Kim Kardashian wants you to have a flat stomach.
The controversial advertisement circulating around social media features Kardashian licking a lollipopfrom Flat Tummy Co., praising the little sucker's ability to suppress appetite, calling them "unreal" and encouraging her followers to get their hands on them.
I checked out the website and most of Flat Tummy Co.'s products are geared toward women, selling supplemental aids for weight loss.
"We get it, babe," the site reads. "It's a struggle to get the time to keep that tummy flat. Don't worry, we got you."
I hate the pressure women feel to perfect their bodies, especially right before "swimsuit season" kicks off. Social media is swarming right now with pictures of women with toned and trim bodies, smiling off into the distance on a tropical beach, convincing us that they are completely content with everything in their lives because they have the socially accepted type of body that we have been brainwashed into believing is the most beautiful.
"The only reason we look at ourselves and hone in on what we see as 'imperfect' or 'flawed' is because we have been culturally conditioned toward a very specific and very narrow definition of beauty."
I'm tired of trying to live up to that standard of beauty. I would be lying if I said I didn't sometimes ache for the days when I had a stomach that hadn't been occupied by four humans for a total of 36 months.
But I would rather have those little humans than a flat tummy.
When I try on clothes, I pick the high-waisted "mom" jeans that thank heavens are back in style, so I can tuck in my extra folds of skin that like to, well, fold. And I sometimes wish I could crunch that skin away.
But then I think about how my body stretched and grew and helped me sustain two lives at once — mine and my baby's. And I'm grateful for that skin for reminding me that my body can do miraculous things.
I think we women seriously underestimate ourselves by believing we are what we look like. Do we really believe that a flat stomach is the key to happiness? Is that truly what we want out of life? Why?
I love the idea of encouraging women to take time for ourselves and stay soul-fully healthy by making an effort to be active for our emotional health, as much as anything. Being healthy is important.
But what if put the same amount of time and effort we spend on looking "the best," on becoming our best? I wonder if we'd actually feel better about who we are and stop looking for ways to starve ourselves physically and emotionally in order to keep up with what everyone else is doing, or how everyone else is looking. I am done with trying to keep up.
Listen, at the end of the day if you want to take an appetite suppressant to help you stay on track with your personal goals, fine. It's not the lollipop that's the problem. It's the mentality that this is something we should all care about. It's the idea that our bodies and our bodies alone make us beautiful, and being beautiful makes us the happiest. But there is more to life and so much more to us.
I think actress Jameela Jamil said it best when she tweeted this after seeing Kim Kardashian's endorsement of the skinny pops:
"Maybe don't take appetite suppressors and eat enough to fuel your BRAIN and work hard and be successful. And to play with your kids. And to have fun with your friends. And to have something to say about your life at the end, other than 'I had a flat stomach.'"