The Kardashian Effect is Just Another Body Trend Women Can’t Live Up To: #NowWhat

The Kardashian Effect is Just Another Body Trend Women Can’t Live Up To: #NowWhat
image via Wikimedia Commons

No one’s body should ever become a trend.

The Kardashian Effect

According to a recent press release, Dr. Matthew Schulman, NYC Plastic Surgeon and Snapchat personality, coined the term “Kardashian Effect.” This “effect” describes the people who are visiting plastic surgeons in order to get Kardashian-like ass sculpting and lip injections.

The Kardashians’ looks, specifically Kim and Kylie’s, are maintained by certain procedures—not full-blown, under-the-knife plastic surgery. These procedures keep Kim and Kyle’s bodies and faces looking specifically them, but better—enhanced, basically. “[Kim] is open about wearing clip-on hair extensions; she regularly Snapchats herself doing grueling daily workouts,” Buzzfeed reports.

“She has been filmed — often by herself — getting Botox and receiving unspecified laser treatments from a dermatologist, and an early episode of ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ featured her undergoing a body-shaping treatment called VelaShape.”

In addition to adhering to her “I work for my body” mantra/brand, Kim also films her makeup and hair transformations as part of a $2.99/month subscription service.

Kylie Kardashian has also made a boatload of money from just being her. Kylie’s lip kit—and her lips—are highly sought after assets.

“When she [Kylie] first talked about her minimal cosmetic procedures [lip enhancments] I saw a new trend of younger women who suddenly felt empowered to unapologetically want to look more beautiful,” Dr. Simon Ourian, Kylie’s cosmetic surgeon, says.

“It’s like Kylie singlehandedly gave a whole generation the ticket to a more enhanced version of themselves.”

Why the Kardashian Effect is creepy

Now, there’s nothing wrong with women getting cosmetic procedures to feel beautiful. However, when women go to a plastic surgeon’s office asking for a look that’s specifically “Kardashian”, it’s worrisome. Because no matter how much anyone tries, they will never look like a Kardashian because they are not a Kardashian.

Easy to access procedures

Lexi Montgomery, CEO at Darling Web Design, says she’s concerned that simple cosmetic procedures are becoming more common and fears the “Kardashian” trend isn’t going anywhere. “I used to have a client that was a plastic surgeon in Miami Beach and witnessed first hand how insecure girls are,” Montgomery says.

“It’s very easy to sell surgery because [some] doctors and marketers pry on low self-esteem.”

Montgomery adds that it’s quite disturbing that people glorify parts of the Kardashian women to the point of getting surgery to look like them.

It’s more than work… It’s genetics

Janis Isaman, owner of Calgary-based My Body Couture, is most concerned about the part of the Kardashian Effect that implies that all anyone has to do to get Kim’s body is “work for it”.

“A woman cannot change how she carries adipose tissue (aka: fat), and yet the notion of ‘working hard’ implies that another HIIT class or three miles can give her that body,” Isaman says.

“It’s untrue, it’s harmful, and it’s causing women to focus on their bodies instead of their brains.”

Isaman’s hope is that women, in general, can become more comfortable with their bodies over time. That’s partly why she choose to go into body training. She helps clients become more aware of how their bodies feel rather than look. “And those two things are incredibly mentally freeing and help people move past cup size,” she adds.


EcoSalon reached out to Dr. Matthew Schulman for comment about the Kardashian Effect, but hadn’t heard back by press time.

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Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.