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Kylie Jenner
courtesy of Instagram/@kyliejenner

Kylie Jenner’s ‘summer body’ accused of being plastic surgery

The comments underneath her IG post exemplify the catch-22 situation women are increasingly finding themselves in

On Sunday, whilst sunning herself in Turks and Caicos as part of her Kylie Skin press trip, Kylie Jenner shared an image on Instagram of her semi-nude body. Shot by Sasha Samsonova and captioned “Summer Body,” the image was part of a campaign to promote a series of newly launched Kylie Skin body products, including the brand’s first SPF.

Fans quickly began to criticise the image, however, accusing the influencer of having “bought and paid” for her body, a result of plastic surgery. 

“I don't need no creams and oils, just the name of the surgeon,” wrote one Instagram commenter, while another said, “Kylie said if we buy her skin products we too will get a summer body like hers..kylie girl..I know you fuvkin lying.” 

“But the question is how many surgeries did you have to get a body like that ?” added a third.

The comments underneath Jenner’s post exemplify the catch-22 situation women are increasingly finding themselves in. Women’s bodies have long been policed but in this new age of social media and surgery, our physical appearance is increasingly being put under an intense and very public spotlight. As a society, we put extreme pressure on each other to fit unrealistic beauty standards, punishing those who don’t. At the same time, we level strong criticism at those who change their bodies to fit these standards or are deemed as trying too hard to achieve them. Surgery or no surgery, what Kylie decides to do with her body is completely down to her and her right to choose should be supported. 

That said, Kylie’s post also tapped into another contentious subject – that of a summer or “beach-ready” body. In 2015, Protein World caused outrage with its “Are you beach body ready?” ads, and since then the general consensus has been that all bodies should be deemed as beach-ready bodies and that brands preying on our insecurities to sell us products is not progress. In this light, Kylie’s use of the phrase “Summer Body” might be seen as perpetuating the archaic notion of a perfect body, one that could be yours if you merely buy Kylie’s products - which fans were quick to criticise. “How to get a summer body. 1 have a body 2 it’s summer” wrote one commenter. While another said, “every body is summer body.”

The debate around plastic surgery and what women do with their bodies will always be a fraught one. Those who feel changing your body is anti-feminist and a way to perpetuate patriarchal beauty standards and those who celebrate our right to do what we want with our bodies are likely to never see eye to eye. The jury is still out.