Only Time You On The 'Net Is When You Google My Ass.

Another day, another celebrity ass spilled all over the interwebs for the braying crowd's viewing pleasure. Only this time, the furore is much louder than normal, for it is Kim Kardashian's oiled up derriere splayed unapologetically on the front of an arty fash mag. Even Naya Rivera waded in with her sanctimonious granny panties in a twist and with the air of an unbearably holier-than-thou prude - commented 'you're someone's mother'.

And so a string of misogynistic and ignorant expressions followed: 

'How could Kanye let her do this?' 

'What a whore!' 

- And so on and so forth. Look, Kim Kardashian is a grown ass woman (pun actually not intended, but it works so well, I'm just gonna leave it there) - being a mother, or a wife, a sister, a candlestick maker doesn't limit her from making decisions to do with her own body. If she wants to run up and down the M5 in nothing but a pair of toe socks and a hairnet, then so be it.  

A fair number agreed with this too: 'What if it was a skinny girl?' 'If it was Rihanna, you would be praising her right now'. Which may be true; fashion pages are the longstanding domain of impossibly tall and slender creatures, and curvier women are often treated like steak tartare at the buffet of a Vegan Convention. Bodies with too big buts, thigh dimples and belly pooches are a definite no and don't even think about bringing your floppy boobs to the party - they ain't invited. Yet, whilst I do agree that these photos should incite debate, I feel these debates are slightly missing the target. 

In the aftermath of the photos being shared on the internet, so follows the This-Has-Been-Done-Before brigade, ready to ram down our throats that 'erm actually, she's not the first to do this, so she's like so unoriginal'.* We all know that Kim probably had little to do with the artistic direction of these photos and likely just turned up with her artfully perfected vacant expression ready to strip off. Don't worry, I'm not about to embark on a pathetically sycophantic defence of Kim. Yes, the photos are indeed the work of Jean Paul Goude famed for his photos of Grace Jones, with whom he was romantically involved and later had a child with. His photos centralised on manipulating his subjects, exaggerating their assets, oiling their bodies and placing them in highly staged settings. 

His work has become synonymous with the popular image of Grace Jones and has been copied frequently. His work reminds me of the uncomfortable matter of Sarah Baartman, who during the 19th Century due to her rounded figure became little more than a circus attraction as she toured Europe against her will, finally dying in France where her body was stuffed and preserved and left on display to be gawped at by the curious. Goude's flagrant objectification of the black female form is not something that should be celebrated or revered, and Kim's latest spread only serves to pay homage to an 'artist' who does nothing more than to perpetuate fetishisation of black women.

Yeah, okay fair enough, you cry, but why is everyone hating on Kim so much! She has a right to pose nude, models and other celebrities do it all the time!

Not quite. You see, no matter what Kim does, she will never escape this issue that she is simply famous for being famous. She doesn't appear to have a particular talent, and seems to thrive of being the subject of watercooler chats all over the world. Marrying one of the most talented music artists of our time, having several successful businesses and being stunningly beautiful hasn't really helped us forget just how she got a stab at fame in the first place and at times it seems she embraces it: 'My girl a superstar all off a home movie' raps her husband proudly. But we believe in retribution, right? Again, not quite. Kim Kardashian with the help of Momager Kris has capitalised on her notoriety and has shamelessly made every effort to make sure she remains on the front pages of gossip magazines. Much like the artificially warped image of her on Paper Mag, Kim embodies the part of society we all love to hate: the incessant thirst for fame, fortune and perfection regardless of the cost. Her body oiled to plasticisation, her body is a metaphor for the object that she has become. By buying into celebrity culture, Kim is the monster/product that we have created and we're uncomfortable with it. She is an easily replaceable commodity of mass-produced proportions and due to our obsession with Stars, the conveyor belt of the glory-seeking hapless souls will never run empty.


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