The Kim K Effect

I’m so over it!! For the second time in less than a week I have seen images of women in the public eye ‘whoring’ themselves for fame, attention and money. Such images have made me groan with distain. So much so, I even fell out with a dear (male) friend over it! My question is, whatever happened to class?

Is this the message we should give our future generations? That it’s “cool”, even “the norm” to be scantily clad or even ‘butt’ (pardon the pun) naked on the cover of magazines?

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian, created controversy this week upon the release of an image for the front cover of New York fashion mag, Paper. The photo shoot, taken by noted photographer Jean-Paul Goude, included several shots of Kim K posing with her exposed derrière with the headline “Break The Internet”. And break it she did. Well almost. Just put it this way, everyone’s still talking about it!


Kim Kardashian on the cover of Paper magazine
Kim Kardashian on the cover of Paper magazine

Being as high profile as Kim Kardashian comes with a price. Fame to such extent means whether you accept it or not you’re a role model or at the very least an inspiration to for women or young girls. Part of this role should be behaving in such a way of which exudes integrity and class.

kkcover1(rgb)watermarkThe word “celebrity” used to mean being “celebrated” for your talents or achievements. And don’t you dare say that Kim K (wife of hip hop artist, Kanye West) has talent by balancing a glass on her bottom! How far will these self-named celebrities go for attention grabbing headlines? And is it worth #breakingtheinternet if reality is that you’re creating a series of what could be catastrophic events long continuing long after Kim  has cashed her check and spent her dough in a matter of months.

More disturbingly however is that Mrs Kardashian-West believes her self-exploitation is something to be proud of. The old adage ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’ is being abused. Upon Paper magazine’s release, Kim quickly took to her own Twitter account to jokily post the following:


She was later quoted in the press saying:

“As a role model I’m not saying anyone else should do that, but for me it was an art project and it taught me to do what you want to do.”

The worldwide web cannot be underestimated. Within hours memes and parodies soon followed. Twitter user @KelKulus was one of the first to jump onto Photoshop when he saw the Paper magazine image, tweeting his own version with the caption: ‘Kim Kardashian looks so much like a centaur in Paper Magazine I figured I’d take it one step further.’


Is Kim’s latest publicity stunt a message we wish to send out to our young women? That “balancing a champagne glass on your ass” can land you a magazine cover?! That the use of over sexualised images are worth fame, and that working harder on your body rather than your nurturing your mind or talent is much more note worthy.

What damage does this do to women and young girls in the long run and what effect can messages like these have on youth culture? I have to question why some women in the public eye resort to pulling these stunts as a way to be acknowledged. With this said I feel the media and press have a lot to do in the way women are viewed by offering subliminal messages through articles and images. We should all be aware by now that these can do far more damage than good.

Whilst many of us can see the ridiculousness and unrealistic body form within these photographs, the young and vulnerable cannot. Will ‘celebrity culture’ be taken so far that we’ll soon be branded on our body parts rather than our actual achievements? The Metro newspaper seem to think Kardashian’s latest stunt is acceptable. On their website today Sarah Musgrove writes,

Dare I say it; she can even do this slick, greased-up, naked magazine cover and be a feminist.  Because – as I feel we need to reiterate over and again – feminism is about having equality of choice.’ 

Is this Sarah Musgrove serious?! As far as I’m concerned Ms Musgrove is taking the word “feminism” and turning it on its head. This is exactly what I mean by the media having such great influence over public society that we’re all becoming a nation nodding dogs!

Here is a definition of feminism:

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women. (Wiki)


Firstly, what has Kim Kardashian got to do with feminism or help in defining, establishing or defending equal rights for women? Sarah Musgrove’s statement is so random. Women have been exploited sexually and physically since the age of time and were once shooed in a corner to be seen and not heard, unless groaning in the bedroom or clanging pots and pans in the kitchen. Some women burned their bras in protest to gain social equality, for goodness sake! And yet the likes of Ms Musgrove is twisting this notion, as if feminism means women should now do whatever they wish simply to prove a point to society that we can now do whatever we like and that it’s ok. Even if it’s distasteful.

London riots 2011

Sadly this country has suffered riots, protests and even senseless murders which have stemmed from young people having zero direction and extreme low self-esteem. When questioned “why?” many have answered they haven’t had anyone to look up to or role models in their lives to tell them right from wrong. That state they look up to celebrities or those in the public eye who inspire them in the “get rich quick” culture at whatever cost. Affected young people often go about seeking (albeit) negative attention amongst their own peers as a way of gaining respect. This can often lead to devastating consequences which have effected countless across the UK alone.  To remedy this epidemic many are working earnestly in changing this mindset. People in the public domain such as Sarah Musgrove just do more damage to the greater good.

The Metro appear to celebrate the idea of being photographed naked as female empowerment. These selfish attitudes create a damaging effect which can ricochet long after many are saying “Kim, who?”. Kim may appear in control of the situation, but she is not in control of who the images reach. While some joke and others rage there are many fans that condone these photos and give them praise.

‘Im laughing at peoples reactions to @kimKardashian’s picture, if I’m that hot after a baby I’d totally do the same!’ a Twitter user replied.

Kim Kardashian is a smart business women, her ‘momager’ Kris Jenner is even shrewder. After all at least 20% of this photo-shoot said to be in access of $40M is hers. So why resort to this type of attention grabbing tactic? Oh yes! I forgot. Money! Well if that’s the case, Kimmy may as well go to her local strip joint and have men throw money at her whilst she shakes what her momma gave her.

Kim Kardashian with "mom-ager", Kris Jenner
Kim Kardashian with “mom-ager”, Kris Jenner

Kanye West’s new wife has succeeded greatly in making everyone talk about her. The Guardian laughed, Hollywood gossip columnist Perez Hilton debated, Vanity Fair seem indifferent, and the Metro supported. If the media appear so perplexed then what hope does that leave for the rest of us? How are we supposed to respond to these images?

These mindless campaigns by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian affect the blood, sweat and tears social enterprises, charities and individuals such as myself have been doing for years. Which is working tirelessly and passionately in mentoring and being a voice for invisible women across the world. We take one step forward and then knocked back five more by situations such as this.  I still believe there is hope for women of the future. We just have a lot of work to do. Let’s keep up the good fight.


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