Kim Kardashian and the sexualisation of women. Is it really about empowerment?

Posted: March 11, 2016 in Popular Culture et al
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Kim KardashianThe internet has gone into meltdown over a teasing photo of celebrity Kim Kardashian (yes, she of the leaked sex video and numerous other public displays of flesh, some paid for, some leaked, and some just put out there) standing nekkid but censored in front of a mirror.

Commentators, especially other women like Bette Midler, have laid into KK for her posting of the photo, and a seemingly equal number have spoken up in her defence. Kardashian herself has defended her posting of the photo as “empowering”.

Surely the issue really in debate here is whether the relentless sexualisation of women in the media really is empowering to the women concerned or whether it merely contributes to a society where the first matter of interest in a woman is, by default, her sexual nature, which is very limiting.

Women should be able to “own” their sexuality without shame – sure, no issue at all, and we are big fans of #freethenipple – but where a woman is known for nothing but her sexuality (where her celebrity is merely a by-product of continually promoting her sexuality) then the message that sends other women is questionable, in our view.

Let us consider, for example, the effect of this bias in society on women who are not “conventionally attractive”, particularly women in the formative years of their life. Are the encouraged to measure themselves up against such images to determine if they are “acceptable”? What effect does this have on their morale, and sense of self?

We have zero objection to nudity. Or for that matter, a healthy sexuality, whatever form it takes. But we have a lot of concerns about what effect people like KK and her antics have on our broader society as a whole and its psychological health.

This is an issue that divides feminists, and it’s worth debating.

She is also, for the record, and the rest of her family, utterly boring.

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Comments
  1. underwriiter505 says:

    Since you bring it up (and heaven knows I agree with you) – has anyone mentioned that Kim’s caption was anything but empowering? How many years have we watched award shows where men are asked about their accomplishments and women are asked who designed their gowns? And in politics – in the 2014 election a Congresswoman (a combat veteran and double amputee) had her opponent say before their debate that all that was probably on her mind was what she was going to wear. I happen to love clothes – I’ve been both an amateur and professional costumer – but, you know, there are other things in life.

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