In this week’s episode of The Kardashians, we see Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian and Kylie Jenner get more candid than ever about their personal insecurities.
Gathered in Kourtney’s bathroom where Kylie is carefully applying her sister’s makeup, the scene begins with Khloé batting away compliments about her hair.
“Look how streaky it is,” she says in response when Kylie and Kourt shower her long locks in praise. “I’m, like, hiding it.”
This prompts Kourtney to suggest that her sister should be more “confident” in her “imperfections,” which sparks a discussion about “beauty standards in the world today.”
Leading the conversation, Kylie starts by discussing the issue of photo editing, which she and her sisters have been heavily criticized for doing themselves.
“I just see so many young girls on the internet now, like, fully editing,” Kylie says before acknowledging her own role. “I went through that stage too, and I feel like I’m in a better place, but other people can instill insecurities in you.”
Seated comfortably in Kourtney’s bathtub, Khloé watches quietly from the sidelines before insisting that she’s “accumulated” all her insecurities from “other people.”
If you’re a longtime fan of the Kardashians, you’ll probably be familiar with the fact that Khloé — more so than her other sisters — has struggled openly with her self-confidence, particularly when it comes to her appearance.
From the very outset of the Kardashians’ rise to fame, Khloé has faced intense scrutiny over her appearance, with many insults focusing on her size in comparison with her older sisters, Kourtney and Kim.
In fact, the comparisons became so intense that it sparked widespread speculation that she couldn’t possibly share the same biological father as her siblings.
As the family have stayed firmly in the limelight, Khloé’s appearance has changed pretty significantly, seemingly due to weight loss and other cosmetic procedures, including a nose job, which she has acknowledged on numerous occasions.
However, the discourse surrounding her looks hasn’t wavered, prompting Khloé to develop severe anxieties over the way she appears in photographs, and as a result, she is often accused of heavily editing and manipulating the images she posts of herself online.
While airbrushing photos is standard practice for many celebrities and other public figures, Khloé’s insecurities are so deep-rooted that she once went to extreme measures to wipe an undoctored photograph from the internet after it went viral in 2021.
The photo — which was apparently taken at Kris Jenner's Palm Springs, California, home and shared to social media by accident — shows Khloé standing by a pool in a bikini, unedited and unposed.
Within hours of the image circulating online, Khloé’s team began making threats of legal action to prevent people from spreading it further, which led to a huge debate about the extent to which the Kardashians were “peddling unhealthy lies” to their fans.
At the time, Khloé attempted to justify her desire to eradicate the image from the internet, writing on Instagram that the “pressure, constant ridicule and judgment” over her appearance had become “too much to bear.”
“‘Khloé is the fat sister,’ ‘Khloé is the ugly sister,’ ‘Her dad must not be her real dad because she looks so different,’ ‘The only way she could have lost that weight must have been from surgery.’ Should I go on?” she wrote in a callback to the years of criticism over her appearance.
“For over a decade now in photos, every single flaw and imperfection has been micro-analyzed and made fun to the smallest detail and I am reminded of them [every day] by the world,” Khloé continued. “It's almost unbearable trying to live up to the impossible standards that the public have all set for me.”
And so, while discussing the topic of editing and insecurities with Kourtney and Kylie in this week’s episode, Khloé spoke candidly about how her self-confidence has sadly deteriorated over the years.
“Trust me, I had the most confidence,” Khloé told her sisters, looking back on the earlier days in her career when she was consistently abused for being bigger than her older siblings.
“I was chubby and in a skintight bodycon dress. You couldn't tell me otherwise,” she added before declaring that “society gave me insecurities.”
After this, Kourtney quickly hit back, assuring her sister that she wasn’t “chubby.” However, this simply prompted Khloé to search for old photographs and criticize her appearance even more.
“This is chubs,” Khloé demanded, displaying old tabloid covers for Kourtney on her phone. “It’s like I’m wearing a fat suit.”
Despite seemingly feeling more content with her body now, Khloé admitted in her confessional that the public scrutiny is still just as bad.
“I’ve been torn apart, the minute that I’ve gone on TV, that I didn’t look like my sisters, so therefore it’s not good enough,” she began. “And then when I started whatever, changing my look — you … get better makeup, you do fillers, you do whatever, I had a nose job, and there’s still people constantly bullying you.”
She questioned, “So it’s like, which one is it? You didn’t like me then, you don’t like me — you just have to do things for yourself.”
The Good American founder concluded by putting out a word of caution to her critics, reminding them that she’s “still growing up in front of a camera.”
“We’re still growing and evolving, and it’s just unfair, I think, to have so much pressure put on people,” she said. “I think we’re all just trying to do the best we can.”
You can watch this episode of The Kardashians on Hulu in the US or Disney+ internationally. The next episode, which is the season finale, will be available to watch July 27.