Khloe Kardashian's team tried to rid the internet of a photo they say was posted by mistake.
The reality TV star said on Instagram that she has the right to want the picture removed.
Kardashian's emotional post comes after heavy online criticism of her photo-editing.
Khloé Kardashian, 36, has come under scrutiny over the past year following multiple accusations that she was heavily editing her photos and constantly changing her look.
It all culminated this week, when Kardashian's team tried to scrub the internet of a picture of her in a bikini that they said was posted by accident, sparking a discussion about body image and presentation on social media.
The discourse has been intense, and as Insider's Sam Grindell wrote, speaks prominently to a social media status quo around photos that harms both celebrities and their audience. Studies have shown that edited images can increase people's issues with body image and self-esteem, and celebrities like Kardashian - under pressure to maintain their appearance - end up perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards.
In an Instagram posted Wednesday night, Kardashian herself commented on those standards and the scrutiny she faces online as part of reality TV's most famous family.
Here is a timeline of how the controversy around Kardashian's photos, and accusations of heavy editing, unfolded.
In 2020, people accused Khloé of heavily editing her face in photos
Insider's Libby Torres reported in May 2020 that social-media users were accusing Kardashian of heavily editing photos or getting cosmetic surgery after she posted pictures that showed her with a dramatically new look. At the time, some said on social media that she had a "new face." A plastic surgeon unaffiliated with Kardashian told Insider that it appeared she may have had some fat removed, fillers, and a nose job, although photo filters made it impossible to tell with certainty.
The photo went viral, with people online making side-by-side comparisons of the May 2020 photo with images of her in the same outfit in an episode of "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" that aired in August 2020. While critics condemned the difference in appearance, some supported her and said she still looked beautiful in the shot from the show.
Additional online criticism came in September 2020, when photos of Kardashian were released as part of her partnership with makeup subscription service Ipsy. Some critics online said that she was doing "Beyoncé cosplay."
In November 2020, social-media fervor erupted again, with critics accusing Kardashian of debuting a "new face." More allegations that Kardashian tried to follow other stars' looks followed her into 2021, when people said that a photo she posted in January was giving off "Ariana Grande vibes."
In April, Kardashian's team was trying to remove a candid photo of her online
Kardashian's team told Page Six that it was trying to remove a photo of her that was mistakenly posted by an assistant. The photo showed Kardashian standing by a pool, and it attracted attention online as it appeared not to use the typical photo-editing techniques common for Kardashian and other celebrities.
Tracy Romulus, chief marketing officer for KKW Brands, told Page Six that "the color edited photo was taken of Khloé during a private family gathering and posted to social media without permission by mistake by an assistant. Khloé looks beautiful but it is within the right of the copyright owner to not want an image not intended to be published taken down."
Kardashian released a statement about the photo on Instagram
On Wednesday, Kardashian live-streamed herself on Instagram lifting up her sweater and showing her body at different angles. She then posted a lengthy statement on Instagram about the photo, along with screenshots from the Instagram Live and footage that she said was not edited.
"As someone who has struggled with body image her whole life, when someone takes a photo of you that isn't flattering in bad lighting or doesn't capture your body the way it is after working so hard to get it to this point - and then shares it to the world - you should have every right to ask for it to not be shared - regardless of who you are," Kardashian said in the Instagram post.
"For over a decade now in photos, every single flaw and imperfection has been micro-analyzed and made fun of to the smallest detail and I am reminded of them everyday by the world. And when I take that criticism to use as motivation to get myself in the best shape of my life and to even help others with the same struggles, I am told I couldn't have done it through hard work and I must have paid for it all," she said.
Other celebrities and family members celebrated Kardashian on social media after the statement
Family members, including sisters Kim Kardashian West and Kendall Jenner, left messages of support in the comments of Khloé Kardashian's post. Their mother, Kris Jenner, also commented supportively.
"Khloé you are the kindest most loving, most supportive, most beautiful heart I have ever known, and I adore you and am so proud of you," Jenner said. "You are an inspiration to all of us and I appreciate and love you each and every single day. Thank you for teaching the rest of us to be kind and to not judge.... you are one of a kind.... what a blessing you are. You are a gift."
Other celebrities including Ariana Grande, Olivia Pierson, "Selling Sunset" star Chrishell Stause, and "Vanderpump Rules" star Stassi Schroeder Clark shared messages of support as well.
Actress and body-positivity advocate Jameela Jamil posted a Twitter reply about the situation following Kardashian's post, calling on her to stop editing photos.
"I'm extremely sorry for what we all watched happen to you over the past decade. It's so unacceptable," Jamil said on Twitter. "Now would be a great time to throw diet culture in the f--- it bucket, stop editing photos, admit to the help you get to look how you do, and be transparent with your fans."
Read the original article on Insider