Kim Kardashian says Framing Britney Spears gave her flashbacks to how she was treated during her first pregnancy. The media attention, she admits, “really broke me.”
On Friday, the reality star, 40, reflected on her pregnancy with daughter North West, 7, sharing a slideshow of magazine covers that compared her to Shamu the whale and mocked her 60-pound weight gain. “So I finally watched the Britney Spears documentary this week and it made me feel a lot of empathy for her,” she wrote on Instagram Stories. “The way the media played a big role in her life the way it did can be very traumatizing and it can really break even the strongest person. No matter how public someone’s life may seem, no one deserves to be treated with such cruelty or judgement for entertainment.”
The Feb. 5 The New York Times Presents documentary of Spears recalled the obsessive news coverage of the pop star’s mental health, her former relationship with Justin Timberlake and her sexuality, shedding new context on the media’s objectification of young women. As fresh outrage accumulated on social media, Timberlake apologized to Spears for publicizing their sex life after their 2002 split.
Kardashian experienced her own hellscape during her first pregnancy, from fat-shaming, fashion critiques, and rumors that her baby bump was fake.
“When I was pregnant with North, I was suffering from preeclampsia, which made me swell uncontrollably,” wrote Kardashian of the risky pregnancy complication that’s marked by high blood pressure and forced the mom into emergency labor six weeks early. After the delivery, Kardashian developed placenta accreta, which happens when the placenta does not detach from the uterine wall after childbirth. During her second pregnancy with son Saint, 5, Kardashian developed both conditions again and decided to use a surrogate to deliver daughter Chicago, 3, and son Psalm, 1. Kardashian shares all her children with rapper Kanye West, from whom she recently filed for divorce.
During her first pregnancy, she wrote, “…I cried every single day over what was happening to my body mainly from the pressures of being constantly compared to what society considered a healthy pregnant person should look like — as well as being compared to Shamu the whale by the media. Looking at all of the photos of myself online and in magazines made me so insecure and I had this fear of wondering if I would ever get my pre-baby body back.”
She added, “I was shamed on a weekly basis with cover stories that made my insecurities so painful, I couldn’t leave the house for months after. It really broke me.”
Kardashian said the unpleasant feelings made her the person she is today, however, “to say this didn’t take a toll on me mentally would be a lie. I’m sharing this just to say I really hope everyone involved in the business of shaming and bullying someone to the point of breaking them down might reconsider and instead try to show some understanding and compassion. You just never fully know what someone is going through behind the scenes and I’ve learned through my own experiences that it’s always better to lead with kindness.”
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