Lucía Carrillo explores the public outcry concerning Kim Kardashian West’s naked selfie, and embraces what we can learn from the whole debacle.
Women are shamed for many things, and female celebrities face public shaming every single day. Apparently the more publicly known you are, the more shaming you have to deal with. Kim Kardashian West is a perfect example of this phenomenon, particularly as she is recognisable to almost every single person on the planet. And a few weeks ago, Kardashian West faced a pretty serious accusation of being a bad role model for young girls after she posted a nude selfie (a crime basically akin to murder). Another celebrity, actor Chloë Moretz, told Kim, “I truly hope you realize how important setting goals are for young women, teaching them we have so much more to offer than just our bodies.” While Moretz is right and women should absolutely be valued for more than their bodies, instructing another woman how to act or dress is a patriarchal voice in disguise.
Kim Kardashian has been shamed so many times in her life; For appearing on a reality TV show, for her sex tape 15 years ago, and for posting pictures of herself, naked or otherwise, on Twitter and Instagram. The negative reaction to Kardashian West’s selfie shows how frequently women are shamed, as the public seems to believe they have the right to voice an opinion. Commenting on women’s bodies and choices is an action the world has interiorized and normalized, when we should all be questioning the validity of our opinions, and the right to tell others how to live, appear, or even feel.
Before the haters start, I am not particularly a fan of Kim. However, I think it’s important to see her for what she is, and that’s an entrepreneur we can learn a few lessons from. So instead of shaming her, I invite Chloë Moretz and everyone who has ever criticized the reality star for a myriad of reasons, to consider some of the positive lessons we can draw from Kim Kardashian West.
1. BODY ACCEPTANCE
Kim Kardashian West’s body doesn’t fit the mould of what a socially acceptable body looks like. As such, by constantly sharing it, she is telling us that it is OK to love our bodies no matter what, because what matters most is having confidence in yourself.
Women don’t owe the world anything. They don’t. Women shouldn’t be blamed for living in a society in which the female body is objectified. By embracing her naked body, publicly, Kim Kardashian West is reclaiming her own objectification, and subverting the male gaze. West is not responsible for setting standards of what’s right and what’s wrong when it comes to appearing naked, appreciating her own body, or choosing how to dress.
Anyway, what’s wrong with a woman showing their body? Seriously, according to this logic, female bodies are a dangerous thing we should hide because it is unethical to show it off. The consequence of this is: seeing women’s bodies as something wrong apparently justifies any aggression that happens as a result. Ethically speaking, why is it supposedly more moral to condemn a woman’s naked body than to let her appear exactly as she chooses to?
While women definitely “have more to offer than just our bodies”, the simple act of showing our bodies DOES NOT IMPLY we don’t have anything else to offer. Like, what makes people think that by showing their body, a woman is accepting any outside objectification therein?
Kim Kardashian West is more than just her body. If you are criticizing her body, you are the one who is objectifying her and not acknowledging her accomplishments.
2. ATTITUDE TO PREGNANCY
In our society, pregnancy is considered a blessing, but it is not always the so-called beautiful experience we are programmed to believe. When we see a pregnant woman, we tend to congratulate them and have this image of a happy pregnancy in which the mother is always smiling and thinking of their future baby. But this is not the reality for many people, and Kim repeatedly spoke about how hard it was for her being pregnant. Kim opened up about the complications she faced when pregnant with Saint West (swollen feet, cramps, compressed spine) because yeah, pregnancy is not always dreamy. It’s a brave act of womanhood to go against the norm by admitting pregnancy wasn’t the magical event that society pressures us to believe it is.
3. IMPORTANCE OF SISTERHOOD
One of the most common phenomena instilled by the patriarchy is girl-on-girl hate. As if standing up to the actual patriarchy wasn’t hard enough for people everywhere, women are encouraged to bring other girls down by making hateful comments about their appearance, beliefs, and actions. I think most women can relate to this. When your ex is dating a new woman, we are supposed to hate that girl just because she is your ex’s girlfriend. Everyone expected that of Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian West. But according to Amber Rose, she and Kim Kardashian West are friends that text each other all the time and have a positive attitude towards each other. Recently, Kanye West tweeted some sexist comments about Amber during a feud with Amber’s ex-husband Wiz Khalifa. But Amber and Kim didn’t let it hurt their friendship and posted a picture on Instagram together. It’d be really great if women would cease slagging Kim off, as women get enough online hate for just being female as it is, right?
In this world, equality still isn’t a reality for everyone. Unfortunately, it can be quite unusual to see a woman with immense power and clout like Kim has. Historically, power has been distributed disparately, and it is common to see men leading big corporations and brands. However, Kim Kardashian West has her own business which she’s built herself with effort and patience. She built an extremely successful brand, whether you like it or not.
As far as I’m concerned, Kim Kardashian West can keep inspiring women! Fuck the haters.
Images: Giphy (5)
Lucía Carrillo is a writer and blogger, originally from Granada in Spain, who has written for sites and magazines like MOGUL and Cultura Colectiva. Lucía writes in English and Spanish about TV, feminism, and philosophy, and is also interested in space, time, and Artificial Intelligence. You can find her blog, Thinking About Causation, here. Lucía’s a feminist ukulele player who truly loves pizza, sweet potatoes, and chestnuts. Follow her on Instagram.