Kim Kardashian—like several of her relatives—is no stranger to using her platform on Instagram to make a few bucks. But her latest product-endorsing post, for a Flat Tummy Co. lollipop that claims to be appetite-suppressing, has crossed a line, as far as her followers are concerned.
The image of her sucking on a cherry-red pop included the following caption: “#ad You guys… @flattummyco just dropped a new product. They’re Appetite Suppressant Lollipps and they’re literally unreal.” She went on the urge her followers to check out the website and get some for themselves.
Kardashian has since deleted the post, likely as a result of the fierce backlash it stirred up across social media platforms. Fans and critics alike have called out how problematic it is for Kim to advertise diet products like this—which aren’t proven safe or effective, and can encourage disordered eating—to her 111 million followers.
Good Place actress Jameela Jamil, who’s outspoken about body-positivity (and whom you might remember from the viral “I Weigh” Instagram account) did not mince words in a thread of tweets about Kardashian’s post.
“MAYBE don’t take appetite suppressors and eat enough to fuel your BRAIN and work hard and be successful. And to play with your kids. And to have fun with your friends. And to have something to say about your life at the end, other than ‘I had a flat stomach,'” she continued, ending with GIF-y flair.
Others on Twitter called out how troubling this kind of promo can be for people who struggle with food, and offered up some cool-headed advice to try instead of tricking your body into not eating.“With every flat tummy tea, lollipop, magical weight loss trick promoted, there’s someone with disordered eating thinking they need it,” one user wrote. “I understand that we live in a thin-obsessed society but we need to do better. We need to teach/learn healthy relationships with food,” added another.
In January, Kardashian also promoted a program from Flat Belly Co., which featured her holding milk in her underwear while drinking…something else?
And she’s not the only one in her family: Kylie Jenner infamously endorsed waist trainers that came as part of a “snap-back” package after she gave birth, perpetuating the pressure women feel to “fix” their post-baby bodies.
The Kardashian-Jenners are famous, in large part, for their looks, and so it makes sense that they’d use these assets to make some money. That can be empowering when done right—which would mean when promoting body-positivity, self-love, and healthy behaviors to their massive followings. Instead, they let down their millions of followers by making a quick buck on some potentially dangerous snake oil.
People may not follow Kim Kardashian for verifiable health advice, but surely she knows that her claims can come across that way—even the kooky ones.