People Who Claim Kim Kardashian Is Lying About Body Dysmorphia Are Dead Wrong, According to Experts

Kim Kardashian
Lucas Jackson / Reuters / Splash
Celebrities are known for perpetuating the perception that they live in a fantasy world. Their lush product hauls, their glamorous vacations, and even their million seflies a day create the illusion that their lives are nothing but bliss. But behind the pretty facade can lie a lot of insecurity, and Kim Kardashian West opened up about hers during the second episode of the current season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

  • During an anxiety-filled girls' trip to Mexico, Kim Kardashian discovers the paparazzi snapped a bikini pic of her that was "less than flattering."

    The photo, which isn't shown during the episode, evidently makes her thigh cellulite look "excessive," and it immediately sends her into panic mode. It also prompted her to candidly open up about her body issues.

    More from CafeMom: Kim Kardashian Does NOT Want People Seeing These Bikini Pics of Her for a Pretty Sad Reason

    "You take pictures and people just body shame you," she stated in the KUWTK confessional. "It's like literally giving me body dysmorphia." She noted people think she's confident, but in reality, "I'm so insecure."

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  • Fans immediately called BS, stating that her frequent posts on social media say otherwise.

    The folks on Twitter were not afraid to sound off.

  • And others called her "self-diagnosis" insensitive to the body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) community.

  • But the truth is, having or developing body dysmorphia doesn't necessarily mean that you hide your body from the world.

    Kimberly Hershenson, a clinical social worker and therapist who specializes in eating disorders, body image, and body dysmorphia, tells CafeMom that Kim's regular actions could actually indicate she does have the disorder: 

    "People with BDD frequently examine their appearance in a mirror or do body checking (measuring or looking at their bodies) and constantly compare their appearance with that of others. Taking selfies repeatedly trying to get the 'perfect' picture and photoshopping personal photos may be signs of BDD."

  • "No one should be criticized for statements regarding their body," warns Hershenson.

    "Women especially face tremendous pressure to conform to certain beauty standards, and social media contributes to this challenge to look a certain way," she continues.

    More from CafeMom

    Michelle Elmancertified body coach, notes to CafeMom that "fans" can deeply impact a celebrity with their commentary: 

    "I think the body shaming Kim Kardashian and many other celebrities receive is constant and most are shocked to find out that it affects them, when it shouldn't. Many people aspire to look like her and would want her body and therefore they don't understand her insecurities, but people need to realize that your body is not correlated to body confidence."

  • It is important to note, however, that Kim's usage of the term may have been wrong in and of itself.

    "I think that speaking about body dysmorphia in very colloquial – rather than diagnostic -- terms can be harmful to folks who deal with BDD," body image expert Melissa Fabello tells CafeMom. "Arguably, that's dismissive. But I think that the core issue that Kim was getting at -- that it's impossible to know what any individual person is struggling with, and that receiving thousands of comments from strangers about her body every single day is something almost none of us understand -- is legitimate."
     
  • And all in all, it is important to remember that when people speak out about a personal issue, it is inherently important to not dismiss them.

    "A person with BDD may present as confident but inside they are struggling," Hershenson tells CafeMom. "They may appear to have great body image but put themselves down, restrict their diet, and obsess over their looks ..." 
     

    "...We need to increase body confidence in young women and talk more openly about the pressures women face while advocating for change is our society's and the media's standards."
     
    We hope Kim gets the help she needs.