Proud2Bme | Rob Kardashian, Weight Stigma, and Masculinity

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Rob Kardashian, Weight Stigma, and Masculinity

By Pooja Patel--If you do not know who the Kardashians are you may live under a rock. It seems as if every Kardashian is celebrated for a different reason: Kylie and her lips, Kendall and her modeling, Kim and her business saavy, Khloe and her candor, and Kourtney and her adorable family. Yet, one Kardashian, Robert, is often spoken about in a different way.

Within the past week Rob Kardashian was spotted on a midnight burger outing. For most people, grabbing a late night snack wouldn’t be front page news, but Rob has been blessed (plagued?) with the Kardashian name; within 24 hours of the photos surfacing, the story or lack thereof was trending on several social media outlets.

Gossip sites like Perez Hilton, TMZ, and Hollywood Life harshly headlined the piece with things like ‘Rob Kardashian-Looking Heavier Than Ever’. Hollywood Life describes Rob as “showing off his unfortunate weight gain.” Rob has recently left the show that made his family famous, ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians,’ and it is easy to see why he may be fearful due to the noxious feedback he has received.

Women are constantly surrounded by media pressure. They are body shamed and ridiculed frequently. Here at Proud2Bme we strive to combat these body snarking behaviors and break through societal stigmas. It’s important to remember that men, in their own ways, also feel this pressure. Men are encouraged in the name of masculinity to not only be thin, but also muscular.

They are bombarded by viral advertisements like the recent Justin Beiber Calvin Klein campaign, which implies that men should be slim and fit, but not too slim or not too fit. They are haunted by the ‘norm’ of six packs in movies like ‘Magic Mike,’ and television shows like, ‘Teen Wolf’. Moreover, men get their share of criticism from their own peers. As a college student, I can say that it is not uncommon for women to comment on the men around them for being ‘too thin,’  ‘not muscular enough,’ or ‘baby-faced’.

What makes matters even worse is the stigma men must face when speaking about their insecurities.  There is often psychological pressure to keep their insecurities quiet because body image is seen as a “women’s issue.” Even if men feel attacked, society often reinforces the idea to keep it hush hush. They are often encouraged to keep their feelings bottled up ‘because that is what men do.’

Rob Kardashian, or any human being for that matter, should never have to be afraid to leave their own homes. They should never be ridiculed for their bodies, regardless of their gender. So go ahead, Rob, you do what you want when you want. We’re the ones who need to do better. 

About this blogger: Pooja Patel is a Junior studying neuroscience and philosophy at Barnard College, Columbia University. She does research at a CU neurobiology laboratory, which emphasizes anticipation behaviors, circadian rhythms, and biology. She has interned off and on at the National Eating Disorders Associationfor about two years. Pooja enjoys reading, dancing, watching mindless tv, and keeping up with fashion trends.

Also by Pooja: 

Lauren Conrad Bans "Skinny"

Lena Dunham and the Body-Positive Workout Selfie

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About Us

Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.