Image by Vanessa Beecroft for Kim Kardashian
On June 14th Kim Kardashian unveiled what she said had been her secret weapon against psoriasis for over 10 years. It wasn’t a wonder drug or miracle skin cream, it was a body foundation. The backlash against the product was pretty immediate, but All The Pretty Bird’s Charisse Kenion says it’s totally uncalled for.
When Kim Kardashian West announced her latest makeup product, Skin Perfecting Body Foundation, what was your gut reaction? Was it an eye-roll accompanied by a snarky remark about how she doesn’t need the money? Was it more of a “Yass, get that coin Kimmy”? Or did you, like thousands of other women, instantly think that Kim was making money off our insecurities? Did you think it was “unfair” that Kim had released a product that ultimately meant that we had one more part of our body to perfect?
If you did, I hate to say it, but, get over yourself. And, yes I’m talking to you Jameela Jamil. She took to Twitter to criticize the product, saying: “Hard pass. God damn the work to take it all off before bed so it doesn’t destroy your sheets… I’d rather just make peace with my million stretch marks and eczema. Taking off my mascara is enough of a pain in the arse. Save money and time and give yourself a damn break.”
That viewpoint is valid, as we are all entitled to our own opinions, but also ignores the truth: How do other people who suffer from psoriasis, or are self-conscious about their legs feel? Imagine spending much of your life in leggings and trousers because you literally hate the thought of someone seeing your legs. Should the only solution be that you just deal with it, and accept these perceived flaws, alongside the unwelcome comments that might accompany them?
One young woman took to Twitter to explain just how emotional the foundation made her. She explained that her mom suffered from an illness that has left the skin on her legs red and bruised, and that by applying Kim Kardashian’s body foundation, her mom is no longer embarrassed to go outside showing her legs.
Stories like that make it hard to understand the anger and hate against Kim and her product. I kept reading the comments, often sarcastic and sometimes sad and heartfelt, and wondered, why now? Why this product, when body foundation products have been on the market for years? The only conclusion I could come to was that Kim makes a great punching bag, as does any celebrity who uses social media to promote themselves and their products. It’s so easy to type away and criticise, and if, on the way, you gain a few more thousand followers who want to join in with you and slate that person, it’s a win/win, right? Dare I say it, but you don’t have to buy anything from Kim K, and if you are going to critique, take into account all sides and viewpoints of the situation. This might not be the product for you, but is it helping someone else?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a total faff to have to think about swiping foundation all over your legs and arms – let alone the mess it’s going to make in the bathroom when it’s time to take it off. But Kim’s not saying we all need it, rather she’s offering another solution, in case you want it. And she’s certainly not the first; MAC launched its body foundation years ago, but I’m betting the brand didn’t receive the same backlash. Since then we’ve had other products designed to hide flaws such as scarring and thread veins, including the iconic Airbrush Legs from Sally Hansen and cult products such as Alleven and Charlotte Tilbury’s Supermodel Body.
So, at the end of the day body foundations aren’t new, and in some cases are needed, and wanted by consumers. Let’s hold Kim to the same standards we hold other brands releasing similar products. Let’s not hold Kim K accountable for raising our sisters, daughters and friends. That’s our job.