The Kardashians never fail to remain in the spotlight, but their most recent headline has made me pause. Kylie Jenner has been accused of getting breast implants. Despite being the youngest of the Kardashian/Jenner clan at 16, Kylie is not immune to media criticism. But she’s fighting back, and media stunt or not, she has a very important message.
Kylie didn’t stop there – she went on to remind people that she’s only 16. But some will say that she still doesn’t have a leg to stand on – it was her choice to remain in her family’s reality TV show, Keeping up with the Kardashians. She should have expected the national scrutiny – it’s practically part of the job description. It’s expected, and any celebrities who are upset by this should have known what they were getting into. As fans of the show, as well as siblings of fans of the show, know, the Kardashians are particularly susceptible to this kind of attention. In fact, they seem to revel in it. For all we know, Kylie’s tweets are simply a ploy to keep her story trending. But none of that makes the media’s obsession with breast size and “realness” ok.
Among the headlines about Kylie, there was an announcement about a completely unrelated celebrity. Kaley Cuoco, one of the leads in CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” has recently admitted that she got breast implants when she was 18. But these pieces were all celebratory: Cuoco claimed the surgery was the “best decision she ever made.” So the media is applauding her – she’s finally owning up to something that has apparently been rumored for years. And better yet, she’s happy about it! Now that the rumors have been vindicated, Cuoco can be a role model. Don’t get me wrong – it is always inspiring to hear about a woman who has a positive perspective on her body and the choices she’s made. But these pieces aren’t about female empowerment – they’re additions to the celebrity implant black list. All of these pieces, including the one on Huffington Post, list other celebrities who have “gone under the knife.” Entertainmentwise’s article about Cuoco’s decision was the worst. It went through a list of female celebrities who have been the subject of implant rumors and cleared the air as to whether their chests were “Real” or “Fake.”
I want nothing more than for people to feel beautiful and accepted in their bodies. Today’s ideal body type is not only unobtainable for most, it is also enforced. These expectations need to change, otherwise everyone is going to need surgery in order to fit. But accusing these women is not the way to challenge the ideal. The ones who had surgery made a personal decision, one they do not deserve to be publicly shamed for. In Entertainmentwise’s list, the ones who had surgery are demeaned, and the ones who didn’t are objectified. In reference to Scarlett Johansson, the article says “those bad boys are real!” But they aren’t just being objectified, they are also victims of a witch hunt. Their bust size isn’t what is considered normal, so they must have had alterations. This only adds to the stigma of busty women – they aren’t real, they’re just duping society or too vain to admit otherwise.
Kylie is absolutely right – these rumors are insulting. Her body, and her choices, are her business. Her life may be up for speculation on a reality TV show, but she only shares what she wants to with the cameras.