Kim Kardashian: Has her asset really broken the internet?

By William Pryer

pryerwi@mnstate.edu

Kim Kardashian recently teamed up with Paper Magazine to “break the internet,” and it appears they have done just that.

Kardashian posed for a revealing shot wearing only a pair of satin gloves and a pearl necklace in the New York City-based magazine. Her body was oiled, and the emphasis was drawn to her famous butt. Another shot showed Kardashian clothed in a glittering gown and opening a champagne bottle whilst balancing a glass on her butt.

Within minutes of Kardashian posting the images via her Instagram account, the world seemed to stop.

Kardashian’s two comets nearly knocked the comet-landing mission off of the media radar.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Twitter hashtag #cometlanding was used 479,434 times, proving to be more popular than #breaktheinternet hashtag which was used 307,782 times. Additionally, Twitter users appeared to tweet about the comet landing in a more positive light, with a sentiment rating of 64, compared to the 43 Kardashian received.

Whilst I am somewhat apathetic to Kardashian’s photo shoot, it is concerning it seems to be the world’s number one topic of interest. There are so many other global issues that should be given more attention, such as poverty, climate change and corruption. Yet, Kardashian’s giant asset seems to have pushed these significant issues into the background. People are so consumed by vanity and triviality important issues that need media coverage are being ignored.

Also, it is interesting that Paper did not even attempt to cover Kardashian’s body, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. I dare say the photographs are actually boring due to the lack of creativity. They look more like a pornography shoot.

Lauren Tuck, the assistant editor of Yahoo Style commented on Kardashian’s overt nudity, saying: “… Paper has blurred the line between fashion magazine and Playboy.”

I totally agree. What’s apparent about Paper is its confused identity – a fashion magazine selling nudity.

Kardashian’s photo shoot is an awkward issue to address, as there are so many viewpoints to be taken. Opinions have ranged from criticism due to her role as a mother, to praise for her brave presentation of her curves to the world.

Ironically, the vast majority of the people slamming Kardashian for the photo shoots are, in fact, adding to its popularity. If you genuinely are against the photo shoot, stop talking about it. Period. It is frustrating to hear people being so critical of Kardashian, yet they cannot stop talking about her.

The argument Kardashian is a mother and should not appear nude is redundant. It implies that once you are a mother, you are void of sexiness and should be ashamed of your body. This is not the case.

Yes, as a mother, you should set a good example for your child to follow. And yes, Kardashian does appear provocative in the photo shoot, especially with the phallic champagne exploding in her hands, but to object to female nudity due to age or social role is ridiculous and offensive. Beauty should not correlate with these.

Then comes the issue of Photoshop. The program has been used for years to airbrush celebrities and models. There is no doubt about that, so I was not surprised that Kardashian has been the latest victim to the editing software. It’s just perplexing that Kardashian would want to normalize voluptuousness whilst still adhering to digital adjustments and to the extent that it was edited. What message does this send to her fans and women in general? Even if you are naturally curvy, that is still not good enough? Your naked body isn’t perfect until it is edited?

Kardashian’s photo shoot seems to have coincided rather ironically with Keira Knightley’s anti-Photoshop photo shoot, providing two extreme examples of female representation in society and the media.

Personally, I favor Knightley’s photo shoot. Her nudity was used in a social statement context with a clear purpose, whereas Kardashian appears to be nude for the sake of being nude. Oh, and for tweets of course.

I think some commendation is to be had for Kardashian at least – she set out with a clear goal of breaking the Internet and, although the Internet hasn’t actually crashed, plunging the world in chaos, she has achieved the attention she desired.

But she has done so much more than that. Kardashian has really forced people to question the acceptability of nudity and the role of being a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ mother.  However, I think that it’s necessary for the world to stop worshipping and idolizing celebrities to the extent of Kim Kardashian and focus on actual problems that are preventing the improvement of society.

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