How Kim Kardashian changed my body image (for real).
I used to call myself pear-shaped.
In 2007 (when Keeping Up With The Kardashians began) I started calling myself hourglass. That changed things.
We had the same hip size back then (36 inches), and despite finding her and her family obnoxious, I realized I found my style guru.
I hated my body in the '90s. I was dealing with post-high school weight gain, and pants were difficult because though they were my size, they wouldn't tug over my hips.
I remember thinking there was something wrong with my body. There wasn't supposed to be that much flesh around the hips. I felt like one of those trucks that said WIDE LOAD on the back. I would catch my reflection walking towards glass doors and wince wondering who the fat girl was.
It wasn't until I got motivated watching the Kardashians that my thoughts shifted, and I realized my body type was not abnormal, but possibly very normal. It motivated me to lose weight which made my waist look small (it wasn't).
I had uncovered a body I wasn't familiar with. And soon Kim Kardashian, and many others, were stuffing themselves into waist trainers or "fajas" and everyone who was anyone was trying to get an hourglass figure or exaggerate it. What the hell. So having wide hips was now a thing?
It was so funny to me because all I ever wanted was to have small thighs and narrow hips and look like Barbie. Barbie wasn't wide with saddlebags. Her Bob Mackie gowns wouldn't fit otherwise.
And the Sweet Valley High twins were not helping. Blond, thin, 5 foot 6. Who were these aliens?
I grew up when being blond and skinny was the gold standard of beauty. One of my earliest memories of feeling inadequate was in the school cafeteria, maybe in the 4th grade. A 4th grade boy was the door holder and decided he would rate each girl who walked in. Two blond girls walked by, and he said, "pretty, pretty", and once a brunette walked by he said, "ugly". I was put in the ugly group. It didn't make me feel terrible, but I had a deeply ingrained belief that blond was better.
And while pre-Kardashian times we were already waist-deep in the J-Los and Beyonces, it was something about the infamous K-Klan that thrust the pendulum from beach blond waif to curvy and exotic as the new gold standard. Everyone started to look like them. Small waists, big hips, more lashes, heavy eyebrows. Even Kylie Jenner has literally made herself into Kim 2.0.
OK, I'm getting a little off-topic.
What I notice is that trends play out so hard you need something completely different as a palate cleanser. Remember when reality shows were interesting, then became more and more common, then ubiquitous, then you couldn't escape them, then...boom! The birth of the golden age of TV.
Are we eventually headed back to statuesque blond goddesses like the Gwenyth Paltrows and Charlize Therons? Is the curvy trend nearing its jump the shark moment? Are women going to end up having butt-deflating surgeries if the trend swings back to long and lean?
Clearly there's room for all the body types, but one look will rule them all.
So what's the next big thing? Is the Rubenesque period making a comeback? Keep me posted. Cause I would love to exhale again.