A few days ago, I purchased a bright blue bodycon dress at American Apparel. I wanted a sexy little dress for hot summer nights and it looked great in the fitting room.
But later, when I put it on in the comfort of my own home, I didn’t feel so hot. There were lumps and bumps where there hadn’t been any in the flattering lighting of the store. The short skirt showed off some not-so-toned spots on my thighs. I’ve always been proud of my body and not afraid to show it off in a tight dress or skirt – in fact, I wore an American Apparel bodycon minidress with tights nearly every day in college. Usually, I feel pretty good about myself. I went through a growth spurt of sorts last summer that left me with bigger boobs, wider hips and thicker thighs, so at first it was a shock to find that none of my old dresses fit quite the same. But I adjusted and accepted my new, more womanly body. My body isn’t at all perfect; I could stand to do some more squats and push-ups, but in general, I’m OK with the way I look and I’m a pretty confident, body-positive girl. Of course, we all have our moments.
“Get over it, Kara,” I said to my reflection. I stood up straighter, held my head high and walked out of the house in the dress. The feeling didn’t stop. I did not feel nearly as cute as I had a few hours earlier, but the dress was now sweaty and perfumed, therefore making it impossible to exchange for something else. “I should have gotten it in black,” I thought to myself.
And then I stopped on the sidewalk and looked at my Instagram. Who else did I see but Kim Kardashian, her famous body wrapped in layers of tight clothing, per usual. I follow all the “KimKLookook”-style accounts, so I see Kim’s body all day in all its incarnations: at the airport, glammed up, taking Nori to ballet. And Kim’s body never stops being inspiring.
Billions of words have been spilled over the Kardashian women and their bodies, specifically Kim’s. You’ve heard it all before, so I won’t go into it. The Kardashians brought butts back, brought curves back, blah, blah, blah. They did, of course, help popularize the hourglass figure again after eons of skinny starlets and tall, toned Brazilians.
When people ask me what it is I love about Kim, I always tell them it’s her confidence. Sure, Kim spends a lot of money maintaining herself, from lash extensions to dermatology and back again, but what about that makes her different from anyone in the public eye? I do that stuff myself. Kim Kardashian does not give a fuck what you think about her. She think she’s hot as hell, and she is not afraid to flaunt her body in a variety of outfits. She wears, and does, what she wants.
When Kanye first gave Kim a more fashion-forward makeover, she got a lot of flak for wearing things the public deemed “unflattering.” Sure, some of their choices weren’t the most inspired, but do you know how refreshing it was to see a celebrity female with a little skin spilling over the top of her pencil skirt the way mine sometimes does? Kim’s weight goes up and down just like mine, but she’s still gonna wear that dress.
The Kardashian sisters are forthright about their body issues, too. Instead of being profiled in fluffy magazine pieces about how they “dig in” to a plate of whatever high-calorie food, they instead post countless gym selfies to celebrate their hard work (go, Khloe, you look amazing) and discuss their addiction to Spanx. Their bodies feel attainable. I will never look like Taylor Swift and her model friends; I’m 5’6”, with a tendency to gain weight in my hips and thighs. I will never be described as “leggy.” As much as I’d love to look cool and chic in a shapeless fashion-y garment, that’ll never happen for me.
I love Kim’s body. She has lumps and bumps just like me. Have you ever fallen down the Kardashian Instagram hole and seen all the girls in their curve-hugging dresses showing off their style and looking confident and hot? It’s pretty cool. Say what you want about the Kardashians, but they’ve brought a significant amount of body confidence back to chicks like me who felt a little lost in a size zero world. I looked at a few photos of my girl going about her daily life, and I felt instantly better in my skin. So I have hips that don’t want to be contained. So I have boobs. I have to buy a Large dress. Who cares? Kim doesn’t.
And so, further inspired and emboldened by Kim and her unapologetic hotness, I walked all over town in the dress, feeling like a babe again.