I was shocked at the amount of negative comments I was hearing about Paper Magazine’s “Break the Internet” featuring Kim Kardashian, probably because I prefer to live in my own perfect world where Kim is respected for the goddess she really is.
I was even more shocked at the amount of my female peers that were hating on my girl Kim K, unoriginally repeating “we all know how she got famous” and insisting that her spread was inappropriate because “she is a mom.”
The photos in reference were shot by renowned photographer Jean-Paul Goude as a replica of his 1976 photograph of Carolina Beaumont called “The Champagne Incident”.
According to International Business Times, Goude’s art is known for his cartoonish style, surreal and often racially problematic images of women’s bodies.
On the surface, I appreciate these photos for their playfulness, but underneath Goude creates a problem of exoticizing and fetishizing women of color’s bodies, quoting in People magazine in 1979 that he has jungle fever. Kim is known for her bangin’ curves, especially her larger derrière, and it is not too far fetched to say that without which, she would not be as famous as she is.
Kim Kardashian first became famous as a socialite through her friendship with Paris Hilton and media interest increased with her father being a defense lawyer for O.J. Simpson. Her fame did spike with the 2007 leak of her sex tape with former singer and boyfriend Ray J from 2003, and even more so with her family’s reality TV deal with E! later that year.
Since then, she has endorsed several products, acted and appeared in television and movies, produced multiple fragrances and a makeup line, came out with a clothing line for Sears, owns several Dash boutiques, dabbled in music, worked with charities and came out with her own video game which is now more popular and grosses more than Candy Crush.
So, no, Kim did not become famous over the betrayal of another man, rather she turned a crappy situation into her advantage.
So when did becoming a mom mean that you lose rights to sexuality? I invite you to sit back and sip on your boxed wine because I got news for you, babies are made by women getting down and dirty. A woman can be sexy at any age in any form if they want to be, regardless of what came out of their vagina. The fact that people still think they can police women’s bodies and expression is utterly ridiculous and bores me to hell and back. I actually love these photos more because of the fact that she is a mother, she shows that you can still be sexy and playful as a mom, curing my fears of getting old and crusty.
One of my favorite things about feminism is a movement towards being able to be proud and expressive of your sexuality while still being a woman, two things that butted heads in the past, but Kim and her peer Beyoncé have walked all over prehistoric ideals of how a mother should be.
Be bitter all you want about Kim K and Queen B, but who is signing those checks and taking them to the bank? Kim was not even paid for her “Break the Internet” spread but look how much she has you hating. You are literally just fueling her fame.
Goude’s art may be problematic and questionable, but Kim Kardashian is not. She embodies sexuality and womanhood and will keep pushing boundaries towards a more open minded, feminist-friendly world, and for that I could not be more grateful.