What would you do to look younger? Kim Kardashian would, maybe, “eat poop every single day.”
The confession comes from an interview with the New York Times, which Kardashian gave to promote the launch of a nine-step skincare line. No, really. Here’s the full quote:
“I’ll try anything…if you told me that I literally had to eat poop every single day and I would look younger, I might. I just might.”
You might say this is a rather gross admission! I say: This is a great thing for Kardashian to share with the rest of us, particularly as she tries to sell an extensive line of products that are meant to be used together and cost a total of $630.
Celeb beauty brand launches—and there have been so many of them—typically involve the luminary in question aligning themselves with a cause or feeling that is positive, or at least neutral. Selena Gomez synced her make-up-brand debut with that of mental-health fund; Jennifer Lopez attributed her nice skin to the use of olive oil, the star ingredient in her own line. Scarlett Johansson pitched her own slew of creams and serums with a minimalist aesthetic: “I wanted it to feel like something that was always there,” she told Vogue in February. The central premise—which is also a lie—is that looking glow-y and vibrant is easy, accessible, healthy, and even morally good.
Kardashian, like anyone who hawks beauty serums, engages in such lies, too. “I created this line so that everyone can feel confident in their skin,” she enthused in an Instagram post announcing her line SKKN; the sentiment is practically boilerplate, as well as factually questionable. (Even if you’re on board with the idea that achieving some simulacrum of “beautiful” skin will help you feel more confident in it, there are already approximately one zillion potions on the market that can help you do that, in addition to an entire field of medicine.) It is probably impossible to sell a skincare product by just describing its actual function, nothing more nothing less.
But where Kardashian splits from the pack is the idea that molding one’s image into a narrow standard of beauty is easy and fun. And the molding is literal: In May, she described in some detail the objectively deranged amount of work it took to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s tiny historical dress for the Met Gala, which, in addition to dieting, involved logging time each day on the treadmill, and in something called a sauna suit. She’s previously shared that it takes her two full hours to get ready every morning—well, to have a team get her ready, she uses her time in the glam chair to answer work emails (boring!). In addition to the might-eat-poop thing, she even implies to the Times that just using the potions she is hawking will not get you her face: “I’m not acting like it comes easier or it’s all natural,” she told the paper. “You just don’t wake up and use whatever. You wake up, you use ingredients. The P.R.P. facials, stem cell facials, lasers—all of that is work.” PRP facials, by the way, are also known as “vampire facials.”
Look: Do I think it is good that famous people are in an arms race to look 50 when they’re 80, and 20 when they’re 50? Of course not. The shifting of standards among the very rich and very willing—who, unlike the rest of us, often get a direct monetary return on their beauty investment—is overall very bad for the rest of us. Much in the same way that the cerulean blue of a designer belt will eventually trickle down to influence the hue of a sweater in a sale bin (a la Miranda Priestly’s famous speech), if Kardashian really did start eating poop to look younger, there’s a strong chance we’d all be subjected to some kind of fecal-vitamin craze, whether or not the foul regimen even worked.
But, given that this is the larger edifice of beauty standards in which in which we reside, and that it’s coming from one of the biggest proponents of that edifice—well, I’m at least glad she’s hinting at what it all actually is: kind of shit.