There are some things you shouldn’t say on social media, and then there are some things you just shouldn’t say at all — ever. Unfortunately, Kim Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian, and Kendall Jenner are learning that the hard way right about now and, TBH, I’m not surprised, considering Kim Kardashian’s Instagram story about being “anorexic” is extremely problematic. It doesn’t matter in what context the word was used or if Kim’s sisters were simply just trying to fluff her ego; the term “anorexia” is not, and should never be seen as a compliment. Anorexia is a mental illness, according to the Academy of Eating Disorders, and it's personally upsetting that the famous sisters may think otherwise.
On Sunday July 29, the reality-star-turned-supermodel Kendall Jenner "complimented" her older sister, Kim, on her apparent weight loss. But to Kim's followers, the so-called “compliment” was wildly inappropriate, as Kendall's remarks like, “I’m really concerned, I don’t think you’re eating,” and, “you look so skinny,” became a kind of prologue to a series of similar videos Kim uploaded to her Instagram story. Elite Daily has reached out to Kim, Khloé, and Kendall's teams for comment on the backlash, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
Kim’s weight quickly became the main topic of conversation, both because her sisters seemed to find it amusing, and because Kim seemingly wanted all the "compliments," saying things like “tell me more,” "continue," and “I’m not that skinny." Based on the videos, it seemed that none of the Kardashian sisters were aware of how offensive their comments might sound to other people, especially those who've actually experienced anorexia.
Kendall went on to compare Kim’s waist to her miniature purse, but the conversation escalated quickly and was taken too far when Khloé exclaimed she could “literally see through” her sister, and that she was “anorexic here,” by gesturing to Kim’s tiny waist, and describing her sister’s arms as “pin thin.”
Fans responded to Kim Kardashian’s Instagram story about being “anorexic,” and needless to say, they're upset.
Anorexia is a serious medical condition that affects the mind and body; it is not a compliment, and should not be used as such to describe a person's appearance.
On the outside looking in, these videos might come off as just a group of sisters being sisters, but to understand the severity of what the Kardashian sisters' comments can mean to those who are suffering from the disorder, you first have to understand what anorexia actually is. Per Mayo Clinic’s definition, the term “anorexia” is the simplified version of what is known as anorexia nervosa, "an eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight." Among the symptoms of anorexia nervosa are things like extreme weight loss, abnormal blood counts, fatigue, discoloration of the skin, thin hair, loss of period, irregular heart rhythms, and according to the National Eating Disorders Association, anorexia can be treated with psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive remediation therapy, family-based treatments, and the like. So you see, anorexia doesn’t just allude to extreme weight loss, and it’s not an adjective that is meant to describe a person’s appearance, certainly not to the point of serving as a compliment to someone who has lost weight. It is a very real medical issue, as well as a mental illness that shouldn’t be glamorized.
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, statistics show that 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the United States, while 0.9 percent of all American women will experience anorexia nervosa during their lifetime. These numbers are telling, and they’re heartbreaking, but they certainly aren’t a laughing matter. This is exactly why Kim Kardashian’s fans are so enraged over her positive response to her sisters calling her anorexic: Being described as anorexic isn't a compliment, and the term should only be used to describe the serious medical condition.
Kim, Khloé, and Kendall are three women who, collectively, have almost 300 million followers on Instagram alone. It's no secret that these sisters are a powerhouse, and have a significantly large platform and influence, and the comments made Sunday night are already affecting their fans.
As of publication of this story, the Kardashians have yet to respond to the backlash on their respective social media pages, or to address the comments made in any way. Let Kim's Instagram story be an example of how not to use the term "anorexia."