Ever since her rise to fame in 2007, Khloé Kardashian has battled with her body image after being constantly compared to her sisters.
In 2015, the star recalled being made to feel like “the fat sister” by the media, and opened up about the devastating impact that it had on the way that she viewed herself.
“I didn’t really realize that I was ‘the fat sister,’ if you will, until I went on TV and the media started saying that about me,” she told People magazine at the time. “I almost let that take ownership of me. [But really] I wasn't fat. I wasn't obese. But I would let society make me believe that I was."
Khloé went on to admit that she’d never felt negatively about her body until she found fame, and growing up, she felt beautiful despite looking different from Kim and Kourtney Kardashian.
"I knew I didn't look like my sisters and I didn't have those shapes, but I didn't think that was wrong," she explained. "I had parents who were incredibly loving and nurturing and always made me feel beautiful so I never really questioned that."
But as her star power grew, Khloé began to transform her body and before long weight loss had become an established part of her brand — whether it be through her 2017 reality series, Revenge Body, or her book, Strong Looks Better Naked.
Despite her image overhaul throughout the years, her ongoing, deep-rooted insecurities were highlighted in April 2021, when an unedited bikini picture went viral after it was accidentally posted online.
Khloé looked sensational in the unauthorized photo, but she was reported to have been “embarrassed” and “freaked out” by it, and social media accounts that reposted the image were threatened with legal action in her bid to scrub it from the internet.
The star addressed the leak on Instagram a few days later, where she admitted to struggling with body image “her whole life.” Khloé went on to add: “In truth, the pressure, constant ridicule and judgment my entire life to be perfect and meet [others'] standards of how I should look has been too much to bear.”
“It’s almost unbearable trying to live up to the impossible standards that the public have all set for me,” she continued, before declaring: “My body, my image and how I choose to look and what I want to share is my choice. It's not for anyone to decide or judge what is acceptable or not anymore."
And when Khloé was left heartbroken by her then-partner Tristan Thompson’s paternity scandal eight months later, she appeared to lose even more weight.
On Thursday, a source told BuzzFeed News that Tristan and Khloé were secretly engaged when it was revealed via leaked court documents that he was expecting a baby with personal trainer Maralee Nichols.
Tristan had attempted to keep the scandal from Khloé and appeared to have no intention of telling her that he had a baby on the way with another woman.
It has since been revealed that Tristan was also encouraging Khloé to go forward with their surrogacy plans for their second baby, and the embryo was transferred to the surrogate just days before news of Maralee’s pregnancy broke online and Khloé found out “with the rest of the world.”
Khloé opened up about the devastating impact that Tristan’s betrayal had on her in last week’s premiere episode of The Kardashians Season 2, where she also discussed her surrogacy journey and son’s birth in July for the first time.
And in this week’s episode, which was filmed earlier in the year, Kim revealed that their younger sisters, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, had expressed concern for Khloé’s extreme weight loss amid all of the drama.
Looking at her sister as they lounged on a bed together, Kim said: “You look very skinny. … I will say that Kendall and Kylie — not that I’m trying to out them — but they did text me and say that they were a little concerned for you because you’re really skinny. I said, 'I think she's a bit stressed.'"
As the camera cut to Khloé, she appeared to be elated by the comment as a huge smile crept across her face and she held a hand to her chest in disbelief.
“And Kendall said it?” she grinned as she asked Kim. “The model?!”
“Kendall said it,” Kim confirmed. “I said, 'no, guys, she’s fine,' and I said, 'you absolutely have every right to be concerned, but I’m telling you she’s fine.'”
Ignoring the concern from which these comments were made, Khloé let out an excited gasp and playfully posed with her leg in the air while smiling to herself.
Later in the episode, Khloé visited Kendall at her home and as they hugged and said hello, Kendall exclaimed, “You’re so skinny!” to which Khloé replied, “Oh my gosh, you’re so skinny!” Kendall then repeated, “You’re so skinny!”
And both scenes left viewers at home feeling a little uncomfortable, with many expressing their sadness at Khloé’s gleeful reaction to being told that people are concerned about her due to her weight loss.
“So sad to see Khloé look delighted when Kim tells her she’s skinny and they’re all worried about her,” one person wrote on a Reddit thread. Someone replied: “And then her and Kendall hugging and celebrating being skinny 😭 wtf.”
“Yeah. I was kinda done with that. Sisters apparently expressing concern about her health & she celebrates?” another user wrote.
The sentiment was echoed in a second Reddit thread, where a user commented: “So fucking sad to watch Khloe react with pure elation as Kim told her the siblings expressed concern over her dramatic weight loss… It’s almost as if the only thing her self worth is tied to now is her BMI ☹️”
“Why was Khloe literally excited that Kendall thought she was getting too skinny ?!” another asked. One person replied: “She’s been told for so long that she’s overweight by her family and media that it can be validating to hear the opposite, especially when people think you’re skinny enough that they get concerned. It’s sad though.”
Others weren’t impressed with the way that the show presented the concern, with a fan writing: “Then they just glossed over it? Completely erasing the severity and complexity of her new weight loss — they could’ve turned the moment into a meaningful conversation and also maybe added a trigger warning.”
This isn't the first time that the Kardashians have been called out for glorifying weight loss. In 2018 Kim was forced to apologize after her sisters shared a series of videos where they praised her for being "skinny," and she joyfully responded to being called "anorexic."
And earlier this year Kim was also criticized by a registered dietician for setting a "terrible example" and "perpetuating eating disorders" by boasting about losing a significant amount of weight to fit into her Met Gala dress.
Elsewhere in Thursday's episode of The Kardashians, Khloé did go on to admit that she was struggling, explaining: “It’s a lot, but I just like to isolate and deal with things on my own and everyone has problems so why would I bring it, you’ve just got to deal with that.”
“What I do know is that all of it sucks and it’s humiliating, it’s hurtful, I just don’t have anything else to give,” she added.
Khloé and Tristan have had an on-and-off relationship since 2016, which has been dogged with infidelity.
Just days before Khloé gave birth to their first child — daughter True — in 2018, it was revealed that Tristan had been cheating on her throughout her pregnancy.
The following year, he was caught kissing Kylie’s then–best friend Jordyn Woods at a party, and it has now been revealed that Tristan proposed to Khloé that December, even though they weren’t officially back together at the time.
Khloé turned him down, but a source told BuzzFeed News that they revisited the subject of an engagement in February 2021 and she accepted, but they did not publicly announce the news.
One month after their engagement, Tristan left the 30th birthday party that Khloé had thrown for him to have sex with Maralee — who he’d been seeing “sporadically” for sex for months prior.
Maralee got pregnant and ended up filing legal documents against Tristan for child support and pregnancy-related expenses. In the paperwork, she claimed that Tristan had offered her $75,000 to get an abortion and warned her that he’d play no role in their child’s life.
Khloé was unaware of Maralee, her pregnancy, and Tristan’s lawsuit until it was reported in the press in December 2021, shortly before Maralee gave birth to her son, Theo.
Khloé’s second child with Tristan, a baby boy, was already on the way at this point, but Khloé ended their engagement and is now said to only speak to Tristan about parenting-related matters.