Question: what was actually wrong with the picture that Khloe Kardashian’s granny took of Khloé in a leopard print bikini and her assistant accidentally posted? The picture that there’s been such a fuss about, the one that the granny is threatening to sue people for using?
The one that has elicited two titillating videos from Khloé to show that, look, that photo wasn’t the real me. The one that elicited a statement saying “it’s almost unbearable trying to live up to the impossible standards that the public have all set for me”. That photo.
Personally, I thought she looked very pretty. A bit thin, but much better than the normal Kardashian look. She had, if you really scrutinised the thing, perhaps something in the thigh area that might become cellulite one day and there was a muscle — external abdominal oblique? — which takes away from a completely flat outline.
But you know, muscles and fat are some of the things that make us human. We’ve all got them, even the teenagers who actually want to look like Khloé. So why the vapours? Why the colossal PR campaign? Because image-making is the Kardashians’ stock-in-trade.
The revelation that Khloé, 36, doesn’t look like a CGI version of a woman is to question the basis of their fortune, which has taken sister Kim into the Forbes list of actual billionaires.
Khloé is marketing a swimwear line called Good American. And the gist is that if you buy her bikinis, which I wouldn’t do myself if you’re planning to swim, you too can look like a female anime, a girl cartoon. A bit like Kim’s body-moulding underwear or Kylie’s make up range. Khloé has got 136 million Instagram followers, many of them teenage girls who want to be her.
But not all do. My daughter, 14, says emphatically that “she’s toxic for young girls”. At her school, it’s the younger teenagers who aspire to be Kardashian. The older ones are expert in spotting photoshopping.
The trouble isn’t this undoctored image, it’s the standard Kardashian look, the weirdly oiled bodies, the hideous pout (see girl selfies everywhere), the quasi-pornographic poses. Can’t we see that? This photo is a good thing; it shows that under the Kardashian carapace there lurks something like a human being.