Check yourself(ie)

[May this be the first and last time I talk about Kim Kardashian on this blog.]

Yesterday I saw this response to the recent uprise that ensued after she shared a self-censored nude selfie (nudie?) on Instagram. I laughed – but mostly at the phrase “thick as oatmeal”. I thought that was a beautiful use of the English language.

Screenshot_2016-03-09-23-13-48_edited

“Samesies” stopped my laughing though. No, guy, you are not the same. Not at all. You will never have to experience the same flack as any woman will for exposing your body. You do not belong in the gender group where your body is oversexualised every single time. You can upload a photo like this and it can be a joke, but I have yet to see that with a woman. No matter what we do – how much or how little we cover our bodies up – we do so because of how a woman’s body is always sexual.

I didn’t care for Kim Kardashian’s post because it’s another example of how she capitalises on how the warped – and often contradictory – approach society has to women, their bodies and their sexualities. Sure, it is impressive how well she markets herself and how well she uses unoriginal products to maintain her social status. But the reason why her toddler can wear a fur coat and her stepsister can afford to have her lips plumped before she left school started off with a sex tape. I am not condemning sex tapes at all, but she did optimise it for capital gains. Everything she does with her body is done because she knows the attention she gets will manifest into a thicker bank account. I don’t respect that. Women already struggle with being seen as something other than sexual beings.

I myself am struggling to figure out the balance between respecting my body in that it should not be a spectacle and knowing that nudity is not wrong. Perhaps I am a prude, but I think the way she often flaunts herself is unnecessary. But then again, when was Kimmy K ever necessary? I love how proud of her body she is – truly, it is looking beautiful – but there is a fine line between liberation and doing giving the audience exactly they want (even if they appear outraged by it). I struggle to believe that she did not love the attention she got from it. I think she’s an embodiment of the problem she fights a small part of.
I have my opinions, but she’s a grown woman and she does not need me to tell her how to live her life. I did not post a comment saying how she ought to think of her children, or calling her a slut, or commenting about how bad – or how good – I think her body is. It really is none of my business.

It is crazy that once a woman has a child, people seem to think her sole identity is being a mom. I’m relieved I don’t have to see photos of my own mom like that, but every woman – no matter what their profession, age or identity is – is still a sexual being. Every woman has the right to express their sexual identity as they please. I do not have to admire or appreciate every form of this expression, but I have to respect that that is their decision to make.

Nudity doesn’t equate a sexual appetite and a large sexual appetite is not bad – for anyone. I have my personal opinion about what “too much” sleeping around is and I apply that standard directly to my own life. To me, ‘slut’ is a person who sleeps around with a lot of people (according to my own standard) but that is STILL not an insult. I, however, will never appreciate using the act of sex to be malicious, hurt people or to get yourself ahead.

In the past, the media has openly insulted Kim for what her body looks like. I once read an article where she said that she stopped smiling for the paparazzi because she felt they didn’t deserve that after all they put her through. That really broke my heart. No-one ought to ever be humiliated like that. She will never be a Victoria’s Secret Model, but that does not mean her body is any less beautiful. She just had a child and she already looks so toned. I truly believe it is so great that she managed to fix what the media did to her and love her body. I think it’s inspirational – even to other celebrities.

What I’m trying to say is to stop. You are not her kid, you don’t have to worry about where to find a role-model. You are not her husband, who clearly loves her. If you don’t like her lifestyle, don’t keep up with it. It really is that simple.

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