An Australian woman has been applauded after she called out Kim Kardashian for setting “a very dangerous tone for vulnerable people when it comes to body image”.
Melbourne-based general practitioner Preeya Alexander wrote an open letter to the US celebrity on Tuesday morning after Kim said over the weekend that she’d like to reach her “goal weight” before her 40th birthday next October.
“Dear Kim Kardashian, I note you’ve recently come out stating you’d like to hit a certain goal weight and lose weight before your 40th birthday because you claim you’ve ‘fallen off the wagon’,” the doctor wrote on her Instagram account followed by 13,000 people.
Dr Alexander said hearing about Kim’s weight goals on the radio was an awkward moment for her and her husband, who “cringed” after realising their three-year-old daughter had heard it.
“I started making loud noises about how much I loved my body and how strong I was (despite how bloody sore it is right now),” she wrote.
The GP told the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star that because of her celebrity status and immense influence, she was worried “because you look fine/great/amazing and you talk heavily about weight loss/ restrictive diets and risky tea concoctions which can set a very dangerous tone for vulnerable people when it comes to #bodyimage”.
Other parents related to Dr Alexander’s post, with one person commenting: “Cringe. I have 3 boys. I don’t want them to hear these statements either. There’s so much more to a person than their weight (and their genitals)”.
“Perfectly said!!” another quipped.
According to The Butterfly Foundation’s 2018 National Agenda for Eating Disorders report, eating disorders “will affect up to 9% of the Australian population in their lifetime, with an increase to 15% for females”.
Further to that as mentioned by Dr Alexander in her own Instagram post, body image advocacy group Pretty Foundation has reported “38% of 4-year-old girls are dissatisfied with their bodies”.
Dr Alexander said she shared her thoughts online because she’s not only a mother of a young girl, but has seen many patients, particularly women, affected by body image issues.
“Firstly, I am a mother of a three-year old daughter and I know all too well how common body image issues are in young women (and young men as well),” she told HuffPost Australia.
“Repeated talk about appearance, weight loss and clothing size can increase risk of body image issues. With social media and the constant messaging around this (around weight loss products such as teas, tablets, lollipops etc) I get worried not only for my own daughter but for all the young people who are vulnerable to this type of messaging.
“I see women in my consulting room all the time who feel the pressure of social media and media expectations when it comes to their appearance. I have women admit they take multiple weight loss supplements in a bid to achieve the things they see on social media like a ”‘flat stomach’ or a ‘thigh gap.’”
The GP also said she believed that setting a good example at home can help shape children’s perspectives on appearance and body image.
“It is so important to role model for younger people so they know what body positivity looks like,” she said.
“At home my husband and I are often loudly declaring how ‘strong mummy is’ and ‘how much I love my body’. Children need to see role models loving their body for what it is even if it is does not meet social media expectations and, speaking honestly, our own expectations at that particular time.”
On Saturday Kim Kardashian shared a video of herself working out at the gym with trainer Melissa Alcantara.
“Ok so we’re doing a night workout before my dinner, which I never do, with this one, but I figured we have to get into it at some point,” she said. “And yeah, I mean, sometimes you fall off and sometimes you really gotta get it together and this is one of my fallen off times where I am, I think, 18 pounds (8 kg) up from what I was about a year ago, a year and a half ago.”
She then told her Instagram followers she has a goal weight she’d like to reach before turning 40 in October 2020.
“To feel good, I just want to get it like, a really good goal weight and so that means working out at all costs,” said the reality star. “It’s my eating. I work out but it’s like, my eating. But Melissa and I have a major goal for by the time I’m 40.”