Does Kim Kardashian Represent You?

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Despite my lack of interest in the Kardashian-Jenner-Whatever clan, Kim Kardashian’s recent stand up for women’s rights has piqued my curiosity.  She recently posted a nude selfie on Instagram, one of various she posts, with the tag line “When you’re like I have nothing to wear LOL”.  She was slut shamed and ridiculed both by celebrities and none celebrities alike.

Now don’t get me wrong, I get it in a way.  I get that the desire for fame is oozing out of her and her family, and I would assume that one of the other K-sisters has risen to fame exceeding hers, the model or the one who dates older guys perhaps?  A nude picture has always been the easy go-to attention grabber for women, and it’s easy to mock.  Bette Midler quipped that if Kim Kardashian wants us to see something new she’d need to swallow the camera.

However, as easily mockable as it may be, slut shaming is wrong and owning your body and your sexuality is every woman’s right.  If you want to post nude selfies go for it, it’s your body.  If you’re proud of how you look then show it off.  I genuinely think more of us should be proud of our bodies and I think there is nothing offensive wrong about a naked woman.  There is no denying Kim Kardashian is a beautiful woman and obviously has the sex appeal and looks that appeal to both the mass media and people alike.  If she wants to make money from her looks and her body then fair enough, do what you like my dear.

What niggles at me is this.  It’s not the nude selfie, it’s the comparison between her images and those by women such as Amy Schumer who recently posed nearly naked for the Pirelli Calendar featuring inspiring women.  She’s been called brave and standing up for women’s rights.  She’s been joined by another beautiful, slim, “perfect” woman, Emily Ratajkowski, for a further topless selfie to stick a finger up to those who criticized her.

Where Kim Kardashian is famous in a large part for her body and her sexuality, Amy Schumer is often ridiculed for being fat or unnattractive.  Kim is posed deliberately to enhance her physique and look sexually enticing.  Amy is photographed just in knickers with tummy rolls and cellulite and a “what can you do?” look on her face.  Kim Kardashian paid for so many of her assets that she’s showing off where as Amy Schumer just looks how she looks.

A woman should definitely have the right to express her sexuality and be confident in her body, no matter her shape or size.  And if you want to, and can afford to, pay for physical enhancements then you’re doing nothing wrong.  But, for me, Kim isn’t representing every woman’s rights because she’s so far removed from the every woman of the world.  She’s the perfect image most of us can never look like, she’s the rich and slim and perky that most of us can never achieve.  Women being naked and looking like her is what we’re exposed to day in day out in adverts, magazines, films and music videos.  There is nothing inspirational about seeing that because it’s all we see.  What we don’t see is women who look different to that, women who look less “perfect”.  Accepting a woman who looks like Kim Kardashian is what men and women are programmed to do from a young age and the pressure it puts on us to mirror that is unfathomable.

Just because there is nothing wrong with Kim Kardashian posing nude, which there isn’t, doesn’t mean she’s doing something women need to feel represented by.  Because I for one don’t.  I don’t support slut shaming, I don’t care if you want to show everything you’ve got, and I don’t care if you bought all of it.  I don’t.  But it doesn’t mean you’re doing something brave and I don’t think you’re standing up for women.  I think when women who are given abuse for their looks are willing to show the world that women do NOT look perfect, willing to make themselves vulnerable to stick a finger up to the constant barage of Kardashian and Ratajkowski images we’re lead to believe are normal, attainable and aspirational, that is brave.  That is representing women.  That is saying that you’re okay as you are and you don’t need those perfect large, perky boobs and tiny waist.  You can look just as you are and say you’re fine as you are.

If you want to look like a Kardashian, then that’s okay, but don’t buy into the belief that you need to in order to be attractive.  She’s a beautiful woman and an amazing figure, but you are worth more than you looks and your body.  If you want to post nude selfies to show off what you’ve got or receive accolades for your attractiveness, then go for it.  It is nobody’s business but your own and I hope you find the responses provide what you hope for.

But if you are so far removed from Kim Kardashian and her looks and her style as it can be, that doesn’t mean you’re not okay.  It doesn’t mean your body and your sexuality are less valid.  It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.  Indeed, if we saw more images of women who DON’T look like the Kardashians being revealed in their raw, vulnerable, naked and sexual states then we’d be better off as society.  Then Kim Kardashian might well be standing up for women’s rights because it wouldn’t be just one kind of body we’re exposed to.  She’d be one of us, one of the variety, one of the many.

You do not need to feel represented by Kim Kardashian, and you don’t need to feel like she’s fighting for your rights to be naked.  But you can accept her for who she is and how she looks without judgment and criticism.  Accept that women don’t always look like her, accept that women come in all shapes and sizes and are beautiful whether they want to share their bodies with the world or not.  Be you, let her be her, and leave each other be.

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