Being called skinny or thin is often taken as a compliment, to be sure, but Kim Kardashian and her sisters have taken it to a whole new, dangerous level.
In an Instagram story shared by Pop Crave, Kardashian said: “What was that? What was that, Kendall?” prompting her sister, Kendall Jenner, to repeat what she said. “No, like, I’m really concerned. I don’t think you’re eating. Like, you look so skinny.”
Before Jenner is even finished, Kardashian reacts in an over-the-top display of fake shock that really just comes off as sheer delight. “What?! What?! Oh, my God, thank you!”
Later in the video, Khloe Kardashian gives a similar review.
“Your hair extensions, your a–, your t–s, everything … they’re heavy, ’cause she’s f—ing voluptuous … But she’s anorexic here,” Khloé said, pointing to Kardashian’s waist and holding her fingers half an inch apart to mimic the measurements of her arms. “Her arms are, like, pin-thin, they’re like my pinky.”
Kim Kardashian is facing backlash for her joyful reaction to being called ‘So Skinny’ and 'Anorexic’: “I'm 119 Lbs.” pic.twitter.com/xCAt1zXBhU
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 30, 2018
Through all of the alleged compliments, Kardashian reacts with excitement and fake denial, alternating between “Okay, tell me more, guys” and “You guys, I’m not that skinny! I’m down to 119 pounds!” in one part of the video.
Backlash to “anorexic” being used as a compliment and the delighted reaction Kardashian had to the term quickly made its way across the internet.
Twitter users @WendyRMonkey and @ashisasag voiced the thoughts of many in tweets that denounced the problematic rhetoric that the sisters were spewing.
“Saw a video where Kendall Jenner tells Kim Kardashian that she looks like she never eats and that she’s concerned about how skinny she is. Kim K says ‘thank you’ in the most delighted voice,” @WendyRMonkey said. “Like, do they ever get tired of being so problematic?”
Saw a video where Kendall Jenner tells Kim Kardashian that she looks like she never eats and that she’s concerned about how skinny she is. Kim K says “thank you” in the most delighted voice.
Like, do they ever get tired of being so problematic?
— Wendy R (@WendyRMonkey) July 30, 2018
“I’m just gonna say this. Using the words ‘anorexic’ and ‘you look like you don’t eat’ as compliments is disgusting. Even if you’re saying them as a joke,” @ashisasag said. “An eating disorder should never be used like that. And the fact that Kim Kardashian was squealing with happiness is sick.”
I’m just gonna say this. Using the words “anorexic” and “you look like you don’t eat” as compliments is disgusting. Even if you’re saying them as a joke. An eating disorder should never be used like that. And the fact that Kim Kardashian was squealing with happiness is sick.
— ash (@ashisasag) July 30, 2018
Several celebrities also made their disgust known; however, they used a different tactic, sharing stories of when they were only 119 pounds. The stories are intended to shine a light on the damaging effects being that thin can have on a person. Both were at rough spots in their lives when they weighed that little.
Stephanie Beatriz from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” posted her experience on her Instagram story.
“There’s only one time in my life when I ever weighed 119 pounds. It was right in the middle of a terrible relationship, and intense eating disorder, and I thought that I could be thinner and look even better. Everyone kept complimenting me on how I looked, and I felt desperate to stay at that weight. IT SUCKED.”
Earlier in Beatriz’s story, she also called out Kardashian directly. “Kim Kardashian saying what she weighs and her sisters complimenting her being so skinny is like eating my brain rn.”
“Shameless” star Emmy Rossum later shared her experiences with unhealthy weight loss in direct response to Beatriz’s story.
“@iamstephbeatz the only time I was 119 points is when I had MONO. On a magazine shoot everyone was ‘freaking out over how good’ I looked. I had lost ten pounds and was gaunt and sick and felt faint… It totally messed with my head.”
With fan bases as large as theirs, the Kardashian and her sisters have no right to make anorexia and unhealthy weight loss seem glamorous and desirable. They have a duty to their fans — especially younger followers — to help them accept their bodies and not strive for thinner figures, such as the one displayed by Kardashian.