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#BreakTheInternet: Kim K Full Mooning Her Way to the Top

Hark! Kim Kardashian’s moon is quite *ahem* full tonight…

Photo: Paper magazine http://www.papermag.com

 

Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit feeds have probably been drowning with photos of Kim Kardashian’s sizable derriere and very naked body for the Paper magazine cover and spread in its campaign to “break the Internet.”

Many reactions to the marketing ploy echo shouts of disdain and contempt, demanding that Kardashian “put some clothes on” and remember that “she is a mother.” In my opinion, this woman’s “fame” started with the circulation of a sex tape, ran its course through a barbaric (yet wildly entertaining) reality television show and has cherry-on-topped with perpetual unabashed nudity. This sort of publicity stunt is the number one way Kardashian (and her family, for that matter) manages to stay relevant.  It’s her claim to fame.

While the photo spread is unquestionably great press both for Paper and for Kardashian herself (still waiting with bated breath for it to quite literally#BreakTheInternet…?), but  it is exceptionally damaging in its contribution to the ever-growing list of societal expectations dictating the way a woman’s body should look. In her book, Bossypants, Tina Fey hits this issue’s nail right on its head:

“I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful.

Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyoncé and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits,” Fey wrote. “The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”

Not only does Kardashian’s move perpetuate unrealistic expectations for females, it encourages the idea that the best way for a woman to be noticed (i.e. “break the Internet”) is by turning into an to an object for the sexual gratification of others, to submit to the male gaze. Society will be better off if these photos are seen through a perceptual lens in acknowledgment of the unrealistic body image ideals and blatant promotion of sexual objectification.

2 Responses to “#BreakTheInternet: Kim K Full Mooning Her Way to the Top”

  1. ChelleBelle

    God I love Tina Fey, and after reading this quote I NEED to read her book!! Also, the fact that this is obviously retouched makes it even more sickening. It’s like saying “Curves are great, but only if they’re on your ass and chest and you MUST have zero body fat elsewhere.” Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    Reply
  2. TheRadicalRadish

    I agree with your conclusion in that Kim K is furthering the idea that in order for women to get attention, we should show some skin. Seeing how much attention this photo gained demonstrates how willing people, both men and women, are to look at the female body and make a judgement. I do also agree that it is wrong for people to say “she’s a mother” and “cover up” because of her familial status.

    On the other hand, I disagree with one of your points. I do not think Kim Kardashian is furthering the unrealistic body image expectations society has for women. If anything, she is a product of it. Kim K is a reality TV star, a millionaire, and a model, and by those three descriptions, she fits the mold America has made for her. I think the problem is when there are women in positions of power that the media then criticize for looking a certain way – for having too much or too little of a certain characteristic or physical attribute. To me, THAT is when pressure is put on women to look a certain way, not when Kim K plans a nude photoshoot to up her publicity. Like you mentioned yourself, this photoshoot was a publicity stunt, which just makes me look at that image, and think only about Kim K, not how I as a woman should feel pressured to look like her.

    And lastly, I have a couple qualms with that Tina Fey quote. I love Tina Fey, and I’m totally a huge fan, BUT that quote from Bossypants is problematic for a couple reasons. Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé didn’t add to the laundry list of what women should look like – they made women with different bodies (specifically, women of color) come in to the limelight and made society accept their bodies. J-Lo and Beyoncé showed women that we could be dark, brown, and speak another language and view ourselves as beautiful, which much of society didn’t want then (and still doesn’t want today).

    Just some food for thought!

    Reply

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