What can we learn about society through Kim Kardashian? It might surprise you, but a lot actually. In this blog I will talk about female empowerment, and the war against it.
Don't worry, this is not a blog where I'm gonna drive a hate-train over men (although I will give those with a penis a shout-out). Actually, I am going to point out the hypocrisy among women in this whole story, and society in general.
So.. Kim K. Pretty much everyone with access to the internet knows who Kim Kardashian is, whether they like it or not. She became famous for making a porn video with her ex once, and is now considered one of the most successful business women in the world; depending on what you define as successful of course, and whom you speak to.
Some might disagree and don't see Kim as a business woman, but there's no denying that whatever she does, creates a cash flow for her (and her family) in some way, and a lot of attention. She makes quite a shitload more than you, so who are you to claim she's not a great business woman? Exactly.
In a recent instagram picture (above), Kim caused controversy (is that even still possible these days?) because she showed her naked body. Not all of it though! The black bars hide her breasts and private area in the image, in the same way we hide the identity of criminals in newspapers. Because nipples and vaginas are criminal, maybe. At least some people think so. Showing off your naked body is considered 'attention whoring' in general, in the public eye, unless it directly pleases the public. And here is where the hypocrisy about female empowerment and the female body meet.
We love the female body in our society, but only want to see it when it meets our needs. In porn for example. Ask guys (and quite a few girls too these days), and the majority of them will most likely admit they watch porn if they were being honest.
Porn is considered mainstream now: visual entertainment for both sexes. It's not for everybody of course, but the majority of western society sees it as an acceptable 'product', a way to objectify humans for our own pleasure. And, who are we kidding, specifically female humans. Obviously the objectification of them and the war against their empowerment (not saying porn has anything to do with that) is my subject in this blog, so I will write about that.
Back to porn. Ask a person in a relationship if they consider watching porn cheating, and most will say no. ''The people in porn aren't real. You can't get in touch with them. They are just a fantasy'' - something I hear a lot these days, when I talk with people about the porn subject. Most people are perfectly fine with objectifying females as long as they can believe said females are a fantasy. Not real. An object. A product.
The moment a woman can talk though, has a personality, morals and ideas, she partially stops being a 'product'. She suddenly becomes a human being. If she then, decides to expose her female body, especially when she seems proud of it, she will most likely receive criticism for it.
Apparently a woman with a female body who's not ashamed of it, is terrifying. Not only is she an attention whore, she also sets a bad example for girls worldwide, some people think.
Kim Kardashian received a lot of backslash for her recent nude selfie. A good example of the general backslash she received are the tweets (above) from Chloë Grace Moretz, who criticizes Kim for exposing herself so much, and implies she should teach young women they have much more to offer than just their bodies.
Who's Moretz? A talented and stunning female actress that has gained quite a bit of attention through her roles of strong female leads/side characters, and, her looks.
Gotta love it when a female actress who's sexualised for her famous pout and body herself emphasises, or allows others to emphasise, the things the general public sexualises her for, in her own work/instagram pictures, but at the same time criticises other women who do the same (or take it a step further).
Sexualising your legs, arms, figure, lips, seems okay according to Moretz, but the moment it's other parts of the body (the ones we often hide), apparently we're teaching young women wrong ideas about what's important?
You might think: "Moretz is hardly sexualised in her work! She always looks classy and never did any of those sexual photoshoots Kim did". Well, Let me break your bubble right there: Moretz is extremely sexualised in her own work. A good example of how Moretz is being sexualised as a woman, is her Carrie movie poster (below).
I mean, look at it. When someone drops a bucket of blood (famous scene in the Carrie movie) on your 16-year-old head, most likely you will be covered in it completely. In this movie poster however, the blood is subtly placed on the face - her lips are hardly stained - allowing Moretz to still look beautiful and sensual.
If you would take away all the blood in this picture, this would be an intense close-up of a female who seems to be in extase. Either because she is pooping or because she sees something that takes her breath away. The movie poster without the blood could easily be a POV snapshot from a porn movie. I mean, where do we often see women with their mouths open? In porn. Just google 'pov face porn' (NSFW) and compare the pictures there to the Carrie poster if you don't get what I mean.
Now compare Moretz' poster of the 2013 Carrie movie, to some of the posters of the original Carrie movie from 1976 (above). These posters are much more about the horror in the movie, even though you can see Sissi Spacek's (the original Carrie) body in one of them. There's no denying that the 2013 poster with Moretz is much more focussed on Carrie being a female human being we can sexually objectify, rather than a crazy person (original posters).
Which brings me to the point that sexual objectification of women word wide happens not just through objectifying their breasts and vaginas, but through everything that makes them feminine.
The fact that Moretz lips (and body) are sexualised in many of her movies / photoshoots and that she allows it to happen shows what a complete hypocrite she is. If you watch some of her films, most likely you'll notice that the directors she works with often film her in close-up with her mouth open, to make scenes 'intense' and add 'sexual tension'.
Now don't get me wrong, I find nothing wrong about sexually objectifying ADULT women in general. I think both women and men are wonderful creatures, and their bodies are a work of art. There's nothing bad about nudity or the sexualisation/celebration of human body parts.
The problem is that society is a complete hypocrite when it comes to the sexualisation of (mainly) women.
Society wants us to be sexy, but if we look like we are actively using our sexuality for whatever reason, society likes to kick our butts. Because actively using our sexuality is shallow, attention seeking, and not how a proper woman should act. Unless society wants a quick sexual fix, and watch porn for example. Then it's okay when women flash their boobs and act sexual.
Society likes to shame women who seem proud of their body. It doesn't matter if we're actually are or not, if it seems like we are, society likes to shoot us. Slut shaming is something I'm actually quite familiar with myself. A good example is the comment section in my GoPro video, where people complain about how I am using my boobs to get attention and make money.
Back to KimK. Kim Kardashian has turned her body into a money machine, and she has every right to do so. Someone else once decided for her that she was a product, and instead of allowing such betrayal to take her down, she owned it. She became the product everybody already saw her as. Business wise, this was an incredible smart move of her.
She's turned her femininity and sexuality in KIMOJI'S for heaven's sake, and makes good money with ideas like this. Take into consideration that Kim Kardashian only started to make proper money through her sexuality when she was a grown-up, while Moretz was sixteen years old during the Carrie movie. If there's anything wrong here, it's the fact that Moretz allowed her teenage body to be sexualised, not that a grown-up woman decided to do the same.
Moretz could maybe defend herself with the 'art' excuse though, something people in the movie and fashion industry do a lot when it comes to defending sexualisation of (young) women. She tells 'stories', so she uses her 'other talents' next to her sexuality.
But who are you to claim that Kim's highly sexualised KIMOJI'S aren't art? Compare her bottom KIMOJI'S (above) to ancient venus figures we consider art, and tell me they don't focus on the same subject. Why is one an example of a so called attention whore who teaches young women bad things, and the other a form of art?
Probably because Kim Kardashian is a proud female human being. And female human beings aren't allowed to be proud of their own bodies (and make money with them), unless they serve a sexual or artistic fix for the public (porn or movies for example).
Now for the turning point. While I completely agree with Kim Kardashian on the subject that she should be able to celebrate her body and not be shamed for it, the way she does it makes her a hypocrite as well. You see, Kim Kardashian replied to the haters with an open letter on her website. Let me quote some of her writing:
".... I am empowered by my body. I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin."
"I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me."
"I hope that through this platform I have been given, I can encourage the same empowerment for girls and women all over the world."
Now all this talk about showing your flaws (she has flaws?!) to the world and female empowerment sounds fine, unless you do a quick google search on Kim Kardashian + Photoshop. You don't have to look long to find out she was caught photoshopping herself more than just once. It suddenly makes her sound a lot less empowered, because obviously she's not always happy about her body either, and actually tries to hide her flaws.
Then again, don't we all?
So here we have two females (Chloe and Kim), who both use their sexuality in their work, but are complete hypocrites about it when they try to be voices for our female generation. In fact, they actually attack each other, while trying to empower women worldwide.
Now I don't know how they define female empowerment, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't include bashing other women. The sad thing is, that through this blog I am actually doing the exact same thing, which makes me a hypocrite too because I feel very strong about female empowerment. I do hope though, that I've done it in such a way, it's obvious I am not trying to bash either Chloe or Kim, but am trying to point out the flaws in our current society.
It seems that when it comes to female empowerment worldwide, we still have a long way to go. What I suggest? Look at yourself first, before you complain about other people. Don't like something about someone else? Either look away, or talk about the subject with good arguments.
Don't just rant for the sake of ranting. Take time to research people's stories, read many sources, and treat women and men like human beings when you talk about them. It's good to talk, but do it in a respectful way, with actual knowledge on the subject.
And the most important thing of all: Live and let live.