Media and Culture: “Revenge Body”

The TV series “Revenge Body With Khloe Kardashian” has managed to raise the hackles of quite a few viewers. When it started a couple of years ago, people who didn’t like it used expressions like “not impressed,” “serious problems,” and “extremely disturbing.”

Fashion writer Bibi Deitz opined that the whole revenge idea, which recommends using one’s personal negative reaction to haters as motivational fuel, is “twisted.” No good can come of using the judgments of others as the basis of one’s self-esteem.

Many humans have found that, after a romantic breakup, stepping up the health routines is a fine idea. And it is, but always with the caveat that self-care should not be perceived exclusively as exercise, diet, and hydration. There is more to it, like seeking therapy if necessary, to expunge such motives as revenge from the consciousness.

Throughout the ages, the wisest humans have confirmed that revenge is one of the shabbiest and least worthy of all motives. People dislike the idea that “Revenge Body” is about being thin rather than sane. Self-care should begin inside the braincase.

Conflicting views

Even though the clients voluntarily sign up to display their struggles to the world, many critics accuse this show and others like it of exploiting the participants. But when called out on it, for instance by Hollywood Reporter, Kardashian explains:

Revenge body is deeper than a physical transformation. It is a spiritual and emotional transformation. The physical part is a bonus!

Although the tapings seem to include a whole lot of gym workouts, the three months of filming do not take participants away from their own lives, jobs, and other duties, and do not really include an inordinate amount of gym presence. Journalist Elizabeth Narins learned from trainer Harley Pasternak that he first requires a client to work up to 14,000 steps a day, journal their food intake and sleep quantities, and practice unplugging from technology for at least an hour per day, before even starting workouts. He said,

The core to our philosophy is there are 168 hours in the week, and no matter what you do, how many weights you lift or how many machines you use, it’s really about the time outside the gym.

That one principle holds true no matter how famous the client of any personal trainer is, or what kind of fancy gear they wear to promote brands, or how many cameras are available, or what type of workout regime they elect to follow. The part that really matters is the day-to-day grind. Everyone has to steadfastly refuse to cheat on calories and rigorously say no to tempting treats. Everyone has keep track of what needs to be kept track of, and do all the other dull, boring, repetitious chores that are required if weight loss is to be maintained.

By the way… It’s not too late to do Halloween right this year!

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “5 Reasons to Boycott Khloe Kardashian’s New Show, ‘Revenge Body’,”, 2016
Source: “How Healthy Is ‘Revenge Body’ Anyway?,”, 01/30/17
Source: “17 Fascinating Behind-the-Scenes Secrets from Trainers on ‘Revenge Body’ With Khloe Kardashian,”, 01/24/18
Photo credit: cliff1066 on Visualhunt/CC BY

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
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Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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