That Khloé Kardashian Picture: What’s the Verdict?

Khloé’s team tried to remove the photo from the internet.


We’re all aware of the image the Kardashian’s promote- small waists, big bums, and glowing tans. Perfection on a daily basis, at least from what we see online.

The clan have hit the headlines this week regarding a poolside picture of Khloé Kardashian that was accidently posted online by her assistant. Khloé’s team is working hard to get the image removed from the internet, and ironically bringing more attention to it as a result.

Khloé has every right, legally, to have the picture taken down from any website. Sites such as Reddit have been hit with copyright claims from Khloé’s team and seemingly threatened with legal action.

Like most people, I saw the picture and was struck by how different Khloé looked. Although I can’t post the picture in this article, I can assure you that Khloé looked like an average-sized, everyday woman posing in a bikini. The image was definitely unedited, as it looked worlds away from her Instagram photos and Good American photoshoots.

But Khloé’s efforts to remove the image from everywhere possible has made me think - what’s wrong with looking “average”, even for just one picture?

I feel two ways about it. As she seems so intent to have the photo expunged from the internet, I feel sorry for her. We’ve all had pictures taken of us that make us feel terrible, even by accident.

In my mid-teens I saw a picture of my side profile that a person I knew had taken candidly, and I felt devastated at how “prominent” my nose looked. I didn’t know the person well enough to ask her to take the picture down, so it’s probably still on Facebook somewhere. Now in my early 20s, I’ve made peace with how I look, although I still have my moments.

Khloé addressed the situation by posting a statement to Instagram talking about the picture and her years-long insecurities, particularly at being labelled the “fat one” and “ugly sister” as the Kardashian’s rose to fame:

“Hey guys, this is me and my body unretouched and unfiltered,” she wrote alongside a video. “The photo that was posted this week is beautiful. But as someone who has struggled with body image her whole life, when someone takes a photo of you that isn’t flattering in bad lighting… you should have every right to ask for it to not be shared - regardless of who you are.”

“You never quite get used to being judged and pulled apart and told how unattractive one is, but I will say, if you hear anything enough then you start to believe it.”

Although Khloé should be praised for so candidly sharing her struggles, part of me feels cynical. Khloé has been famously called out for going overboard with photoshop before, and with her image behind countless beauty and fashion ventures, can we always believe in the product she’s selling? Simply typing “Instagram vs reality” into Google Images brings up a host of celebrity Instagram pictures compared to video footage or offhand photos of the same celebs- Khloé included.

Think of it like this - if I can edit my lips into the perfect plump pout, could I be selling a lip gloss under false pretenses? 

In the end, Khloé has the right to not have her image distributed online. But with more conversations happening about the ethical stance behind filtering oneself beyond recognition and its consequences, we may be seeing a rise in purposefully unfiltered pictures in the future.


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