Kendall Jenner is a Hypocrite for Promoting Body Positivity, Fans Claim
Body positivity is definitely a trend with staying power. Over the last several years, more and more celebrities have come forward in support of the movement that embraces bodies of all sizes and tells people to be happy with themselves as they are. This push for more acceptance has been accompanied by calls for more representation of body diversity in the entertainment world including everything from modeling to acting to back-up dancers.
At this point, it’s not uncommon to hear a celebrity endorse the movement, but sometimes fans feel like the celebrities voicing support are doing so to be trendy rather than because they actually agree with it. That’s definitely the case for some critics of Kendall Jenner who see her body positive stance as superficial and even hypocritical.
Body positivity has spread widely
The roots of the modern-day body-positive movement reach way, way back. According to Penn State, the Victorian era saw women fighting back against restrictive fashion such as corsets and insisting that bodies of different sizes and shapes should be accepted. In the 1960s, a movement to end fat-shaming began. The modern movement, though, is most closely linked to the 1996 organization The Body Positive, which was founded by Connie Sobczak and Elizabeth Scott.
The iteration most pop culture consumers are familiar with today has only been around for a decade. As Vice reports, “body positivity’s cultural makeover began all the way back in 2011.” The rise of plus-size fashion bloggers helped to both normalize fat-positive content and to highlight the demand for the clothes and messaging surrounding the movement. As noted body-positive proponent Lizzo has pointed out, the internet has given people access to more visual promotion of fat-positive ideas without the gatekeeping mechanism of mainstream media.
Many brands recognized not only the shift in the cultural norms but also the opportunity to capitalize on a segment of the population that had been overlooked and neglected.
As a result, marketing started to represent people with a much wider range of appearances in everything from their body shape and size to visible disabilities and other individual looks that bucked old trends. Movies, television shows, and the music world have all seen a rise in stars that break traditional molds when it comes to beauty ideals.
The Kardashian-Jenner sisters have tiptoed into the movement
Many celebrities go to great lengths to meet conventional beauty standards, but perhaps none do so quite as obviously as the Kardashian-Jenner sisters. The entire family has built their fame and fortune with their looks at the center, and some have called them “obsessed” with being thin.
They might not be the most likely spokespeople for body positivity with this history behind them, but some members of the family have seemed to legitimately embrace parts of the movement. Kourtney Kardashian, in particular, has been outspoken about her support for body positivity, citing her concerns as a mom as her motivation.
Kendall Jenner, who is a professional model and definitely has a more complex relationship to her own body because of her profession, has also dipped her toe into the body positivity movement from time to time. Most notably, Jenner has been known to comment with body positive messages on her sister Kylie Jenner’s posts to chide that “everyone is beautiful” and insist that enhancements aren’t needed to improve upon one’s looks.
Fans aren’t having it with Kendall Jenner’s statements
While Kendall Jenner’s calls for body positivity seem mostly innocuous, fans aren’t impressed. In a Reddit thread on the topic, fans took Jenner to task for what they see as hypocrisy. “Kendall has some nerve to constantly shade Kylie[‘]s looks and lecturing that ‘no one needs anything, everyone’s beautiful’ when sis copy-pasted herself a whole new face and also got her body built. Such a superiority complex,” one fan wrote.
The sisters have long been scrutinized for their photo editing, heavy makeup use, and potential plastic surgery, so hearing messages of self-acceptance coming from someone who spends so much time and money changing their appearance hits some fans as a bit odd.