In Defense of Kim Kardashian
Yeah, I know, that’s a headline I never saw myself writing either. I could hardly be described as a Kim Kardashian fan (fan of what exactly I don’t know. I’m still not entirely sure what it is she actually does) but heck, even I’m starting to feel uncomfortable about the gamut of abuse she seems to face on a daily basis. Most recently, of course, the frenzy she caused by posting a pic of herself in a rather revealing swimsuit. When it comes to women, our bodies and how we choose to display them, it seems we can’t win for losing.
Kardashian is a new mother who received constant criticism during her pregnancy for her sartorial choices. What I admired about her after she had the baby was that she actually looked like she’d had a baby. She was carrying a few extra healthy pounds, allowing her body to do that and being seen in public. It was a refreshing change from celebrity women who give birth and are on the cover of a magazine the following day with their step-by-step guide to how they got their pre-baby shape back. But she endured torrents of abuse for her choice to just let her body do what it should do during those early days of motherhood.
And so, a few months later, when she’s has lost a little weight, as if to stick a big middle finger up at her critics, she posts a picture of her in a revealing swimsuit, declaring how she’s got her body back. Naturally, there was backlash, ranging from ‘she’s a bad mother’ to ‘she’s a whore’. Does it frustrate me that women feel the need to display their bodies in this way? Absolutely. However, at the same time, while I struggle to understand what it is that Kardashian does, one of the things she is most definitely known for, is her body. That’s her money maker. Clearly, she has regained some confidence and showing off her best assets (excuse the pun) appears to be her way of reclaiming her sense of self. Would that be the way I’d go about doing things? No, but I’m not her, in her position, having to tolerate these relentless attacks on my body.
If she stays covered up looking ‘frumpy’, she’s criticised. If she puts a little flesh on show, she’s criticised. Being a new mother and a celebrity must suck. So sure, while I’m not a Kim K fan, I feel sorry for her. Being a new mother is challenging enough as it is – I can’t even imagine doing it with all the extra heaps of bullshit she has to wade through.
So I’ve gotta say, I commend her for not totally losing her shiz, for handling it with some sort of degree of grace (half naked selfies notwithstanding). The intense pressure on women to have it together and look perfect at all times has just reached ridonkulous levels. Let’s just cut a chick a break. Let her figure out what part half naked selfies will play in to how she will raise her daughter and what messages that will send later on down the road.
In the meantime, let’s just let her live.