Last month, Kim Kardashian sparked backlash when she claimed that her beauty standards are “attainable” for other people.
During an interview with Allure magazine, the star was asked if she feels “responsible, even guilty, for setting an unrealistic, unattainable beauty standard.”
But Kim denied that this was the case, insisting in her response: “If I’m doing it, it’s attainable.” Elsewhere in the piece, she added: “I really, genuinely care about looking good. I probably care more than 90% of the people on this planet.”
“It’s not easy when you’re a mom and you’re exhausted at the end of the day or you’re in school, and I’m all of the above,” Kim went on. “I do my beauty treatments usually late at night. After everyone’s in bed, I’m doing laser treatments.”
The billionaire’s comments angered people at the time, with many accusing Kim of failing to acknowledge the “wealth privilege” that affords her the ability to indulge in late-night laser treatments, as well as other cosmetic procedures, a home gym, personal trainer, and a personal chef.
As a result, many scoffed at the notion that Kim’s looks are attainable, with one person tweeting at the time: “Every time she tries to make herself seem relatable she just shows how completely delusional and out of touch she is. Fuck off already.”
But while her proximity to privilege means that Kim is certainly able to keep herself looking as good as possible in real life, others also pointed out that she is often exposed for photoshopping her social media posts.
This means that the beauty standards that Kim projects into the world every day aren’t even attainable to her, as the images that she shares with fans have been heavily manipulated.
Over the years, Kim and her famous sisters have been caught digitally tweaking their appearance — often trimming their waistlines, airbrushing their skin, and accentuating their curves.
In fact, in April 2021, Kim’s sister, Khloé Kardashian, admitted to using photoshop tools in “the same way I throw on some make-up, get my nails done, or wear a pair of heels to present myself to the world the way I want to be seen” after an unedited bikini photo leaked online.
Khloé was reportedly so “embarrassed” by the unauthorized picture that she launched legal action in a bid to scrub it from the internet, and she was accused of being a hypocrite when she said that she felt the pressure of “not ever feeling perfect enough” and told fans “we cannot continue to live life trying to fit into the perfect mold of what others have set for us” as she responded to the leak.
One person tweeted in response to Khloé’s statement: “I am empathetic to the pain and insecurities Khloé Kardashian admits she faces, but I think what is important to note is that the Kardashian family has contributed if not created the beauty standard over the last 2 decades through photoshop, surgery, and exuberant wealth…”
And the manipulation isn’t limited to just photos either, with Kim being found guilty of using a filter that made “her face thinner” in an Instagram video last year, with followers noticing that the walls behind her were concave and appeared to have changed shape in telltale signs of digital editing.
Back in June, Kim was even accused of having filters added to her TV interview on The Tonight Show after viewers noticed that her face looked blurred in some of the clips, and a dedicated Instagram account drew attention to the moment that the apparent filter glitched.
But Kim’s most recent photoshop faux pas has been branded “a new level of delusion” after a TikTok user seemingly exposed the star for editing out her trapezius muscle around her neck and shoulders.
Commercial photographer Caroline highlighted the “bizarre” move in a now-viral video, where she also reverse-photoshopped the area to reveal how the original picture would have looked.
After the video gained traction online, some women admitted that they were “weirdly relieved” by the photo-editing revelation as they admitted that they had started to become self-conscious of their own “normal” body parts.
In the TikTok, Caroline shared a close-up photo from Kim’s promotional post for her new wireless earbud range, Beats Fit Pro.
In the pictures, Kim is in a swimming pool, sipping on a drink with her body angled slightly away from the camera.
“Kim K is notorious for photoshopping out her traps,” Caroline began in the video. “Why? I don’t know, maybe it makes her neck look smaller?”
She then drew attention to the water behind Kim’s right shoulder that suggested that the image had been manipulated. “When we zoom in, we can see the water pattern behind her ear has been warped,” she explained.
Caroline used the liquify tool in Photoshop to reverse the editing, and the water reflection in the background immediately started to look much more natural.
Kim had also shared a video from the photoshoot that seemingly hadn’t been altered in the same way, and Caroline added a screenshot from that to reiterate the discrepancy in her appearance.
Caroline’s reverse-photoshopped image was seemingly incredibly accurate as it mirrored Kim’s body shape in the video screengrab. These were both notably different to the photo that Kim had posted, where her shoulders and neck appeared to be much more narrow.
Caroline’s followers were flabbergasted by Kim’s actions, with one writing: “This is actually so not okay. You would think that now that they have daughters they would think about the impact of this more.”
Someone else commented: “Well this explains why I never like my shoulders in pictures.” Another wrote: “The fact that I would never have noticed but it’s painfully obvious after the fact.”
A fourth person also pointed out that the earbuds Kim was wearing in the shoot were a different color in the video and the photo that she posted, claiming that Kim had altered this to “make them more skin tone.”
Over on Reddit, one user called Caroline’s exposé “disturbing as hell.” A second person added: “Jesus, this is a new level of delusion.”
“They edit some of the dumbest shit on their bodies…” another said. One more echoed: “This is officially one of the weirdest things ive ever seen. Like..why..really tho, WHY.”
“Kim still lives in 2010 when having a ✨human body✨ was a flaw. It’s just bizarre and I mean it. There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG in having body parts! Body parts!!! She is editing and photoshopping normal body parts FFS. And why? For what? It only makes her look robotic.” one user wrote.
A similar comment read: “I’’m not surprised by this at all. She just wants to make herself look stick thin at this point. Sad because before isn’t even bad. It’s ✨normal ✨”
And other people thanked the OP for sharing Caroline’s TikTok as they highlighted the damage that can be done by high profile figures posting edited images of themselves.
One person wrote: “Thanks for posting this! I’ve been weirdly fucked up by how ‘short’ my neck’s been looking compared to this photo and every other influencer. I don’t seek them out but they find their way to me anyway.”
“I’m really thankful that I got to see this video,” a second agreed. “I really HATE my shoulders because of these muscles but like why 💀 Like they’re so normal. Imagine if we could use the energy we waste on this superficial nonsense and put it to something good.”
One more added: “This shit is so damaging. I am an adult woman, I know what Photoshop is, I know that all of these social media images are photo shopped. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that, when I see photos of myself, this is exactly the kind of stuff I see on my own body and think, ‘I’m so big.’ And this is why.”
“Not sure why but I’m weirdly relieved by this,” another summarized.
Earlier this month, people shared their exasperation at Kim’s apparent obsession with being perfect as they accused her of being “in competition with the world” when she “bragged” about her bone density on Instagram.
“You hear that?!?!!!!” she wrote alongside a video of a practitioner analyzing her body. “My bones [are] stronger than 93-97% of people.”
“Why is she always bragging ? She is the most insecure person alive because I literally do not give zero fucks if my bone density is better than 100% of people 🙄” one person commented at the time.
The video came after months of Kim being called out for her “triggering” comments about weight loss following her controversial Met Gala diet, which saw a registered dietitian accuse the star of setting “a terrible example,” and “perpetuating eating disorders.”
BuzzFeed News have contacted Kim’s representative for comment.