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7th October 2014

Keeping Up with the Kontroversy

Ellie Howe reports on the darker statements the fashion world perpetrates.

There’s no denying that Kendall Jenner has firmly stamped her mark across the fashion world this season, appearing in a multitude of high-profile shows. Despite gracing the catwalks for major fashion houses such as Chanel and Balmain, Kendall has faced harsh criticism in recent weeks over her weight and apparent cellulite on the backs of her thighs whilst walking for Tommy Hilfiger, bringing to light the issues associated with ‘fat-shaming’ across the media—the idea that it’s OK to discriminate and stereotype over someone’s weight.

While most of us admired Kendall’s figure, which she attributes to regular exercise and healthy eating, an Australian gossip magazine reported that Kendall was required to lose eight kilograms if she hoped to remain a big name in the fashion world and further her career. As a member of the infamous Kardashian family, Kendall has worked hard to make her own way in the fashion world, and as a result has a respected role as a model for huge industry names—a role which has clearly not been respected by some parts of the media that would rather focus on a potential sighting of body fat.

The major issue behind the ‘fat-shaming’ of Kendall is the negative body image it promotes to her millions of fans and the idea that it’s acceptable to criticise people based on their weight. Rather than congratulating Kendall on her hard work and ambition, the focus turned to whether or not she was thin enough to be considered a successful model. This leads to unnecessary comparisons and leaves readers with the idea that there is a ‘perfect’ female body type, which is slimmer than Kendall’s and has no cellulite.

Kendall’s body type should not define her success nor our perceptions of her achievement; we should not put celebrities under any more strain than we would people on the street. This particular story is one of many that highlight the growing debates surrounding the fashion industry’s acceptance of a range of body types, which will only occur if ‘fat-shaming’ and judgement over body type and weight stop.

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