In this now-deleted Instagram ad, Hollywood reality star Khloe Kardashian was advertising a meal-replacement protein shake in a pink bra and chiselled body. As with everything else the Kardashians do, this ad received much backlash from the public.
One prominent critic was Jameela Jamil, an actress and activist who blasted Kardashian for projecting a false image of her appearance and influencing her large audience to do the same. Jamil also pointed out that the company sponsoring the post, Flat Tummy Co is not medically approved and is overall, dubious.
Jamil has also previously critiqued Khloe’s sister, Kim, for advertising appetite-suppressing lollies from the same company on her Instagram account and called out the family for unknowingly being “double agents of the patriarchy,” a woman still putting out the patriarchal narrative & benefitting from it financially. In this case, painting the perfect and exoticised image, particularly for women of colour in the US. (The family however, has an Armenian background) Both Kardashians have however, defended what is essentially their right and choice to advertise whatever it is they want to.
This was quite an interesting debacle which I thought framed the conflict presented by the divergence between feminist studies and cultural studies in “Feminism and Cultural Studies: Pasts, Presents, Futures” an even more relevant perspective, especially with regards to other intersecting factors like race/ethnicity as well as a massive media platform and following.
The reading points out that one main factor creating the divergence is the impact of poststructuralism and postmodernism on the 2 discourses of feminism and cultural studies. While these 2 schools of knowledge helped problematise the traditional understanding of truth, it has also introduced an overarching narrative of subjectivity and individuality.
The subjectivity thereby pits Kardashian’s “truth” against that of Jamil’s, with the mass audience of both personalities ultimately having the right to create and live their own truth as well.