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Kim Kardashian West says pregnancy body shaming 'killed my self esteem': 'It was so nasty'

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Kim Kardashian West, pictured here on the red carpet, opened up about the body-shaming she experienced during her pregnancies. (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Kim Kardashian West, pictured here on the red carpet, opened up about the body-shaming she experienced during her pregnancies. (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Kim Kardashian is opening up about the emotional turmoil she experienced by the media during her first pregnancy.

While appearing on Kristen Bell and Monica Padman’s 10-episode limited series podcast, We Are Supported By, the reality star and fashion mogul spoke about the ramifications of social media trolling as well as the intense scrutiny she faced when trying to lose weight after giving birth to North, 8.

“I was not a good pregnant person. I was not a cute pregnant person. I did not like it,” Kardashian said. “I hated it. I hated how I felt. I hate how I looked. I was so used to seeing my mom pregnant, my sister pregnant and everyone looking so cute and having these easy deliveries and it was great and they snapped right back. That wasn’t me.”

To make matters worse, Kardashian said the media “really did brutalize me" after gaining 70 pounds. So much so that there were, she reported, covers of magazines comparing her to Shamu the whale with text asking: “Who wore it better?” She was also frequently compared with the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, was pregnant at the same time with Prince George. 

“It was really, really crazy,” she said of the commentary. “The Waif versus the Whale. it was so nasty. ... I can’t really believe it. I don’t think it would really fly today, but it killed my self-esteem. I can’t believe that this was acceptable and that this was OK.”

“I would sit at home and cry all the time. I had this condition called preeclampsia and I didn’t know that I had it. It's over-swelling in your feet and face,” she continued. “I had to deliver six weeks early with an emergency delivery and then I had another condition called Placenta accreta [when the placenta attaches itself too deeply and too firmly into the uterus] with both of my babies. It was insane.”

The experiences, she said, “changed how much I wanted to give” to the world and on social media. But more so, “it changed me as a person.”

Kardashian continued to feel the pressure long after pregnancy.

“We didn’t have a gym or anything and I was too embarrassed to go to a gym because I didn’t want people to look at me trying to lose weight,” she admitted. “I gained 70 pounds. I would sit in my mom’s garage and it was literally probably 115 degrees in Calabasas in the summertime. I’d have my daughter in a stroller and I’d sit her in there and I would just workout in the garage and try to do anything I could until I did it.”

When she lost the baby weight, Kardashian said she “felt better than ever and I was curvier than I was before. I just felt so good about myself.”

The scrutiny left invisible scars too deep to heal. “It really did change me and it made me pull back on what I shared [on social media] and just how much I wanted to give because I saw how nasty everyone was and it felt so bad.”

And while, Kardasian, who is recently divorced from Kanye West, the father of her four children — North, now 7, Saint, 5, Chicago, 3, and Psalm, 2 — certainly has gotten to a place where she's more comfortable in her skin and showing it off, she still wrestles with what she puts out on the internet. "There is definitely a side of me that's like be who you want to be and post what you want to post," she says. "Then there's the other side of me that's like oh I'm a mom, I'm 40, I gotta chill. I definitely wrestle with that idea in my mind."