If, like me, when scraping the barrel for methods of procrastination you ashamedly find yourself on the Daily Mail ‘TV and Showbiz’ App, you will have noticed the astonishing volume of photos that capture Kim Kardashian-West recently parading about in a selection of mesh ensembles, frankly exposing her nipples. Whilst Kanye is seemingly supportive of his wife’s ‘freedom of expression:’ in a Harper’s Bazaar interview West compares Kim’s infamous nude selfie to ‘a Renaissance thing, a painting, a modern version of a painting […] to not show it would be like Adele not singing,’ others appear to celebrate her as a Kultural (ha) feminist icon, a #freethenipple poster girl. Creator and star of Girls Lena Dunham has openly praised the Kardashian Klan’s celebration of ‘sister-hood,’ and when asked about Kim’s naked self-portrait on Power Women breakfast responded, ‘I’m all about it. Every version of being female and feeling powerful is f*cking great with me. I don’t have a problem with it.’
Whilst I don’t have any issue with personal modesty, in fact I’m all for the liberation of the nipple, can we really consider Kim’s display of the female body a calculated form of feminist protest? We must remember that this is a woman whose entrepreneurial worth is founded upon the notion that sex sells: who turned that Ray-J video into a capitalist venture, exploiting those ‘notorious’ curves. Kim’s exhibition of her areolas is a business decision: intending to attract the male gaze and propagate her sexualised self-image (the sales of her latest GQ cover) as opposed to a celebration of self-love and the female form. Kim Kardashian is a figure that symbolises a world in which women must sell their bodies as a means of advancement. As Charlotte Gill points out in The Independent, ‘if anything, through their work Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski [the Blurred Line’s boob girl] have promoted unrealistic ideals for women, many of whom will never be able to achieve the look they both can.’ Kim’s body is a commodity not a symbol of feminist progression.
Ever one for media attention, Kim cleared up any debate regarding her nakedness in a recent blog post on her App entitled “Why I Don’t Label Myself a Feminist” in which she states, ‘I don’t like labels. I just think I do what makes me happy.’
Kim has thus made this article irrelevant; there is no feminist agenda, no business savvy consideration. Kim apparently just likes getting her nips out.