What’s more problematic, the fact that the Kardashians are very good at getting things very wrong, or the fact that we’re not even surprised by it anymore? Because Khloé Kardashian has hit a hat trick of problematic instances this week and beyond the intermittent waves of Twitter grumbles about how ridiculous it is, nothing else ever happens.
But what will be the pin to pop the impenetrable internet bubble in which the world’s most influential family resides? The mockery of a mental illness at a point in which society is finally striding beyond the stigmas and stereotypes that once defined our understanding of mental health? Because Khloé has resurrected her ‘Khlo-C-D’ franchise and it’s still very much not okay.
‘Khlo-C-D’ is a new ‘cleanliness and organisation’ series that was launched through Khloé’s app and website and since announcing it on Snapchat this week, she’s come under justified fire for trivialising ODC. The idea is that Khloé does a week-long series of ‘lazy-girl hacks for cleaning everyday objects’ in which she’ll reveal ‘two major secrets to staying organised’. Contrary to misguided belief, these are not the signifiers of living with obsessive compulsive disorder, but that seemingly isn’t important so long as there’s an uninspired pun at play. A sentiment that evidently didn't go down well on Twitter:
This isn’t the first time Khloé has released this wildly insensitive title into the world. Back in 2015 she posted a video called ‘KHLO-C-D: Cookie Jars’ which showed herself organising cookies (because thus is the definition of Khlo-C-D, it seems). It was just as much of an issue then as it is now, of course. But given the perhaps assumed awareness of how hard so many have worked to quash the damaging stigmas around mental health of late, Khloé’s tone-deaf approach to expanding her brand only goes against the cultural grain more abrasively.
Our awareness and frustration at this sort of thing probably isn’t going to change anything though. Khloé Kardashian and her sisters are protected by the social media orientated world that they so strategically dominate. Regardless of how many times they support misguided campaigns, co-opt crucial social movements, blatantly appropriate other cultures or generally cause widespread offence, it never seems quite enough to penetrate and affect the way they use their ever profitable influence.
It's a problem. Especially when the ideals that they so actively promote are as damaging and unprogressive as the Khloé’s second hit of the problematic bullseye in the last few days. We know Khloé as the sister who has had to defend herself against social media trolls slating her weight. The one who revealed to the world that she was told her size was damaging to the Kardashian ‘brand’. The one who then went and launched a TV series based on exercising not for self-improvement, satisfaction or health, but to get back at an ex. And most recently she decided to publish some tips on how to look skinny to her website.
Last Friday Khloé tweeted a link to an article on her app called ‘5 Hacks To Look Thin AF in Pic’. Not an ideal promotion of the damaging image of beauty ideals, no. We know that all bodies in all shapes and sizes are beautiful and worthy of celebration. We know how ridiculously unhelpful and harmful it is to encourage 'skinny' as the definition of beauty. We also know that Instagram is not real life, and contorting yourself to appear 'thin AF' for the purpose of waiting for 'Insta comments to blow the f*ck up' isn't the healthiest of relationships to have with our bodies or social media. But does Khloe know all of this? And if she does, why is she still promoting it?
Silly question, I suppose. It's depressingly profitable and that's always the priority for the social media elite, hence why Khloé's extravagant baby shower over the weekend was rather strangely sponsored by Amazon. Feeding the smoke machine that works to cloud our perceptions of reality through rogue, unrealistic Instagram endorsements, the promotion of unhealthy attitudes to body image and the misguided cooption of serious mental health conditions is more important than the integrity of a personal brand like brand Kardashian, it seems. Forget scale of influence, financial interest is evidently the priority.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.