Khloe Kardashian is speaking out after taking heat for having a bikini photo taken down from social media. The reality star took to Instagram to share a lengthy message about feeling judged for how she looks and for her reaction to the picture being posted.
“Hey guys, this is me and my body unretouched and unfiltered,” Kardashian wrote alongside a video — shot in front of a bathroom mirror — of herself in her underwear with her arm over her chest.
The video was a response to people who claim she digitally altered bikini photos of herself to appear thinner — especially after a photo was posted in which Kardashian didn’t like how she looked. As the photo was shared, the 36-year-old reportedly worked hard to have the picture removed, and several people who reposted the pic claim their accounts were frozen and their posts were deleted.
“The photo that was posted this week is beautiful. But as someone who has struggled with body image her whole life, when someone takes a photo of you that isn’t flattering in bad lighting of doesn’t capture your body the way it is after working so hard to get it to this point — and then shares to to the world — you should have every right to ask for it to not be shared,” she wrote. “Regardless of who you are.”
— Khloé (@khloekardashian) April 8, 2021
Kardashian went on to say that the “pressure, constant ridicule and judgement my entire life to be perfect and meet others’ standards of how I should look has been too much to bear.”
She went on to share examples of some of the mean things she’s repeatedly heard and read about herself on social media and in some tabloids: “‘Khloe is the fat sister.’ ‘Khloe is the ugly sister.’ ‘Her dad must not be her real dad because she looks so different.’ ‘The only way she could have lost that weight must have been from surgery.’ Should I go on?”
She went on to explain that she’s not “asking for sympathy,” but rather, “I am asking to be acknowledged for being human.”
“It is almost unbearable trying to live up to the impossible standards that the public have set for me,” she continued, in part. “For over a decade now in photos, every single flaw and imperfection has been micro-analyzed and made fun of to the smallest detail and I am reminded of them every day by the world. And when I take that criticism to use as motivation to get myself in the best shape of my life and to even help other with the same struggles, I am told I couldn’t have done it through hard work and I must have paid for it all.”
“You never quite get used to being judged and pulled apart and told how unattractive one is,” she explained. “But I will say, if you hear anything enough then you start to believe it.”
Kardashian said that using a “good filter, good lighting and an edit here and there” is essentially the same as someone putting on make-up, getting their nails done or wearing heels to present themselves to the world — and she will continue to present herself the way she wants “unapologetically.”
“My body, my image and how I choose to look and what I want to share is my choice,” she wrote. “It’s not for anyone to decide or judge what is acceptable or not anymore.”
Kardashian concluded her post with a message for others reading who feel insecure or pressured to appear one way or another.
“We are all unique and perfect in our own way. Whichever way one chooses to be seen,” she shared. “I have realized that we cannot continue to live life trying to fit into the perfect mold of what others have set for us. Just do you and make sure your heart is happy.”
Kylie, Kendall and Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande were among those praising Khloe in the comments on her Instagram post.
Katie Couric also praised the reality TV star for her “raw and honest” post, however, she added: “But I agree with those who say the non stop procedures and constant filters are promoting unrealistic and harmful beauty standards.”
For more on Kardashian’s fitness transformation — and the critics and haters she’s encountered on her journey — see the video below.
MORE FROM ET: