Unless you’ve holidayed in a far off land, been residing in a nuclear bunker or have successfully avoided the internet for the past few days (how!?) you’ll have heard about Kim K’s recent nude selfie. If you haven’t had the pleasure of viewing it yourself, here it is in all its glory:
This picture has left the Internet divided. Half the internet arguing the photo helps female empowerment, the other half calling her out for being a mum and a terrible role model. Everyone has had something to say about this photo; even Piers Morgan weighed in on it.
The photo has even inspired a few copycats:
In sum: This photo is a really big deal.
I don’t sit in either of these camps, because I can’t work out if I think this photo is a wonderful thing for female empowerment, or if it unintentionally objectifies women, and therefore takes an ironic step away from empowering women.
Kim herself said; “I am empowered by my body. I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin. I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me. And I hope that through this platform I have been given, I can encourage the same empowerment for girls and women all over the world.”
I’m very pleased that Kim is confident in her body, and I couldn’t agree more that women need to see themselves in a more positive light; women are bombarded every day with what it means to look like the “ideal women” a picture often seen as someone impossibly thin, with a voluptuous bum, large breasts and a perfectly symmetrical face. This isn’t reality. Very few women look like this, and the rest of the female population should not feel intimidated or inferior because they do not meet this almost unobtainable perfection. Kim’s picture is helpful in this respect because Kim doesn’t have the typical “model physique” most women so greatly desire, so kudos to her for acknowledging her beauty and sexuality.
The issue I have with this picture is the way that she is expressing herself. The picture is clearly sexual; I believe she herself would admit that. So I find myself wondering; is that not just taking a big step back for feminism? Women don’t want to be seen as just “a body” ready to be objectified. Women are so much more than that. This picture drew so much attention because she is so blatantly posing in such a sexual manner while nude. By posting this, Kim is opening herself up to allow the world to make comments about her body, and objectify her based upon her looks, making any well-intentioned “female empowerment” ideals somewhat redundant.
I firmly disagree with everyone claiming that she is a poor role model. Kim Kardashian is hugely successful and a clever businesswoman. Additionally, claiming a person can’t take photos like that because “they’re a mum” is like running back to the Dark Ages. Mums can still flaunt their sexuality. Having a child doesn’t mean donning a chastity belt and vowing to never take naked snaps again – so long as Kim realises that her children will one day see these photos (and I’m sure she does and doesn’t mind) I see nothing wrong with the photo from this perspective.
I do hope this photo serves some good by helping women to feel more confident with their bodies; I just hope it is not at the price of men seeing women’s bodies are purely something to drool over and make crude comments about.