Khloe Kardashian has been at the centre of a huge conversation about body image this week after it was reported that she’s trying to get an unedited photo of herself erased from the internet.
In the leaked image, Khloe is seen smiling while posing in a bikini and wearing minimal make-up but it appears to be unedited and without filters.
While many have pointed out that it’s a beautiful photo, and have urged her to own the more natural image of herself, Khloe responded saying she has ‘every right’ to have it taken down.
She opened up about struggling with her body image throughout the years, and explained to fans in a statement: ‘I’ve been conditioned to feel I am not beautiful enough’.
Despite Khloe’s comments, getting a photo blocked from the internet isn’t exactly easy.
From a legal standpoint, Matthew Dando, partner at Wiggin LLP, told Metro.co.uk: ‘Copyright is the most straightforward right Khloe could invoke.
‘The person who took a photograph generally holds the copyright in it and can control how it is used and whether it is used at all.
‘So if the photograph was taken by someone in Khloe’s entourage or someone from whom she can take a transfer of the right, then it is the obvious starting point.’
The photo is thought to have been taken by an assistant of Khloe’s.
‘It’s not straightforward though,’ he continued. ‘The internet is global and there are many laws in play and participants involved.
‘The various social media platforms on which the images can be shared and countless individuals responsible for actually sharing them means that once the photograph is out of the bottle it can be impossible to put back in.’
He added: ‘The law is a blunt tool and once photographs have been shared by more than a handful of people, will almost certainly be an ineffective one.
‘Even if some take down requests are successful, to purge the internet would require an unending global game of legal whack-a-mole. Khloe’s efforts would be best focused on playing this situation to its best effect in the court of public opinion not the courts of law.’
Social media expert and owner of Delivered Social Jonathan Bird added: ‘The thing about the internet is that, once a photo is uploaded, it’s nearly impossible to get it removed, even if it was uploaded as a mistake.
‘This is because, once it’s posted, there’s nothing really stopping other people from saving it and redistributing it. And, if you’re a big celebrity like Khloe Kardashian, you can try and get some of these reposts taken down, but more will keep cropping up, especially if it hits the headlines.
‘To try and stop this as much as possible, there are a few things you can do. It seems as though threatening legal action has worked to get Khloe’s photo removed from some news sites.
‘That’s probably the best course of action for celebrities. But for regular people wanting to get a photo removed from the internet, I’d suggest using the block button so that the people taking the photos from your personal profiles don’t have access to do so in the future. And, make use of the help function on social media sites to see if they can help you get the photos removed.’
Matthew pointed out that it’s not the first time a star has tried to stop a photograph from seeing the light of day.
‘The “Streisand effect” is a well-known phenomenon.’ he explained. ‘Barbara Streisand attempted to have a photograph of her beach house taken down. The photograph had been taken to document coastal erosion and her take down request resulted in an explosion of interest in the photo of her home, so the strategy spectacularly backfired.
‘Axl Rose also famously attempted to have unflattering photographs taken down from the internet when they were used in memes mocking his appearance. It wasn’t successful and only increased the newsworthiness of the images.’
Following the leak of the photo, Khloe’s team has been tasked with taking it down.
Tracy Romulus, a friend of the family and chief marketing officer of KKW Brands, reportedly addressed the issue in a statement released to PageSix, saying ‘Khloe looks beautiful but it is within the right of the copyright owner to not want an image not intended to be published taken down.’
The 36-year-old was supported by her family as she made a powerful statement, saying she has ‘every right’ to try and have the picture taken down as she has ‘struggled with body image her whole life’.
Khloe said: ‘The photo that was posted this week is beautiful. But as someone who has struggled with body image her whole life, when someone takes a photo of you that isn’t flattering in bad lighting or doesn’t capture your body the way it is after working so hard to get it to this point – and then shares it to the world – you should have every right to ask for it to not be shared – regardless of who you are.
‘In truth, the pressure, constant ridicule and judgment my entire life to be perfect and to meet other’s standards of how I should look has been too much to bear.’
She continued: ‘For over a decade now in photos, every single flaw and imperfection has been micro-analysed and made fun of to the smallest detail and I am reminded of them everyday by the world. And when I take that criticism to use as motivation to get myself in the best shape of my life and to even help others with the same struggles, I am told I couldn’t have done it through hard work and I must have paid for it all.
‘I love a good filter, good lighting and an edit here and there. The same way I throw on some make-up, get my nails done, or wear a pair of heels to present myself to the world the way I want to be seen and it’s exactly what I will continue to do unapologetically.’
She finished her statement by saying: ‘Everyday I am told by my family and friends who love me that I am beautiful but I know that it needs to be believed from within. We are all unique and perfect in our own way. Whichever way one chooses to be seen.
‘I have realised that we cannot continue to live life trying to fit into the perfect mould of what others have set for us. Just do you and make sure your heart is happy.’
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