I’ve been thinking since this whole thing started, ‘Just ignore it. It’ll go away,’ kind of like the pimple that springs out on the end of your nose like an extra head when you have a special occasion coming up. And that’s true to some extent, it will. But when it does, a new one will spring up in its place. And I’ve never been one to ignore a pimple, so I didn’t have much of a chance of ignoring this either.
I imagine it’s difficult for anyone (who doesn’t live under a rock) to ignore something that streaks – quite literally- down your computer screen every few posts, and after reading the multitude of opinions given on the topic, I’ve decided to include my one herein. You can read it. You can ignore it. You can do practically whatever you want with it. That’s the wonderful thing about opinions.
I’ll begin by saying, I am completely neutral on the subject of Kim Kardashian as a person. I’ve never met her. I don’t know her. So I’ll leave that part out of my writing and focus solely on the subject of her anatomy, as I have become, in recent years, quite familiar with it.
So far, the most prevalent arguments on the topic seem to be as follows:
1. She’s a role model for young girls and displaying nudity of any kind is therefore wrong and unconscionable because it gives young girls the idea that they have to be willing to show their bodies in order to be noticed or have feelings of worth.
2. Her body somehow promotes the unrealistic version of beauty that is propagated by the American media as a whole.
3. She is a mother, which means that she can in no way take part in anything that can be construed as sexual in nature ever again. Ever.
4. (My personal favorite) She is propagating misogynistic stereotypes.
Let’s take it from the top, shall we? She is a role model. First, this is ludicrous. She is a human being. I could be considered a role model, in the very loosest sense. Does that mean that everything I do has to be befitting an upstanding citizen of the world? No. No one expects me to be perfect on a daily basis. No one would say, “Oh, that Lu, she’s terrible for our children because she cusses like a sailor.” Okay, to be fair, they might say that. But I wouldn’t do that around your children, if I wanted to be around your children. And as far as I’m aware, Kim Kardashian has never expressed any desire to be around your children. She didn’t pose nude on the cover of Highlights to be inappropriately colored in the Doctor’s office waiting room. She did an adult thing on the cover of a magazine that is geared toward adults. If you don’t want your children to see it, police your children, not her.
Moving on from that soap box, I ascend #2. The unrealistic beauty standards argument. Now, you will get no beef from me for saying that America, as a whole, supports an unrealistic standard of beauty. We do. Nuff said. As someone who’s struggled with weight issues my entire life, I know exactly how difficult it is to keep seeing these images in the media that say, “You’re not beautiful if you don’t look like —insert celebrity name here—” Call me crazy, but I think this is possibly one situation where that argument doesn’t apply. No one is telling me to follow ‘8 Simple Tricks’ or ‘5 Easy (Not at all) Workouts’ or saying that if I live off a diet of kale and unprocessed cheese, I will one day look precisely like Kim Kardashian, if I just have enough will power to follow through. Nope. It’s an interview that merely talks about how famous she is, citing her ‘eating pound cake’ and going through ‘hours of hair and make-up.’ That doesn’t really sound so unrealistic to me. It sounds entirely realistic. In one Kim-bashing article I did read, the author says that the problem is she has an ‘unrealistic waistline.’ I wonder, what exactly constitutes a ‘realistic’ waistline. She is, as far as I know, still breathing and supporting her weight on her own, without using any harnesses or rigs that one can see. So, I presume it’s real. If we’re talking about real by definition as ‘without the benefit of plastic surgery,’ well that I can’t and won’t comment on. Because if she’s had surgery that’s none of my business.
So, instead, I’ll move to #3. She’s a mom, and mom’s shouldn’t be sexy or sexual. To that, I merely say, that’s just fucking ignorant, and we’ll press forward to #4. No reason to dawdle.
Oh. Here we go. I saved the best for last. Propagating stereotypes. I feel like this card gets played like a Wild card in Uno. If you don’t like something, pull it out and change the game. Now, I’m not saying that Kim Kardashian is not propagating stereotypes. Far from it. What I’m saying is, who isn’t? Should it be that way? Nope. But let me put it to you this way, is every girl who gets dressed up as a ‘sexy nurse’ or who takes a nude selfie berated in a public forum for propagating stereotypes? No. Nor should they be. They are doing what they please, and they should be allowed to continue doing so. So, is berating Kim Kardashian in a public forum about her choice to display her body in any way she pleases okay? No. Maybe she’s setting the feminist movement back 100 years. I don’t think so, but for the sake of argument, let’s say yes. Maybe she’s outright saying that women are only of value as sexual objects. Maybe she’s just posing nude for a magazine to get attention. Valid points. But when we start belittling her for showing her body, aren’t we also propagating the stereotype that women’s bodies should be kept under wraps? That a strong woman can’t own her nudity in any way she sees fit? That she can’t be proud of her body and just want to show it off for fun or for money or because she gets off on it or for any other reason under the sun? No. What we’re doing is saying she doesn’t have the choice to do that without fear of an onslaught of malicious attacks, generally from her own gender. And that’s where the world becomes a little sadder place.
So, what I’m saying at the end of all this is…everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, but let’s be honest about where those opinions come from. Maybe we just need to turn those pointed fingers right back around, accept a little more responsibility for the world on our own heads, and not place our high hopes for changing societal problems squarely on the shoulders of one woman.
For the record, Mrs. Kardashian-West, if you’re reading this (which you aren’t), I think your ass is beautiful, and if I had one just like it, I’d treat mine the same way…only minus the Kanye part.