Is Kim Kardashian a Naked Human Rights Activist?
I’m as guilty as the next pop-culture fiend for Keeping up with the Kardashians. They are an example of leveraging every ounce of their person – real and fabricated - for fame. Whether or not you like their motives or tactics, there’s not much point in trying to deny their influence.
Here are some quick numbers. Instagram alone has the five sisters coming in at 250.5 million followers (Kim - 63.8 million; Kourtney – 36 million, Khloe – 44.7 million; Kendall – 51.6 million; and Kylie - 54.4 million). Kim Kardashian is rumoured to make $50,000 and up for appearances. Bazinga! Life & Style reports that the Kardashian-Jenner family has a collective net worth for $300 million.
We watch. They know we watch. Because they know we watch, they continue to give us something to talk about. Most recently, the Internet is all-abuzz with Kim’s nearly nude selfie. One part of me gets it: she has a gorgeous body and that is interesting to humans. The other part of me goes, yeah, it’s just another nude body, who cares?
Since the posting there seems to be two sides yelling at one another (and her). The one side is quick to want to shame her for sharing her nude. Their argument is something along the lines of showing your naked body is wrong/shameful/lazy/slutty. Please note these are not MY words. The other side is complimentary towards her and the stunt. Something along the lines of if you’ve got it, and want to flaunt it, then flaunt it.
And then there’s me. I’m looking at this from a slightly different angle. I’m curious mostly what many are not saying: we tend to be critical towards women who choose to flaunt their bodies. Sometimes members of our society will go so far as to weaponize a women’s own body and try to use it against her. Insinuating that by being naked you are hurting others. Cutting through the layered bullshit, the notion that nakedness is wrong for women. Some go so far as to write open posts offering their unsolicited help. Patronizing, much?
Of course this is not the first (or last) time that overt sexual nature publicly posted (or privately hacked into and leaked) has been put on blast. Remember Miley Cyrus at the VMAs? How about Ciara taking a hit for her look while singing at a football game? Or what about Justin Bieber's bits exposed while on a sunny vacation? The thing that rubs me the wrong way is that the first two examples, both female subjects, received relentless hate, while the third, a male subject, was dismissed as nothing to bat an eyelash at.
Boys can be boys but girls can’t? Is there a rulebook for critiquing naked celebrities I’m unaware of?
Maybe more pragmatically, why are we so fussed about nudity? There’s nothing really to talk about from a style point of view because they are not wearing anything. The lack of clothing is the point. Thus, I am sartorially bored. I am, however, sympathetic as a human when people are unjustly treated differently based solely on gender. WTF.
I am an advocate for equality in every way. While work continues on the legal rights (hello, wage gap) maybe a place to start is treating everyone the same. I guess a thank you is in order: thanks, Kim for taking one for the team because at least we are talking more intelligently about it all.
The next time you hear about a nude picture, do what you want, just don’t tell someone else, man or woman, what THEY should do.