How Kim Kardashian’s Nude Selfie Ignited An Important Conversation About Feminism


It’s a debate that comes up in the media time and time again – does society place more importance on a woman’s beauty than on her brains? Are we all too obsessed with how a woman looks rather than her talents? Is it more important to report that “X” celebrity appears to have slightly fuller lips this week than the fact that an all-female flight crew just landed a plane in a country where women aren’t allowed to drive?

The sad fact is that despite celebrities like Lena Dunham and Misty Copeland trying to promote positive body image in the media, the media is still more interested in a scandal about a woman’s body or looks. After-all, a sex tape or wardrobe malfunction gains a lot of interest from the public.

One celebrity that always seems to be at the center of these body scandals is reality star Kim Kardashian, whose naked selfie posted on International Women’s Day has sparked debate amongst both the public and celebrities alike in what some are calling the battle of the feminists. Here’s the thing, you don’t have to necessarily agree with the way Kim portrays her body on social media, but neither should anyone be criticizing her own expression.

Let’s just be honest – this was a classic case of slut-shaming and in the end Kim proved that there needs to be an overhaul of the way we approach feminism today. Celebs such as Bette Midler and Chloe Moretz weighed in on the image in some not-so-nice ways, but there were also others such as Miley Cyrus, Ariel Winter, Rowan Blanchard and Emily Ratajkowski who jumped to her defense. Some of these women have also experienced slut-shaming and understand the way it has become such a polarizing topic within feminist circles.

But while everyone was arguing over whether her naked selfie was empowering or something that should never have been posted, many are missing the point. Perhaps we should be taking a closer look at the society that we live in before we start to try and shame Kim’s actions. Why shouldn’t a mother of two who is also an uber-successful businesswoman not feel confident in expressing love for her body, especially given that we still largely exist in a society that teaches people not to embrace who they are in almost every piece of advertising and media they come across?

Yes we want to be a society that looks at women’s value as stemming from what’s inside, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of or in absence of body positivity.

Pink is one such celebrity that is really trying to change how we think about women in society at the moment. Publishing a statement on Twitter, the star wanted to give recognition to the women in the world, who although talented, are not getting the same attention or money as people like Kim Kardashian.

“In the quiet moments, you will feel something deeper than the fleeting excitement resulting from attention, you will feel something called pride and self-respect”, said the singer.


And Pink isn’t the only female celebrity to weigh in on the brains verses beauty debate. Professional poker player Tatjana Pasalic, who has been voted one of poker’s sexiest women in WPT magazine, wants to be known for her brains over beauty. When asked in an interview if she’d prefer young looks forever or to win a WSOP bracelet she replied:

“I would like to quote one of my favorite actresses, Eva Mendez, on this subject and say that I agree with her saying that she would trade her beauty for an Oscar cos what is the point in a pretty face if you are not given a bright head.”

This is a conversation we need to have. There is such a division in opinions when it comes to women expressing their own sexuality. On one hand, women are used to be objectified in ads and fashion, and that seems to be “normal”. What we are taught in real life is that to be respected we have to dress a certain way, act a certain way according to the systemic standards that haven’t always allowed women the freedom to express themselves as they want to.

With the emergence of celebrities taking a stand, owning their own sexuality and portraying their bodies in a way that they determine, all of a sudden society freaks out because we are not used to this. We are programmed to tell women to “put their clothes back on” or “act more ladylike” yet subconsciously just accept that women’s bodies are objects to sell notions of sex, power and autonomy to men.

Kim Kardashian may not have intended her image to be such a cause for controversy (OK we realize how ridiculous that statement sounded given that this is a celebrity who is closely associated with the term “break the internet” due to a different nude photo) but in the end it became a huge teaching moment for feminists everywhere. If we claim to want to push equality and autonomy for women in other areas, why do we still have such a problem with women who choose to control their bodies and sexuality that may be different to how we would express ourselves?

She hasn’t necessarily been the biggest banner-waver for feminism (although she did admit she was a feminist to Rolling Stone magazine not too long ago), but in our eyes she just jumped up a few rungs on the ladder with the expert way she shut down those body-shamers (by pointing out hypocrisy in some cases) who HAVE been outspoken members of the equality brigade and reminded them of the core message regarding feminism.

Amber Rose was one of the women who stood in solidarity with Kim, and even invited her to one of her Slut Walk events which was designed to empower those who have been slut-shamed, as well as educate people about the complexities of slut-shaming.

Now is the time for women to stand together to try and change society to commend talent as much as it does physical appearance, but slut-shaming is not the way. Instead, women should stand together to shun the media when it relies on physical beauty over brains. Only then will society have the chance to change.



One Comment

  1. Pingback: This Comic Series Perfectly Explains The Need For Intersectional Feminism - GirlTalkHQ

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.