beauty

The one thing Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez should not feel they have to defend.

Image: Instagram.

Pink has defended herself about it, Giuliana Rancic is constantly attacked for it and Kelly Clarkson has spoken out about it numerous times.

Now Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez are the latest women drawn into the debate.

We’re talking about “fat shaming”, where female celebrities are attacked by news outlets and trolls about their appearance.

RELATED: Chrissie Swan doesn’t have time for fat jibes: “Tell me something I don’t know.”

Take Kylie Jenner, for instance. For months, speculation has focussed on her lips and her body, with each and every movement meticulously analysed by the press – and by her fans and followers alike.

It’s now at the point where she’s apologising for her body before anyone has the chance to comment.

Jenner originally captioned the below photo, “behind the scenes. (Yes I gained weight there I said it so u (sic) don’t have too) :)” before changing it minutes later to “behind the scenes”.

Image (@kyliejenner)

After recently admitting that lip fillers are the secret behind her much-admired pout, she confessed to the effect extreme scrutiny and judgement has on her self esteem.

"Everyone always picks us apart. I want to admit to the lips, but people are so quick to judge me on everything, so I might have tiptoed around the truth, but I didn't lie," she said.

RELATED: People are taking the #KylieJennerChallenge with catastrophic results – and now Kylie’s responded

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It's sad. Yes, she's grown up in the spotlight but that doesn't make her immune to nasty comments and judgements. She's 17 years old. We all remember what being 17 was like - at that age your body is still changing, still growing. (Post continues after gallery.)

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"Body shaming can be detrimental," says psychologist and director of Blue Horizon Counselling Yuliya Richard.

"First of all, it impacts on the confidence and self-esteem of young women. It can also redirect attention away from their talents, development, skills and other creative areas of a woman’s life," she says.

"While girls are still growing up and developing it is far better to help them to find a way to express themselves creatively."

RELATED: “Body-shaming in all forms is inexcusable”: Isabelle Cornish shuts down her critics

Actress Selena Gomez also found her weight and body the hot topic of discussion after pictures of her in a bikini on holiday in Mexico caused people to comment that she looked like she'd "put on a few pounds".

Luckily, just as Pink and Kelly Clarkson have done previously, Gomez responded with grace and a positive attitude.

Posting a candid photo by the pool, the 22 year-old wrote "I love being happy with me y'all #theresmoretolove."

Image via Instagram (@selenagomez)
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While it's great to see the unwarranted criticism tackled with such maturity, the fact remains - she should never have felt like she had to in the first place.

Richards argues that having to constantly apologise for, and acknowledge, the way their bodies look, is particularly damaging for young women like Gomez and Jenner.

"It has been reported that among the people who have developed an eating disorder, it happened before the age of 20," she says.

RELATED: Portia De Rossi has a message for eating disorder sufferers

Worryingly, it's not just the women being targeted who are affected.

According to Richard, this kind of dialogue only helps to perpetuate the notion that there is only one acceptable way a woman's body should look.

"Not only do we measure celebrities by these expectations, we also apply them to ourselves. What a hopeless pursuit," she agrees.

It's disappointing that the self-worth of these incredibly successful women seems to boil down to their appearance.

Pink body shamer response
Pink, and her daughter Willow, in the photo that prompted her response to body shamers.
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The solution? It all comes down to attitude.

"First of all, we need to ask who is doing the body shaming. Who are they? Why do we measure women and girls according to some kind of unrealistic picture? Why do we continue to focus on the body, instead of talents, volunteer work, special skills or unique personalities?" Richard says.

RELATED: Pink shuts down body haters in the way only she could

"We should ask more questions about who the shamers are, instead of what our bodies look like." (Post continues after gallery.)

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So how about we stop with the body shaming, and stop expecting celebrities to waste their time addressing it.

Do you think the focus on women's bodies has gone too far?

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