By now, you are probably aware of the nude photos that Kim Kardashian recently had put on the cover of Paper Magazine. I am not going to post them in this article – if you want to see them, they are easy to find.
Anytime something like this arises and there is a little (or a lot) of backlash from the public, people tell us to stop talking about it. “Just don’t mention it, that’s what she wants.”
I think this is missing the point of what is being said. Just because there are conversations and attention swirling around an event, does not mean that good or the intended kinds of attention are being brought to it.
We should be talking about these photos, because not only have we [as society] made this possible in the first place, but it is coming back around and messages are being sent to our youth that, well, shouldn’t be.
This may be a bit of an extreme case but I often think back to medieval times. The times of knights and kings and gladiators. It was a barbaric society, yes – but it was a society that valued honor. A society where people would strive for their names to echo through centuries because of great accomplishments or accolades in battle.
Today – we idolize Kim Kardashian.
Now, I am not going to say anything bad personally about Kim. I know people who are friends with her and I’m sure she is a perfectly nice girl in person. I am not going to say she shouldn’t be doing this because she’s a mother, or a wife, or make any sort of comment about what her body looks like. I think those things all have their own conversations that can happen around them – but I think it needs to be said that Kim Kardashian’s nude photos are a good example of how you need to keep pushing the envelope in order to stay famous when there is no real reason you’re famous in the first place.
As a society, we uplift those who are beautiful, who are wealthy, who are essentially mantelpieces. Do I value beauty? Of course. Do I strive to be wealthy? Of course. But do I think those are benchmarks of how we should measure a person and their stature in society? No.
Where are the magazine spreads for kindness? For empathy? For integrity? Or any of the other qualities that should be valued far above beauty or wealth?
Some people, like Kim, got lucky in the gene pool by no virtue of their own. Why do we value this so much as a society? Why do we put it on a pedestal? There are plenty of members of the human race who are where they are simply because of the family they happened to be born into. This goes for those both fortunate, and unfortunate.
Just as we do not look down on the poor children in third world countries who did not choose their place of birth, we should also not look up to those who were handed their privilege for no good reason.
Some people will say that Kim works hard. She does promotions, appearances, has stores, clothing lines, endorsements, a TV show where her privacy is constantly in the public eye, and so on. To that I would respond – would she have any of those things if she wasn’t already who she was?
This is what we do as a culture. We idolize people who are famous for simply being famous. We support them and give them our money and buy their products to feed the cycle. And when these things are glamorized, it sends messages to the youth.
Particularly young women who may look up to Kim as a role model of sorts, I believe she is letting them down without even knowing it. She is teaching them that if you want to be famous, all you have to do is bare it all to millions of people. They will look, sure – but what will they think?
I think we should talk about Kim Kardashian’s nude photos because it represents us as a culture. It represents what we value. It represents the type of people we idolize. It sets the standards for the people our youth want to be like.
Just a couple of years ago, W Magazine sent Kim on an emotional rampage because they did not cover enough of her body before publishing the images. She was mortified and said she would never pose nude again…”Not even for Vogue.” Ah, but, here she is again – willingly standing proud because hey, art.
We need to give more attention to publications like Men’s Health who feature amputee war veterans on their covers. Why has that story not garnered nearly as much attention? How many of you actually knew the name Noah Galloway? This man, right here:
But Noah doesn’t fit the standards of what pop-culture glorifies. He doesn’t trend on Twitter. He doesn’t distract us from reality: He makes us stare it in the eye.
So yes, I do think we need to talk about Kim Kardashian’s nude photos. I don’t think we should brush it under the rug and say we are giving her the attention she wants if we acknowledge it. Nobody does things like this to garner negative feedback. We should talk about it not just with each other – but with our youth.
Act to gain respect, not attention. It lasts longer.