It’s not exactly rare that a snap, courtesy of the KarJenner family, will break the internet for being overly edited or dubbed a “photoshop fail,” but this time a snap of Khloé Kardashian went viral for the complete opposite reasons: it was unedited. Well, Kardashian has finally spoken out about her team taking legal action to wipe that swimsuit pic off the web — you know the one — the one where she’s makeup-free and looks stunning as she flashes a smile in a leopard print bikini. Kardashian took to Instagram to show a series of “unretouched and unfiltered” videos along with a lengthy note about why she wanted that photo unseen and honestly, her reason highlights a huge problem. Internet trolls and body-shamers have a tremendously negative effect on people’s mental health — and being a Kardashian and all that entails doesn’t really absolve you from that.
The first video in Kardashian’s IG carousel shows the reality TV star almost nude as she shows off her toned abs. Her note began, “Hey guys, this is me and my body unretouched and unfiltered.” She continued: “The photo that was posted this week was beautiful. But as someone who has struggled with body image her whole life, when someone takes a photo of you that isn’t flattering in bad lighting or doesn’t capture your body the way it is after working so hard to get it to this point — and then shares it to the world — you should have every right to ask for it not to be shared — no matter who you are.”
Kardashian went on to discuss the “pressure, constant ridicule and judgment” she’s experienced due to her life in the spotlight and shared a few heartbreaking examples: “‘Khloé is the fat sister.’ ‘Khloé is the ugly sister.’ ‘Her dad must not be her real dad because she looks so different.’ ‘The only way she could have lost that weight must have been from surgery.’”
“Should I go on?” she added. Of the vicious rumors, Kardashian admitted that: “You never quite get used to being judged and pulled apart and told how unattractive one is, but I will say if you hear anything enough then you will start to believe it. This is how I have been conditioned to feel, that I am not beautiful enough just being me.”
Kardashian also shared that she does love “a good filter, good lighting and an edit here and there,” and she won’t be apologizing for that. ”My body, my image and how I choose to look and what I want to share is my choice. It’s not for anyone to decide or judge what is acceptable anymore,” she concluded.
It’s devastating to see Kardashian’s insecurities play out in real-time, but more than anything this has been a stark reminder that most of the picture-perfect snaps we see from celebs are a result of a good filter and heavy editing. Kardashian has been bullied her whole life by those who pick out her flaws, and while it would have been great for her to proudly share that bikini photo (which she really does look so incredible in) despite the haters, it’s clear she’d only like photos she feels confident and secure in to live on the internet — and that’s okay too.
For those of us who don’t have teams on hand to help our photos look like a Kardashian’s, we’ll have a different job: remembering that what we see on Instagram, especially of the Kardashians, is not reality — we are. And we look great the way we are.
Before you go, click here to see all the stars who got naked for a movie or TV role.