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The Kardashians get a lot of flack and Khloé Kardashian is no exception. Despite being super upbeat and totally hilarious on Keeping Up With the Kardashians and all of its many spin-offs, since Khloé’s separation from Lamar Odom, almost every aspect of her life has been under scrutiny.
The release of her new book, Strong Looks Better Naked, has been met with instant criticism, which seems largely undue. As the majority of Kardashian fans will attest, Khloé has worked über hard to be the person she is today. Haters are most certainly going to hate, but Khloé Kardashian has taught me everything, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Instead of entering a world of denial following her much-publicized separation from Lamar Odom in 2013, Khloé remained transparent and honest. When asked by "Momager" Kris Jenner, on an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, if she was moving too quickly dating French Montana, Khloé responded emotionally.
“If I had my way, I’d still be married to Lamar,” she said, totally impassioned, knowing her words would be broadcast on international television, and quoted repeatedly in articles like this one.
To be so honest is no mean feat. Separating from a husband or partner is devastating no matter what the circumstances, and although family and friends only want the best for you, any conversation on a topic this raw can feel like a small-scale interrogation. Imagine Annalise Keating prepping you for trial and demanding every gory detail -- so that she can best cover it up.
Except when you’re in the public eye, like Khloé Kardashian is, there’s no covering up anything. Khloé’s life is fair game, and her generosity in giving us every ugly detail should be praised.
The Kardashian machine could’ve altered the narrative if they wanted to. Instead, Khloé’s break-up and subsequent recovery is an important example to anyone in a similar situation: it’s OK to be emotional for as long as you need to, and there’s no rule book when it comes to handling separation and divorce. Living your pain and finding a way through the mess is legitimate, however you choose to do it.
Khloé’s acceptance that life’s not always polished and perfect continues to help me face my own problems. Strong Looks Better Naked has received criticism for its format and content. Part self-help, part diary, part lifestyle, part personal journey, Strong Looks Better Naked avoids categorisation, and this is not a bad thing.
Other celebrities have released books in similar formats, without garnering so much snide criticism. Demi Lovato’s Staying Strong, for instance, places favorite quotes next to insights into Lovato’s world, and sister Kim Kardashian’s Selfish presents only photos.
The fact that Khloé has expanded on this format, placing Instagrams next to diary entries and inspirational paragraphs, is testament to her personality and style. What some have dubbed “empty platitudes” are in fact details we don’t even deserve to have.
Given that we are members of the general public, Khloé has no actual need to share her coping mechanisms with us. And that’s what they are – coping mechanisms – ways of dealing with life when it does a U-turn and you end up at the bottom of a bin you can’t climb out of. Choosing to be continually honest totally wins me over. As a person who’s been through some horrific break-ups, knowing that Khloé Kardashian turns to routines to deal with her life makes me feels justified in the self-care I’ve exercised myself. And Strong Looks Better Naked is not only about self-care, but about finding a way forward, regardless of whether other people approve or understand.
Following Lamar Odom’s recent health crisis, in which he was urgently hospitalized, Khloé Kardashian rushed to the side of her ex, taking responsibility for his medical care. As the paperwork on their divorce hadn’t been signed off by a judge yet (despite Odom and Kardashian signing the papers themselves in July 2015) Khloé found herself in charge of Odom's treatment.
I can’t even imagine how hard this must have been, and any judgement passed on Kardashian in this situation seems grossly unfair. Not every person would be up to the challenge of caring for their estranged ex-husband, but Khloé Kardashian has been nothing but dutiful and respectful.
Sure, she gave an interview which updated fans on Odom’s situation, but she was contractually obliged to do so, and the hate she received because of this seems completely unjustified.
Weight has also been an issue that Khloé Kardashian has approached openly. Having embarked on an exercise regime to get her through her separation and divorce, venting all of her emotional energy into cardio, Khloé’s weight has fluctuated and her shape has changed. Instead of being defensive about this, as many celebrities would be, Khloé has been matter of fact, saying on her website, “My body weight will always be something that I’ll struggle with for the rest if my life, but I’m finally in a good place and learning to love me for me, and not somebody else’s standards.”
However, her weight loss has been the subject of media scrutiny and the butt of jokes, with Amy Schumer using it as material in her recent Saturday Night Live monologue. Schumer said, “We have to be a role model for these young girls, because who do they have? All they have, literally, is the Kardashians. And like, we used to have Khloé. Khloé was ours, right? But then Khloé, she’s lost half her body weight. Khloé, she lost a Kendall, and we have nothing.”
Jokes about a woman’s weight feel like cheap shots, whether they’re of the fat-shaming or skinny-shaming variety. There’s no reason a person shouldn’t change following a major life juncture. Kardashian is fierce in the face of her haters and commenters, and even tweeted an apparent response to Schumer following the episode, saying, “No need 2 tear down other just 2 make urself feel bigger. It actually makes u quite small.” Boom.
Khloé Kardashian has taught me that in the face of intense sadness, it's OK to not have all the answers. Life is shitty sometimes. People die, cheat, lie and divorce you. There's so little you can control, so why not find the things which make life a little more bearable. Criticised if she loses weight, gains weight, attempts to alter anything about herself, Kardashian is my queen because she has no time for haters and their impossible standards. And neither do I.