It’s easy to think Keeping Up With The Kardashians is all fun and games and Kris Jenner drunkenly prank calling people from a California vineyard. Those kinds of hijinks are what make the E! reality show the perfect cure-all for the Sunday scaries, after all. But, that’s not all KUWTK is. Over the last 14 seasons, the Kardashians & Ko. have laid bare their greatest fears and obstacles. This year alone, we saw Kim Kardashian break down over her near-death Paris robbery and sob amid her fertility woes. On last night’s “Cheers To That,” the unflinchingly honest version of Kardashians reappeared to show us just how much those unauthorized paparazzi bikini photos from Mexico, and the subsequent body-shaming coverage, affected Kim. And let’s just say Kim’s loved ones have good reason to worried about her.
After last week’s lengthy discussion about Kim’s post-Mexico body image, it seemed likely the makeup mogul would move on from her struggles. She did talk to best friend Jonathan Cheban about her anxieties, and that kind of chat is usually enough to get someone on KUWTK out of a funk. But, the imminent Met Gala — which Kim considered totally skipping in last week's “Milfs Gone Wild” after the bikini pictures started making headlines — turned the mom-of-two’s insecurities into a lasting problem immune from all outside support.
“I want to be cellulite proof,” she tells the Vivienne Westwood team, whom she’s collaborating with for her Met ensemble. “I want a barrier … to show less cellulite.” This sounds like a direct, unconscious response to the beach photos, which Kim was mostly upset about because they put a spotlight on her apparent cellulite. The same supposed cellulite she nearly cried about during the #MilfsGoneWild trip and would later claim was Photoshopped onto her body. Yet, Kim is so terrified of more shutterbugs shooting her at a “bad” angle or another website mocking her for being “fat,” all she can talk about is creating sartorial optical illusions. The selfie queen explains she can’t stand with “too much of a hip,” and instead has to face cameras head-on “to where [she] looks skinnier.”
On the day of the Met Gala, Kim is no better. It’s clear Kim, who is usually too busy enjoying the attention of everyone around her to worry about what those people are thinking of her, no longer has that carefree outlook. “Knowing that all eyes are on you when you’re walking up those stairs, and within moments people can be so quick to criticize and say whatever is really intimidating,” she admits in a confessional interview. This explains why Kim literally blows out the fuse of her van so she can have her glam squad blow dry away any and all wrinkles from her dress. She doesn’t say it out loud, but wrinkling looks far too close to cellulite for Kim’s comfort.
At least Kim’s loved ones are trying to save her from drowning in self-doubt. Over dinner, Jonathan cautions Kris Jenner about his BFF's alarming levels of stress, saying “She’s got real insecurity problems lately and you should have a major conversation with her.” This pointed statement is said in front of Kim, so she knows everyone is worried about her. “That Mexico trip really fucked me up,” she announces to the table. Khloé finally gets to the heart of what’s eating at her older sister, saying in a talking head interview, the “never-ending” Mexico photos are bringing Kim back to the trauma of being held at gunpoint only months earlier.
“She was mocked and made fun of for this really traumatic thing that happened to her,” Khloé says of the general reaction to Kim’s near-death experience. “Her having these pictures come out, everyone has another reason to kind of ridicule her and mock her. It’s one of the few times she’s been seen back out, and this is how she’s treated. It’s not fair and it’s really cruel.”
So, with this level of underlying trauma, it makes sense Kim can’t get out of her increasingly concerning tendencies. As Kourtney Kardashian and Kim watch Kardashian kid Mason box with the family trainer, Kim turns to her sister, apropos of nothing, and asks, “Kourt, do you think I look a little skinnier?” She explains she’s done three days of intense workouts in a row, for an hour and a half. Considering the fact Kim was actually recovering from two uterine surgeries at this point, that’s worrisome. But, the mean coverage of the photos won’t stop, so aggressive exercise sounds like the only thing Kim can control. “You definitely get a thick skin once you have been through it a lot,” she says of media “harassment,” as the reality star calls. It. “But pictures just keep coming out every day, and they just won’t let it go.”
This explains why Kim has a “full phobia” of leaving the house, explaining, “I get so freaked out if anyone looks at me.” She can now recite hurtful headlines about herself from the internet, including one story about the “worst photo” of Kim’s face while visiting pal Chrissy Teigen. “I looked 500 years old,” she swears to Kourtney. “My face was so ugly.” She can’t even consider dropping all of these traumatizing news sites, saying, “Cause, that’s like… my life.” Kim would rather stay in the house 24-7 than stop reading harmful commentary on “Daily Mail, TMZ,” and other sites, explaining, “I just don’t want any pictures.” At this point, the middle Kardashian sister is even asking Khloé to block her back with her body since it’s “so fat and so wide” in Kim’s mind.
Thankfully, “Cheers To That,” wraps on a hopeful note for Kim since her sisters blocked all of the “negative” outlets she’s become consumed by. The reality star agrees to live like this for two days and then do a gut check. As Jonathan Cheban says, Kim Kardashian is, "like, the baddest bitch in town.” Let’s hope she remembers that fact soon.
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