”, she couldn’t leave the house for months.
Kardashian shared photos of the magazine covers which highlighted her weight gain. SA’s YOU magazine, for example, had a photo of Kardashian on the cover alongside the Duchess of Sussex, with the title:
Battle of the bumps: Kate the Waif vs Kim the Whale
The cover insinuated that the Duchess of Sussex was “too thin”, while Kardashian was “too fat”. YOU magazine copied Us Weekly tagline, which read: “Baby weight battles: Too thin? Too fat?” Us Weekly, however, also added:
Both six months pregnant, Kim and Kate are constantly bullied and judged. Inside their support system and how how they fight back”.
Some of the other magazine covers blared how Kim couldn’t stop eating and how she “binged on waffle cones and fries”. The same magazine proudly included her “meltdown over a busted zipper”.
‘It’s always better to lead with kindness’
Kardashian said she was able to “to take these frustrating, embarrassing feelings and channel it into motivation to get [her] where I [is] today”, but admits that it still took a toll on her mental well-being.
“You just never fully know what someone is going through behind the scenes and I’ve learned through my own experiences that it’s always better to lead with kindness”.
Kardashian echoed those sentiments at the World Congress on Information Technology in 2019 – which yours truly attended – when she said one bad comment can ruin a person’s day.
“The most important thing [I teach my kids] is to be kind. I would never allow someone I know to speak negatively about someone or leave a nasty comment.”