But on Friday, Kardashian West surprised her fans when she shifted that level of body confidence and pride onto women who have bodies unlike her own. The reality star and mogul tweeted to her 59 million followers images of nude women with visible cellulite, belly rolls, and stretch marks.
While fans are still in the dark as to what these new images are for (a new KKW Body fragrance, perhaps?), they're already forming their own opinions — and it's split. Many fans reacted with glee: "Every body shape is beautiful, thank you for sharing these photos," one commenter wrote. "It’s so important for people to see these." But others weren't as kind, with one person responding with the harmful argument, "So promoting being unhealthy and increasing dying risks is supposed to be normal?"
That reaction isn't surprising to body-positive blogger Carmen Rene, who went viral back in May when she put her own body-positive spin on Kardashian's KKW Body campaign. "They’re gonna face a lot of backlash for posting these images," Rene tells Refinery29. "I think people don't like to see relatable bodies, whether it’s fat or stretch marks or whatever. So they took a risk and I commend them for that."
View this post on Instagram
One of these bodies, a large part of our society will deem as “perfect”. My body is empowered by the opportunity to share a different reality. PERFECT: “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.” Stop striving to be perfect because guess what, you are there! What a beautiful definition 💕. Today, at this very moment my body is as good as it possibly can be. I can’t change it today, and tomorrow it may be different, it will still be perfect. There is no body better than the next. There is no one body that is “perfect”. There is your body, unique, worthy, desirable and perfect. All body’s are good bodies ❤️ . . #everyBodyBeautiful #unique #bodylove #embraceyourbody #perfectbody #worthybody #beunique #eatthecaketoo #carmenrene #bbwlove #bodyconfidence #loveyourbody #bodypositive #plusisequal #normalizenudity #getoverit #kkwbeauty @kimkardashian #stretchmarks #stretchmarksarebeautiful #zebrastripes
Rene's images, which Kardashian West retweeted at the time, weren't meant to serve as a criticism of the star, but to add to the narrative in a healthy way. "I just remember sitting at home and she had just posted this picture and I was like, Oh my god, her body is so perfect," Rene says. "But what is perfect? We all have bodies that are worthy of holding in a high regard. The picture wasn't a knock on her, because I really admire her body, but at the same time I totally admire my body, too."
View this post on Instagram
Every body is a work of art. Every body is a #masterpiece 🖤 @deannabombchica challenged me to recreate this @kimkardashian look and embrace my body as a masterpiece so here we are! Challenge accepted. @2plussizedivas are claiming Monday’s as #masterpiecemondays so stay tuned! #thescalesaysmasterpiece™️ . . #everyBodyBeautiful #unique #bodylove #embraceyourbody #perfectbody #worthybody #beunique #eatthecaketoo #carmenrene #bbwlove #bodyconfidence #loveyourbody #bodypositive #plusisequal #normalizenudity #getoverit #kkwbeauty @kimkardashian #stretchmarks #stretchmarksarebeautiful #zebrastripes #lymphedemawarrior #lymphedema #lymediseaseawareness
Rene's first reaction to seeing the images on Friday was genuine happiness that Kardashian West was finally using her massive platform to spread a more body-positive message – but, deservedly, she's also giving herself some credit.
"I did try to get in touch with her team and thought it would be a good idea to use this momentum to have this conversation around different bodies and misconceptions around what is beautiful in our society and what our perfect body is," Rene, who noted that Kim's team never got back to her at the time, says. "So, I have to think that what I did helped move this along, and that makes me feel good."
Refinery29 has reached out to West's team and will update this story when we hear back.