Is Kim Kardashian really a fashion icon?

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Kim Kardashian has always been a celebrity that has garnered widespread criticism across fashion and celebrity media.

Her family’s TV program and her constant presence in the media make her a personality unlikely to be ignored. The Kardashian Klan has brought their own lines and makeup collaborations with the best brands, showcasing their influence. While high fashion does criticise them for their lack of appreciation for craft, focusing instead on the ‘Instagrammability’, the fact of the matter is that the Kardashians are immensely popular, and their total revenue is completely outrageous.

It is not possible to see them as reality TV stars anymore, and Kim’s high profile wedding to Kanye West elevated her into the most fashionable crowds. Although not universally popular, Kim has been praised in the past for diversifying body image on the fashion scene. Her (controversial) naked cover for Paper Magazine quickly became an object of fascination and the subject of memes and parodies on the Internet. The appeal of the Kim K body has created body trends for the exaggerated hourglass shape equal to what the ‘J-Lo Bum’ was in the 2000’s. Kim makes a lot of money by posting photography of her body on social media while promoting fashion brands, beauty products and other items. This is definitely questionable, especially given the influence social media has over body image. While her pictures are mostly airbrushed, many still aspire to have her body, and see the skin-tight fashion outfits and revealing pictures as inspiration for workouts, diets, and crazy waist corsets.

“While her pictures are mostly airbrushed, many still aspire to have her body, and see the skin-tight fashion outfits and revealing pictures as inspiration for workouts, diets, and crazy waist corsets”

Her latest gaffe/reveal showed Kim without the typical airbrushing, and the picture led to a furore on the Internet. The offending shot made fans angry, losing her 100,000 followers with accusations of using Photoshop for years to hide her real body from the fans. Unabashed, Kim K, doesn’t seem to have much of a reaction to the paparazzi shot. She posted that she is ’empowered’ by her body. While I love people who feel comfortable in their own skin, I don’t respect women who use their Photoshopped and altered body to endorse products but are then surprised when the idealised image they have created over time is shown as false.

While Instagram and general social media encourages the most aesthetically beautiful body(both in beauty campaigns, in fashion and others), it is not right to lie to people by refusing to show real people with real bodies. Kim K cannot be faulted for creating a highly successful personal brand and some amazing collections, but her tendency towards surgery does make you doubt her as a physical role model. If your body has been altered, it shouldn’t form the example that is then promoted to millions of women who want to (ultimately) also look perfect.

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