Welcome to my very first book review. Before I get into the review, I just want it to be known that I LOVE to read. Over the past few years, I haven’t always found the time to sit down and process an entire book, but I figured now would be a great time to start setting aside a few minutes each day to read something.
Now, to address the elephant in the room – yes, I did indeed read Strong Looks Better Naked by Khloe Kardashian. I read this book cover to cover over the span of one week and I am officially ready to disclose my honest thoughts on this piece of ” literature “. Let me be the first to clarify that I am not a Kardashian hater, nor am I a Kardashian fan. In fact, unless there is something outrageous about them in the news (such as Kim’s unfortunate Paris robbery or her 72 day marriage to Kris Humphries), I downright forget they even exist! Typically, I’ll laugh and relate to everyone’s displeasure when I hear them complain about Kim K, her fam, and how they have no real talent. They are not famous for talent, but rather for scandal and controversy.
The only time I truly find myself defending the Kardashian family is on the subject of beauty and personal image. As many know, I am partially Middle Eastern. Before the Kardashians came along, it was NOT considered cool – much less attractive – to be Middle Eastern. Aside from the lovely Princess Jasmine from Disney’s Aladdin, there was little to no sign of Middle Eastern beauty on television or media in general. As a little girl, I did look up to Princess Jasmine. However, that only lasts so long and, not to be a wet blanket, but she’s a cartoon! Not even a human being! That being said, I can’t help but have a shred of respect for this particular group of partially Middle Eastern women and the fact that they essentially pioneered a movement into accepting a new culture on American television. Although their roots are Armenian and mine are Iranian, I still acknowledge that seeing them in the spotlight has helped me feel a little bit more normal about my ethnicity and overall appearance than I did when I was eight-years old and saw only blond hair and blue-eyed little girls on my screen.
I guess that’s enough of my rambling as I know you’re all here to learn about Khloe and her first book, Strong Looks Better Naked. Let’s jump into the review!
~ Breakfast with Khloe ~
Location: Holy Matcha @ North Park, SD!
This book is separated into three sections – Past 1: Body, Part 2: Mind, and Part 3: Heart.
In the first section, Body, Khloe focuses her writing on a very lonely, yet enlightening, time in her life. She was in the middle of her marriage to former-basketball star, Lamar Odom, and living in Dallas, Texas. Although she mentions many wonderful aspects of relocating with her then-husband, she also sadly notes that for the very first time in her life she had no family or close friends around her. I can imagine she must’ve felt incredibly isolated, given she’s used to being surrounded by such a large family in California and always having a trail of paparazzi pursuing her every move.
As Khloe elaborated on her lack of social interaction, she also makes a point to acknowledge her own unhealthy behaviors – this includes overeating out of boredom and having an unhealthy obsession with crunchy food, like pita chips! Now, you all might be wondering if this entire section is just a big self-deprecating ploy to get sympathy from readers. It’s not. I promise.
Khloe goes into great detail on how she found solace in working out and escaping the stresses of her everyday life at the gym. First as a hobby and time killer, then as a hardcore routine and lifestyle change. She decided on her own terms to become the healthiest version of herself, which I find to be pretty damn admirable. She claims that, prior to becoming a familiar face in Hollywood, she never considered herself to be ” the fat Kardashian sister ” as many of the evil invisible trolls who work for the media categorize her. In a way, I feel like I can relate to Khloe and a few of her struggles as illustrated in this section of her book.
I have never in my life been called ” fat “, but I have DEFINITELY been a victim of body-shaming from people who claim that I’m ” too thin ” or ” too small “. The reality is, I am underweight. BUT I’m working on it, and I’m doing so on my own terms with the help of some really knowledgeable friends and my own personal research. I’m trying to gain muscle weight and find a fitness routine that can allow me to reach a healthy weight that aligns with my height and nutritional needs.
Speaking of nutritional needs – Khloe’s book also includes a number of recipes that have helped her to maintain her weight loss. Some of these recipes sounds genuinely tasty, but I’m not much of a cook so I doubt I will get any use of them (sorry, not sorry). However, I decided to quote one here so you can get an idea of what Khloe and her fam like to eat and also helps them to maintain their famous figures – you’re welcome!
” Kucumber Krazed – Serves 2
This delicious and refreshing salad is my summer go-to meal. The lemon vinaigrette gives it a tangy zing!
1 grilled or roasted chicken breast
2 cucumbers, sliced
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 sliced red onion
1/3 cup pitted and chopped black olives
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
Pinch sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
- Finely chop or shred the chicken
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken with the other salad ingredients
- In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and whisk thoroughly
- Toss the salad with the lemon vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste. The dressing may also be served on the side. “
Ahh memories. . .
In this section of the book, Khloe brings to light many of the most difficult moments of her life. The most tragic being the passing of her father, Robert Kardashian Sr. She explains that she was in great denial when first hearing the sad news from her oldest sister, Kourtney, that their father died and how hysterical she became later at his funeral. Khloe is typically portrayed as a tough girl who is in control of her emotions, but this section undoubtedly displays her vulnerability and a hidden emotional side that viewers hardly see on the hit show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
According to her book, she decided to change her life by thinking about things from a more positive perspective. Wow, what a new concept! Although this idea isn’t necessarily the most original or revolutionary, you have to admit that sometimes we all need a reminder that life isn’t total shit. I just never, ever thought that reminder would take the form of a Kardashian. I can honestly say that there are quite a few cliché phrases in this section, so if #MotivationMonday isn’t your thing – then I’d probably steer clear of this book.
I will add, however, that Khloe is a great example of someone who pretty much blossomed in front of the whole world and is living to tell the tale of redemption and the power of positivism. She had to live through the embarrassment and shame of having her older sister’s sex tape leaked to the public (pretty much anyone with access to the internet), a troubled and unfaithful husband who was on the verge of death, and the never-ending scrutiny of the media judging any decision she makes. I cannot even begin to imagine the toll that could take on someone’s mental health. Yes, she is a millionaire with undeniable privilege, but I don’t think I would wish any of those things on my worst enemy (well, let me think . . .).
We have officially reached the final section, Heart.
Give yourself a round of applause for making it this far into my book review!
Now, if I had to choose, this might be my favorite part of the book because it details something that is very important, but too often forgotten. That would be forgiveness and compassion. I like to think that I do a decent job of utilizing my forgiving and compassion muscles on a daily basis, but I’m not perfect.
This section highlights one of the most shocking and controversial events in Kardashian history, the transition of Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn Jenner. Although the entire section itself is not dedicated to Caitlyn, this is where Khloe shares her raw emotions of discovering that her step-father of 22 years, Bruce Jenner, was in the process of becoming a woman. Khloe remembers feeling betrayal and confusion. She also acknowledges her disappointment in the infamous Diane Sawyer interview that Bruce Jenner took part of before ultimately making her worldwide debut as Caitlyn.
For a majority of the transition process, Khloe was resentful towards Cailtyn because she felt as though she was losing her father-figure. I can perfectly comprehend Khloe’s state of mind. She had already lost her biological father and now she had to cope with losing the man who stepped in to raise her and her siblings as if they were his own. I think anyone in her shoes would be upset and hurt, but in the same breath, a breakthrough had occurred. Khloe explains how she would notice Caitlyn’s demeanor and how ecstatic she was to be herself.
In a direct quote from the book, Khloe says, ” Later, however, I was truly happy for Bruce. If this is what he wanted, who was I to tell him he was wrong? He wasn’t grumpy anymore, that’s for sure! He seemed relieved and genuinely happy. He was about to begin the next chapter of his very unusual life, and it was clear he was excited about it. Cailtyn was finally free! ”
She then goes on to explain that we never truly know what another is dealing with internally, and this is the exact reason why we should all exercise forgiveness and compassion in unison. I can honestly say as someone who has received a thousand and one second chances, I try my best to look at people with an open heart. I have forgiven a lot of people and many have forgiven me. It’s kind of therapeutic to forgive because it’s like you’re releasing a ball of tension that was causing you pain and sadness.
Khloe ends her book with an early memory of her late father. How he used to talk with her every night before bed and asked about her day. For every negative she presented, her father would turn it around and make it a positive learning experience and a prayer. I think this sentiment is very cute and knowing things like that about the Kardashians almost makes me look at them in a more humanized manner. Not to say they are monsters or anything as such, but the drama and fame and all the extra-ness sometimes gets in the way of seeing them as relatable people. I mean, it’s not like we all walk around in Balmain and travel the world, am I right?
In conclusion, would I recommend this book?
I would only if you are a fan of the Kardashians and have a general understanding of their lives. It was a fast read, however, I don’t see myself rereading this particular book. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad or poorly written – I just am not HUGE on self-help type of books. On the flip side, it also makes a pretty coffee table book. Thanks for reading my insanely long review! I hope it answered everything you wanted to know about Strong Looks Better Naked by Khloe Kardashian.
Strong Looks Better Naked by Khloe Kardashian is available at Urban Outfitters!
Retails for $16.00