Khloé Kardashian Talks Body Shaming, Her Fave Workout, and How She Handles Haters
With a game-changing denim line and a super-fit shape she got the healthy way (think: hard work and smart nutrition), the coolest Kardashian is taking body love to a whole new level.
Attention, any woman over a size 10 who's had a traumatic experience shopping for jeans: Khloé Kardashian feels your pain. Her new denim line, Good American, which goes from sizes 00 to 24, was created with you—and every other woman who wants cool jeans but isn't a sample size—in mind.
As a member of America's arguably most famous family, and a star of E!'s insanely popular Keeping Up with the Kardashians since 2007, Khloé, 32, has experienced her weight fluctuations—and insecurities—in front of the entire world. But she recently stopped the yo-yoing once and for all. In 2013, under a microscope while going through her breakup with former NBA star Lamar Odom, she found refuge in the gym. She graduated to personal-training sessions and then eventually met with a nutritionist to forever change her relationship with food. The result? She has never looked hotter—or happier.
In person, in the dining room of her glam-chic home in Calabasas, Calif., Khloé looks, well, exactly like she looks on TV or in her frequent Snaps, sporting to-die-for hair and makeup. (After our chat, she is headed to the kitchen to film KUWTK, which just completed its 12th season; she also has a new E! show, Revenge Body with Khloé Kardashian, premiering this month.) Padding down her staircase in bare feet, she comes in and gives me a huge hug—"I'm a hugger!"—and then we get to talking.
Why call your new denim line Good American?
America's sweetheart used to be the blond, blue-eyed, perfectly poised young lady, and nowadays, it's a badass melting pot, all different ethnicities, heights, and colors. Just because you're covered in tattoos doesn't mean that you're not sophisticated and a boss in your own right. Also, everything is done in the U.S.—that's really important—from dyeing the denim to pattern making.
There's no "plus-size"—your line goes from 00 to 24 in one section. That's awesome. Why did you fight for that?
The denim industry didn't need another designer denim line, and I didn't feel the need to provide one. I feel really strongly about ours because I love women of all shapes and sizes. I love empowering women, and I'm obsessed with confident women. For our campaign, I booked real women. I really felt the need to have a wide-range line. I hate using the word "plus-size."
You know firsthand how hard it is to shop in a boutique that stocks only the smallest sizes.
Yeah. I was always alienated when I'd go shopping with my sisters. If you were an 8 or a 10, they'd gasp, so as a 12, which I was at one point—God forbid!—they'd shun me, and it was horrible. Our line has a contoured waistband because when your waist is smaller than your booty, you get that gap in the back. I used to buy expensive denim and spend $50 to tailor it; we figured out a way to avoid that. We have booties and hips, and that's what being a woman is all about.
What do you look for when you pick out a pair of jeans?
I always like a little higher rise because of my little cupcakes or love handles. I've also learned that I love to shop at home. Denim and bathing suits are the two most intimidating things to buy in a store. You have some great sales clerk who's like, "You look fabulous!" And I'm like, "Do I?" I don't even know, with the lighting and the skinny mirrors. I like to order online, or else I buy things like bell-bottoms because I got talked into them. I love bell-bottoms, but I'm not stick-thin. Kendall and I are similar heights, but she has a totally different body than me. She could do bell-bottoms. She's more rock star.
Khloé's wearing: Kendall + Kylie bodysuit. Good American jeans ($160; goodamerican.com).
Do you think our idea of a beautiful shape is changing? Just looking at your sisters and you, there are so many body types—all beautiful.
Thank you. And definitely. And with the Ashley Grahams of the world, it's like a body revolution. I've never met her, but we're fans of each other. She's so beautiful and confident—she glows from within. I love that this is a social change. I love that pop culture now has realistic body images for women to look up to, especially for kids. Because when I was younger, it was only heroin-chic.
Can you pinpoint when your body transformation started?
I was going through my divorce, and I just really needed an outlet. I had turned to food and had an unhealthy relationship with food my whole life, and I was like, "Food has never helped me lose weight." So I joined Equinox, and I would go there and put my headphones on and get on the elliptical or the stairs, and no one would bother me or ask me questions—because even at Starbucks, I would get "I'm sorry..." I would watch The Real Housewives or something mindless, and I felt like all the stress I was under, all the paparazzi—I blocked out all that noise. I escaped there, and as a by-product, I started losing weight. Then I thought, "OK, I'm gonna call a trainer, and Gunnar Peterson has been a family friend of ours." He changed my body.
Behind the scenes: Our cover shoot with Khloé
How have you dealt with the haters and critics?
Some people were like, "It took you so long to lose weight." And I'm like, "I've been fat or out of shape my whole life. It's gonna take time to reprogram my body." But some people were like, "I liked you better when you were fat." I get body-shamed now that I work out! But I don't care what weight I am. It's genuinely about me being healthy. I was never like, "I want to lose 30 pounds in 30 days." Trust me: I've done juice cleanses. I did the Master Cleanse. Like, what would Beyoncé do? But it didn't work for my body and my lifestyle.
So what did work for you?
After a year and a half of working with Gunnar, he set me up with his nutritionist. I did baby steps. I cut out sodas, then I went dairy-free for two weeks, and I lost 11 pounds. Now I only drink almond milk. I still love cheese, which is hard, but if I want to lose weight quickly, dairy-free is the way to go. It's not even a diet anymore. I don't process carbs well after 3 p.m. Kim can eat anything, and I'm like, "I hate you." The nutritionist was like, "Kim has a body like a Ferrari, and you have a body like a Honda." I was like, "Yep, that sounds about right. That's my life—you just summed it up right there." [Laughs]
How do you handle cravings? You've got jars of cookies and candy everywhere.
I do. It's like I love to f— with myself. What's crazy is that I'm so used to it. I don't crave it here. But when I go to someone else's house, you can't stop me. I do believe that if you're having a craving, don't deprive yourself—everything in moderation.
Who's the cook in your family?
Kylie and me. Kourtney is horrendous. I don't think she knows how to scramble eggs.
You and Kourtney like to work out together. So do you guys push each other?
We do motivate each other, but I didn't work out with Kourtney for so long, because I had always thought she was a baby, and I cannot work out with whiners. I'm badass. But then I worked out with Kourtney, and I was like, "Oh my God, she's super badass, too. She's a beast." Kim and Kylie are the worst. They perspire, and they look so pretty, and they don't really do much. I'm like, "How do you guys have those bodies?" Kourtney and I call each other Jane and Suzanne, for Jane Fonda and Suzanne Somers.
Do you still work out with Don, the trainer on your show?
I love Don, but Kanye took him on tour. Stealing trainers is the biggest sign of disrespect, I would say. [Laughs]
What's your favorite move?
I love jumping rope. I love to hate it. Don will say, "In five minutes, you need to do 800 jumps." I was like, "That's easy," but no, it's the hardest. I'm drenched, and I can't breathe, and my arms hurt, but for me it's a full-body workout. Running is my least favorite thing.
It's harder with big boobs.
I don't even have big boobs! Losing weight, I've lost my little chichis. But that's OK. North is so funny. She's like, "Why don't you have chichis like my mom?" I'm like, "I don't know!" I hate running, but I'll run the trails in my neighborhood and wear a sauna suit that looks like a garbage bag. You take it off and it's like a pool of sweat. It's all water weight, but it's a good trick if you want to de-bloat. I up my water intake when I do it.
Do you have any advice for women who are trying to rock their fitness goals?
I always say to set realistic goals, because then you don't get discouraged. Do something, and then set a new goal from there. I don't believe in a quick fix. I like making lifestyle changes.
What about all the Hollywood size zeros—how do you stay your same confident self?
I don't know if I'm just delusional or in my own little world, but I never thought I was big, even though I've always been super critiqued by everyone else. I feel like I was at my biggest when I was with Lamar, but he loved me so much, and I was so in love that I wasn't worried about it. So maybe that's where my confidence came from. I'm also lucky that I have such a great family. I'll send pictures of myself in some tight bodycon dress from back in the day on a group chat to my sisters and my mom, and I'll go, "Why would you guys let me wear this? It's not appropriate. I needed a bigger size!" They're like, "I swear—that's PhotoShop. You didn't look that way." Because they didn't see me that way.
Khloé's wearing: Nookie bodysuit ($160; nookie.com.au).
One thing that so many women admire about you is your strength, especially during tough times, like Lamar's health crisis. What kept you strong?
It's so interesting. This is kind of dark, but after that, my whole family changed all of their wills so that I would be their medical adviser, because you don't know how someone reacts until you're put in that situation—God forbid. No one should be put in those situations, but with that, I found strength from within. I was super calm, and I was more like, "It's greater than you," and you just get strength. I pray a lot. And I talk to my dad a lot.
Kendall said that if you were a Disney princess, you'd be Belle: "Bold, beautiful, imaginative, brave, protective, kind, accepting, stubborn, curious, outspoken, [and] independent."
Oh my gosh. I love that. I do feel like I would date the Beast. The Beast is, like, big and oversized. I didn't like when he turned into the prince. He was cooler as the Beast. My boyfriend's a cutie, so I do like big men.
You mean Tristan Thompson?
Yeah, Tristan. I'm five-ten, and he's six-nine. I love athletes. Someone who has the same interests as me, who likes to work out, like that's their hobby or their job, that's fine. Tristan is who I'm into. He's a little cutie.
At the end of your life, what do you want to be remembered for the most?
For me, it's more about how I made someone feel rather than what I did. I'd love for someone to be like, "I love the way she loved me."
Khloé's wearing: Lisa Marie Fernandez swimsuit ($415; net-a-porter.com).
Khloé in her own words
My favorite Snapchat filter is... The one that makes you look like you had a nose job. It's on all the time.
The best way to calm down after a long day is... A good bath and a glass of wine.
I would never try... Acting. Doing things, like, four times from different angles? I'm like, "No." It's so scary.
Star that could play me in the movie of my life... Drew Barrymore. I don't know her, but people say we have similar personalities.
The sister whose style I would bite is... Kylie or Kim's. It's a mixture.
You couldn't pay me a million dollars to eat... Pork. And I haven't had red meat in over 20 years.
Besides Good American, my favorite jeans are... Frame or Topshop.
I feel sexiest... After the gym. My skin looks really good, and I feel really accomplished.
The last thing I do before bed is... Say a prayer.
Styling by Monica Rose. Hair by César DeLeön Ramiréz Mizani Global Artistic Director at crowdMGMT. Makeup by Mary Phillips at Something Artists using Tom Ford Beauty. Manicure by Kimmie Kyees for Red Carpet Manicure.