I turned on my television Thursday morning with the sole intent to flip over the Netflix immediately (current obsession is Ghost Adventures. I love it). When the TV powered up, the very first thing I see is a giant picture of Kim Kardashian with three giant “W”s on her breasts and lower levels.

No, I’m not about to complain about Kardashian and her clan doing all their crazy Kardashian antics. Instead, I’m fired up about the talk show that was complaining about the Kardashians.

TV HOST WENDY WILLIAMS
Wendy Williams during an episode of her self-titled talk show in 2010. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service

I’ve never seen the Wendy Williams Show before. Thursday was my first and hopefully only encounter with the program. I watched for about 15 minutes, entranced by the back and forth body shaming. I am left wondering why Wendy Williams, a woman in media, would assist in perpetuating media stereotypes of how other women and men should look. Women like her are in positions where they have the power to reverse media stereotyping, and eliminate societal body norms.

I just don’t understand why a woman who has been in the media spotlight for nearly 20 years, and has certainly received her share of criticism over her appearance in that time, would ever put that onto others. She has the chance to stop the cycle, but doesn’t take it.

Maybe I’m just getting all worked up over nothing. I’ll just tell you what she said, and you can be the judge of whether she is egregiously body shaming or not.

She starts talking about how Kardashian shouldn’t be allowed to pose nude because she has a husband and child, apparently quoting Kardashian in saying that she is addicted to full frontal nudity.

Next pops up a picture of Kendall Jenner, her half-sister, posing for the same magazine topless. This picture, despite the obvious heavy Photoshopping done, is A-OK in Williams’ book. Why? Kendall doesn’t have kids, she’s just 19-years-old! Let her do what she wants! Williams even specifically points out the Photoshopping done to Kendall, commenting on the before and after size of her breasts.

Kylie Jenner, the next in the family to get put on display, is blasted by Williams for cosmetic work done to her lips, saying that the photo going viral of Kylie is completely unrecognizable.

Can we please just leave this family alone and let them be themselves, and display themselves, however they want? If Kim or any of her sisters feel comfortable posing topless, or will full frontal nudity, fine. Let them do them. Why is Kim posing topless when she already has a child any different from her 19-year-old sister posing topless when maybe one day she’ll have children? It really isn’t.

Both are adult women who are confident enough in themselves to pose publically exposed. Shouldn’t we be celebrating their self-confidence and willingness to be themselves in a world where people like Williams exist to shame them into submission to societal norms?

From Williams I also learned that Queen Latifah has recently been photographed doing something apparently incredibly scandalous – she was wearing a two-piece bathing suit at the beach. OH GOD THE HORROR. Williams says how nice it is that Latifah is “letting is all hang out,” and goes on to comment how sometimes you can’t help but wonder how many pairs of Spanks people are wearing under their clothes.

I have never wondered that, actually, and I’ve never felt the need to comment on the clothing choices that someone feels most comfortable in.

But don’t worry, women aren’t the only people she is body shaming. Williams announced that Tom Cruise plans to gain weight for an upcoming role, and she and her audience responded completely negatively. Boos, gasps, you name it. Williams is adamant that gaining the weight for the possibility of an Oscar isn’t worth it – Cruise is just too old to deal with all that. Ending the segment, she says, “Tom, you do you, and we’ll keep everybody posted.”

Can we not please?

What do you think? Do you think Wendy Williams is guilty of body shaming? Join the discussion by tweeting @niner_times with #FeministFriday!

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Eden Creamer was the Editor-in-Chief for the Niner Times from May 2013 through April 2015. She graduated from UNC Charlotte in May 2015, receiving her degree in Communication Studies with minors in English, Journalism and Women's Studies. She now does freelance proofing, copywriting and design in the Charlotte area, and can be reached at edencreamer@gmail.com

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