Khloé Kardashian’s New Show Has a Pretty Problematic Premise

Almost a month ago to the day, Khloé Kardashian debuted her body-positive Good American denim line, an array of jeans in sizes 0 to 24 that’s “all about loving yourself, no matter what.” Which is why we’re a bit puzzled by her next big endeavor, an E! reality series dubbed Revenge Body With Khloé Kardashian.

Throughout the six-episode first season, Khloé will mentor sixteen recently jilted contestants through full-body makeovers. Said laypeople will have full access to Kardashian’s pedigreed team of trainers, stylists and “glamour specialists” — a rare, if daunting, privilege. “I was always overweight as a kid,” Kardashian shares in the show’s first trailer. “If I was sad or stressed out I would eat. I had to learn how to then put all of my energy into something positive and healthy for me, which is how I fell in love with working out.”

The reality starlet turned self-help guru has said time and time again that prior to her divorce-related weight loss, she felt overlooked by the fashion industry. Yet, in its premise, Revenge Body assigns undue value to outward appearance. “Looking great is always the best revenge,” Kardashian said following the show’s official announcement back in December 2015. “It’s so exciting to be able to mentor these people through their full-body makeovers and I can’t wait to see the incredible results at their final reveals!” While some of the contestants appear to be battling serious weight-related health issues and could therefore benefit from professional assistance, others seem to be chasing narrow Hollywood standards of beauty. Sorry folks, but a so-called “great body” isn’t the key to personal happiness.

Again, in the trailer, Khloé does emphasize that working out is more about positivity than poundage (“It’s not about a weight number; It’s about how you feel”). However, the term “revenge body” is laced with negative connotations. It refers to a post-breakup, often skinnier physique usually achieved through a combination of being too sad to eat and exercising to help beat the sadness, anxiety and self-doubt that comes with loss. It’s also achieved by tapping into your resentment towards another human rather than channeling your self-love.

Khloé gets around her punchy, if not politically correct choice of title by emphasizing that, in this context, the subjects are enacting revenge upon their former, less gratifying existence, and not necessarily their exes: “You’re going to start to transform your body and you’re going to have this revenge on this life that you once had that you won’t even want anymore,” Khloé sermonizes in the trailer. “Let’s make our haters our biggest motivators.”

That said, the trailer closes with Khlo posing the question, “This revenge body, who is it for?” The contestants chime back:

“My ex fiancé.”

“My mom.”

“My friends.”

…Sorry, but the correct answer was “myself.” And, again, when did “revenge bod” become synonymous with “personal growth”?

Watch the full trailer below, and tune in to E! January 12 at 8 p.m. to see if Kardashian’s holistic approach to healing and enduring body-positivity simply got lost on the cutting room floor.

[ via Cosmopolitan ]