There’s a comparison photo of Kim Kardashian going viral because of how much thinner she looks, and it is giving me straight-up body anxiety. Cue me breathing into a paper bag and chanting, “skinny isn’t everything”.
It’s hard to say when the photo was taken but one showcases Kardashian’s body before she lost weight, probably around 2019, and the other is a current photo taken in 2022. In both she’s on James Corden’s talk show. So, it’s a real side-by-side moment.
Kardashian’s body has always been famous. She swung into the 2000s showing off a curvier figure. She normalised big bums, hips and trucker hats. Thankfully, the trucker hat trend ended, but the curvy trend continued.
I can still remember when Kardashian’s body first became so popular. It was when she stole the spotlight from Paris Hilton in 2006 during a trip to Australia. I remember it so clearly because I was thrilled to see that a curvier woman could be seen as just as hot as a very skinny woman.
I should also point out that I was in primary school then and so self-conscious of my non-thin body that I took notice of the approval being sent Kardashian’s way.
Plus, I’d just read Paris Hilton book Confessions of an Heiress, where she’d listed her flat stomach as sexier than her boobs or bum. What a traumatising time to come of age!
There’s no denying that Kardashian’s body being heralded as universally sexy and goals made many women feel much better. Frankly, it was way more doable to attempt to look like Kim Kardashian than Jennifer Aniston or Kate Moss.
This is precisely why Kim Kardashian’s weight loss is taking the internet by storm. Realistically celebrities have body transformations all the time. Christina Aguilera is famous for her body changing, shifting between slight and curvy.
Rebel Wilson had a year of health and lost around 30 kilos. Adele’s body dramatically changed last year, and these changes spawned a thousand headlines and articles theorising what fitness routine and diet they are now following.
But Kim Kardashian’s changing body just hits different. This photo is sending the internet into such a frenzy because if Kim Kardashian is going from curvy to skinny, it’s a loud indicator that the body standard has changed again.
Basically, curvy is out, and skinny is in. If even Kim Kardashian is shedding her curves, that means the ‘90s heroin chic trend could return.
Plus, as Kardashian’s body shrinks, we are already seeing the direct impacts of super skinny being in fashion again.
Currently on TikTok there’s a trend where users share how using a diabetes medication can lead to weight loss. Which A) shows you how desperate women are to be skinny now and B) has led to a nationwide shortage of medication people with diabetes desperately need.
Obviously, when Kardashian normalised curvy, it didn’t solve all body issues. The ‘curvy’ that Kim Kardashian was famous for was a limited version. So big hips and bum, but they had to be paired with a tiny waist.
But no matter how flawed, Kardashian’s body made way for a whole new type of woman to be considered attractive.
Kim Kardashian losing weight matters because culturally, it sends a message that curvy is out and skinny is in. Sure, she has every right to do what she wants with her body, but I won’t pretend that her weight loss doesn’t make me anxious.
It’s possible that we may return to the days of idolising skinniness over everything else and that leaves me and many women feeling bad about our bodies.
Mary Madigan is a freelance writer.