A lick of a lollipop was all it took for the usually fuck-em’-all attitude of Kim Kardashian’s fans to buckle under pressure and attack one of her Instagram posts.
Kardashian posted one of her signature sultry photos with internet-breaking intent on her Instagram this week, featuring her sucking a lollipop. But it was no mere photo shoot. Kardashian was promoting Flat Tummy Co.’s latest product: appetite-suppressant lollipops.
Her caption read: “#ad You guys… @flattummyco just dropped a new product. They’re Appetite Suppressant Lollipops and they’re literally unreal. They’re giving the first 500 people on their website 15% OFF so if you want to get your hands on some… you need to do it quick! #suckit.”
Kardashian was immediately lambasted by her fans, who called her promotion of appetite suppressants—essentially encouraging her fans to starve themselves to look good—dangerous. She was also called out by The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil, who tweeted in response to Kardashian’s post.
“No. Fuck off. No. You terrible and toxic influence on young girls. I admire their mother’s branding capabilities, she is an exploitative but innovative genius, however this family makes me feel actual despair over what women are reduced to,” Jamil tweeted.
She followed that tweet with, “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.’”
The “appetite suppressant” lollipops run 35 calories apiece and contain satiereal, turmeric, saffron, and a bunch of synthetic additives. “Supposedly, this combination of additives and saffron activates a neurotransmitter in your brain which controls and suppresses your appetite,” dietician Rachel Scoular told Mama Mia. “Let’s set the record straight, there’s not enough evidence to support the use of satiereal for appetite control. Looking more broader, even the use of saffron for weight loss isn’t clinically proven.”
“Keep in mind that these lollipops are considered supplements, which means they are not regulated as strictly as prescription medications and therefore can be both ineffective and potentially unsafe to consume,” dieticians Anna Debenham and Alex Parker added.
What’s odd is that it took lollipops for Kardashian to be publicly called out for her continued association with Flat Tummy Co. She and other celebrities have been promoting numerous products by Flat Tummy Co of late, such as shakes and teas. Jamil spoke about this to The Cut in February: “It’s insane and criminal to have a platform and not use it for good. I think it’s really deeply irresponsible just to use your platform to plug products, like, Look at this razor that I bought. It’s like, Shut up! Talk about what’s going on in the world. You don’t get to just get all the money and the nice shit and the $48 tea and then not have any responsibilities. If you call yourself an influencer on Instagram, you’re going straight to the Bad Place. How dare you. How dare you. What are you even influencing? Drink this weight-loss tea. Fuck off.”
Aside from other influencers on Instagram, Flat Tummy Co. can count amongst its celebrity clients Real Housewives’ NeNe Leakes and Porsha Williams. Other celebs who’ve promoted similar laxative teas are Hilary Duff, Nicki Minaj, and of course other Kardashians like Khloe and Kylie. In 2016, Mia Tyler publicly called out Khloe, Amber Rose and other celebs for promoting these teas.
As of now, the company is still promoting its lollipops on its Instagram account, so Kardashian being dragged by her fans hasn’t deterred them. Kardashian’s post strangely disappeared on Wednesday, with Instagram later alleging it deleted it by accident and reinstated it.
And really, Kardashian has been able to skate much worse controversies than this. Most recently, as her husband Kanye West has embraced far-right commentators like Candace Owens and Infowars, Donald Trump, and given an interview on TMZ claiming that “slavery was a choice,” Kardashian has pretended that none of it is happening with Ivanka Trump-like distance.
In the midst of his bizarre Twitter spree, she went on Ellen to do a little damage control, laughing off most of his tweets. The only peek behind the curtain was from West himself, when he tweeted, “my wife just called me and she wanted me to make this clear to everyone. I don’t agree with everything Trump does. I don’t agree 100% with anyone but myself.”
Even West still has his defenders—and Kardashian has hers who defiantly attack anyone who claims she’s not a good role model, confusing the cruel slut-shaming Kardashian often endures with their idol’s actual problematic pushing of laxative teas and appetite suppressants. It seems that when you’re a Kardashian, you can even find a way to make starving yourself and MAGA fashionable.