Kim Kardashian on her pregnancies: ‘No one deserves to be treated with such cruelty’

Met Gala 2013

One of the things I hate most of all about celebrity gossip is the constant assessing of pregnant women’s bodies. It’s not so omnipresent these days, but just seven or eight years ago, it was quite common on talk shows and social media to have endless “debates” about pregnant women’s weight. Remember everything about Jessica Simpson’s first pregnancy in 2013? The poor woman gained weight and no one could shut up about it. Sarah Palin was even chiming in! There were segments on the View about her weight! It was ridiculous. Around the same time as Jessica’s pregnancy, Kim Kardashian was pregnant with North West. It cannot be underestimated how much Kim loathed her two pregnancies. She was absolutely miserable during her pregnancies, and much like Jessica, she gained weight and she was so uncomfortable. And just like Jessica, people could not shut up about it. Kim was recently thinking back to that time and she had some sh-t to say:

Kim Kardashian is opening up about how body shaming during her first pregnancy deeply affected her. The mom of four, 40, wrote a lengthy message on her Instagram Story reflecting on internet and tabloid scrutiny of her body while she was pregnant with her daughter North, who is now 7½. Kardashian says the jokes and critiques of her figure were “very traumatizing and it can really break even the strongest person.”

“No matter how public someone’s life may seem, no one deserves to be treated with such cruelty or judgement for entertainment,” she writes. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star says because of the preeclampsia she experienced during her first pregnancy, her body would “swell uncontrollably.”

“I gained 60 lbs and delivered almost 6 weeks early and I cried every single day over what was happening to my body mainly from the pressures of being constantly compared to what society considered a healthy pregnant person should look like…,” she writes.

Kardashian says she felt “so insecure” at the time, adding that she “had this fear of wondering if I would ever get my pre baby body back.” She said the attention grew to the point that she says she “couldn’t leave the house for months after.”

“It really broke me,” she adds. “Luckily I was able to take these frustrating, embarrassing feelings and channel it into motivation to get me where I am today, but to say this didn’t take a toll on me mentally would be a lie,” Kardashian says.

“I’m sharing this just to say I really hope everyone involved in the business of shaming and bullying someone to the point of breaking them down might reconsider and instead try to show some understanding and compassion,” the reality star adds. “You just never fully know what someone is going through behind the scenes and I’ve learned through my own experiences that it’s always better to lead with kindness.”

[From People]

Yeah. I felt so sorry for her during her pregnancies. She was so miserable for a million different reasons. What irritated me so much about Kim’s pregnancies and Jessica’s pregnancies was that they are both short, curvy women naturally and they were always going to have uncomfortable/bigger pregnancies. They were never going to look like Gisele during her pregnancy, you know? And I felt like that was missing from all of the toxic dialogue at the time, that every woman’s body is different, that every woman carries differently, that every woman’s body reacts differently to a pregnancy. There was (and perhaps still is) a blanket assumption that someone like Gisele is the norm, and all women should be judged against that standard. There are too many celebrity women who play into those expectations too, and they monetize their healthy pregnancies and their “postpartum bounce-backs.” Just take all of that commentary out of the gossip ecosystem.


E! Upfront 2013

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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33 Responses to “Kim Kardashian on her pregnancies: ‘No one deserves to be treated with such cruelty’”

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  1. Elo says:

    Trying to get your body back as a short curvy woman is hell. Also 20 lbs on someone short looks like 50 on someone tall.
    I was pregnant with my son at the same time Kim and I think Jessica too were both pregnant and I can imagine how all the talk about their weight must have hurt.

  2. smcollins says:

    I never judged her pregnancy body but I definitely judged her choices of footwear sometimes. I get it, you don’t have to go frumpy and be void of fashion just because you’re pregnant, but I would take one look at her horribly swollen feet crammed into a pair of heels and think “Why?! Why are you doing this to yourself?” But, yeah, the things people were saying about her pregnancy body were terrible.

  3. HowEver says:

    Both Jessica & Kim promoted their bodies, not their minds or a lexicon of creativity.
    So why get “upset” when the random masses assess your…uh body, pregnant o no?

    • ME says:

      She did pap strolls during her pregnancy…wanted to be photographed with her swollen feet and all. I mean no one should be made fun of for their body (pregnant or not) but she’s the one who wanted paps there to capture it all. Kylie did the opposite.

    • Aphra says:

      Agreed. Same with Paris Hilton — you put yourself out there and make millions on it; you can’t really pick and choose when/how people will comment.

    • Jules says:

      Yup. Kim is trying to cash in on the “I’m a victim” ideology that is sweeping our culture.

      • Bibliomommy96 says:

        Wow, victim blame much? Yes she’s self centered and vapid, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a victim in this instance, she was pregnant, she shouldn’t have been body shamed.
        These comments sound a lot like, “ why get “upset” when the random masses assess your…uh body, pregnant o no?”/ “she shouldn’t have worn that if she didn’t want to be harassed”
        “ She did pap strolls during her pregnancy” /“what was she doing out late at night”
        “she’s the one who wanted paps there to capture it all. Kylie did the opposite.“/ “he never did anything like that to me”

      • lisa says:

        Jules, totally agree! Whatever happened to what we were taught by our parents: “ignore people who say mean things. Take the high road and move on”. This current cultural phenomenon of complaining about hurt feelings and wallowing in it, is just bizarre to me.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        Well said, Bibliomommy96. Besides, Adele and Kelly Clarkson both Followed Da Rules on how to present and look like respectable females, and their bodies were still picked apart.

  4. NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

    I’ll probably get a lot of pushback but I really admire Kim’s growth a person. By no means do I think she’s perfect but I admire her perseverance when it comes to law school even if her privilege is getting her there. She’s choosing to do something productive with it at least and pushing back against naysayers in a way that is bound to change her whether she intends it or not. The fact she pushed back against Kanye’s control makes her just that little bit more admirable to me. I know it’s probably just me buying into a PR machine but I really relate to Kim on this level.

    In fairness, I grew up with a very similar background and socio-economic status as Kim and technically am also the middle child so I guess I always felt Kim sometimes was unfairly maligned and mistreated because others didn’t understand her world.

    Expecting that pile of crap on me in 3…2…1…

    • sara says:

      She’s not going to law school.

      • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

        True. She’s studying independently with a lawyer, no?

      • Aphra says:

        Remember when Tyra Banks said she had gone to Harvard Business School? But then it turned out she’d taken like some weekend certificate or something. People slave for years to get through law school. What Kim is doing is different.

      • NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

        It’s still a lot more than what a lot of others have done. She is taking her activism seriously and learning more about it. It’s change. It works.

    • psl says:

      “Taking her activism seriously”.


    • SomeChick says:

      I so so SO hope she passes the Bar! I’m defo not a fan, but I also think there’s more to her than her persona from the tee bee show (which is ending, yay!) I just want to see her do it. Shut them all up!

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I’m very short, five feet lol, and two of my children were nine-and-a-half pounds. I can’t properly express how difficult they were. They completely took over my entire body. I didn’t just look like a beached whale, I was in fact a beached whale. I can’t imagine being on public display waddling about. If ever there was a time for vast unilateral female support, pregnancy is that time.

  6. ME says:

    Really? This is the same family that shunned Rob for his weight gain and pretty much disowned him for it ! Kim is upset because her divorce got almost zero attention in the media. Now Meghan is getting a lot of sympathy and Kim wants the same.

  7. sara says:

    I agree that no one should ever talk about pregnant women’s bodies.

    At the same time, Kim and her entire family are suffering from body dysphoria and have made that their entire brand. Didn’t they basically expel Rob from their family cause he gained weight? They are all very sick.

    • S2 says:

      Yes, and as the poster above said, this reeks of trying to cash in on the Meghan Markle sympathy, and get some for herself. Also, Kim hated being pregnant so much she bought her way out of it for her last two children. I am in no way shaming surrogacy or gestational carriers, or any method any woman uses to become a mother, but there is something a little bit … let’s just say off-putting, about a women whose entire life and career revolves around how their body looks that then pays another woman to do the work of pregnancy she has explicitly stated she hates doing. I mean, I guess you could argue it’s not much different than paying someone to clean your toilet when you don’t want to, but because it’s such a personal, physical and medical issue it sure FEELS a whole lot different.

      While in no way, shape or form endorse critiques of any women’s body, at any time, admit an entire family that has built their fortune on body dysmorphia, achieved via plastic surgery and Photoshop, that sells laxative tea to impressionable teens, is low on my sympathy list when they cry about “body shaming,” especially when they’ve done so much to perpetuate the shaming of others with far less status and power.

      • AMA1977 says:

        You say you’re not shaming any method any woman uses to become a mother…and then you explicitly call Kim out for using a gestational carrier/surrogate. I am no Kardashian apologist by any means, but she had placenta accreta with the birth of her second and subsequent pregnancies are contraindicated in mothers with that condition. A subsequent pregnancy can be fatal. She may have hated pregnancy (disclaimer, so did I and I was ECSTATIC to never do it again after my two) and she may have chosen surrogacy for her younger children partially on that basis, but don’t ignore the fact that she had a significant, potentially life-threatening complication at the birth of her second-born.

  8. Qatar2 says:

    Just to add, pre-e adds a whole new dimension to the body change aspect. I was alarmingly swollen overnight when my pre-e kicked in – like looks of shock from anyone who saw me and not being able to walk because the skin on my feet was almost ready to burst due to so much fluid….and that was at the start of my 8th month. They put me in hospital and on BP meds and I literally peed out liters and liters of fluid for 2 days and then barely looked pregnant at all!

  9. Aphra says:

    I’m 5’1″, and when I was pregnant with my 10.5 pound baby, Nicole Kidman was pregnant as well. She posed on the cover of a magazine, and someone at a party exclaimed to me “You look so different from Nicole Kidman at five months!”
    It was so annoying. As if Gisele/Nicole types are the prescribed norm. They literally make their living on being tall, thin, and beautiful. I make my living in different ways.

  10. Original Jenns says:

    Absolutely agree that the body should be off limits. What I thought we were criticizing here was her aka Kanye’s fashion. She was uncomfortable in her pregnant body and adding in horrible restricting clothing which would look weird on anyone just made it that much worse. I will still judge her plastic Gladiator shoes that left deep indents in her foot because I’m not going to feel sorry for someone who knows it’s pain and still wears them. She brought the fashion critiques on herself, and her weight should have been left alone.

    And then this: “had this fear of wondering if I would ever get my pre baby body back.” True Kardashian. Of course many people want to bounce back, and many people don’t care. But when you’re writing about body shaming, maybe don’t remind people how much you and your family continue to sell bad body imagery with your surgery and photo shop.

  11. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    I had my daughters in 1979, 1981 & 1984. I am 5’4″ and have always been very thin. With my first two, I hardly looked pregnant at all, with my last I weighed nearly 200 lbs when she was born. Even in those days there were people who tried to shame me.
    ex: are you not eating??? You’re starving that baby growing inside you. You should be in the hospital so they can force you to eat and on and on (I can assure you if it moved slower than me I ate it.)
    With the last it was “is that all you do is eat?” “All that weight isn’t good for the baby” and my absolute favorite: “your husband is going to find someone else, you’re so fat”
    I ate the same with #3 as I did with #1&2, plenty of fresh veggies and a ton of fresh fruit, not alot of meat (never have eaten much) and 43 years later I am back to my pre pregnancy weight and MerlinsDad is still here.
    Body shaming ain’t new. Awful then, even worse now with social media, etc…

  12. Winterberry says:

    I can only sympathize to an extent. She and her sisters have played a huge role in turning us into the tortured, body-obsessed culture that we are today. With their constant photo editing, cosmetic procedures and perpetual lying about it all the Kim and her sisters have only themselves to thank for our warped ideas about women’s bodies.

    • molly says:

      It’s always fascinating to watch celebrities deal with things they can’t buy their way out of. Kim couldn’t buy her way out of her body’s reaction to pregnancy. (Well, until she DID for #3 and 4.) No plastic surgery or photoshop or expensive clothes or personal chef would change what a petite, curvy body is going to do when pregnant.

  13. Sam the Pink says:

    I mean, I can sympathize that she was clearly dealing with weight gain, swelling, etc. But she did herself no favors. I can remember the pap shots of her with her feet literally BULGING out of her high heels, and I remember thinking “I get that she’s swollen, but why force yourself into heels? Flats will not kill you.” She remained devoted to her superficial image the whole time. If anytime called for some comfy flats and loose clothes, certainly that would. She made it so hard on herself!

    Also, with Jessica Simpson, I tend to believe that she gained the weight intentionally in order to secure the weight loss partnership afterward. She’s not as dumb as she looks.

    • S2 says:

      Don’t know if anyone, especially women whose bodies are their livelihood, would “gain the weight intentionally,” but it’s definitely true that celebs enter into weight loss deals, and take photos for them, while pregnant, to make the “after” all the more dramatic. Ignoring the fact, that losing weight after pregnancy, while far from easy, is easier than just losing weight generally, plus never, ever acknowledging all the other assets (time, personal trainers, nannies, etc.) that made their weight loss journey so much less bumpy, even without the attached payday, than an average woman’s.

      And, yes, as you and many others have said, where whatever you want, pregnant or not, but it’s generally far less easy to completely sympathize with anyone taking about how miserable they are when they’re actively contributing to said misery with easy-to-avoid choices, for example stiletto heels while super pregnant. Wholly unnecessary, no matter who you are.

  14. Yonati says:

    I can’t stand how people will say that a woman is FAT when she’s pregnant. That’s a whole ‘nuther person in there!

  15. Lunasf17 says:

    I do sympathize for her because she did look so uncomfortable and swollen. But no one believes she “got her body back.” She bought her body back. She isn’t a middle class mom who has to diet and do YouTube workout videos, she is someone who has the plastic surgeon on speed dial and and as soon as she was cleared she was getting work done.