Is Kim Kardashian's nude photo shoot a racial dig?

Is Kim Kardashian's nude photo shoot a racial dig?

Update:

Despite all her efforts, Kim Kardashian has decidedly "not broken the Internet," according to the Wall Street Journal.

On the same day her nude photos for Paper magazine surfaced online, European scientists made history by landing a spacecraft on a comet for the first time. 

Wall Street Journal reported that more people tweeted about the historic landing than about Kim's nude shots. To make matters worse, reactions were more positive towards the former.

However, humour was not one of the sentiments captured, the site reported, which may have proven to be a disadvantage to Kim in the numbers race. BBC reported that Kim "was the butt of countless jokes", as memes and paraodies of her controversial photo shoot flooded the Internet.


 

"Sexy, stunning, voluptuous, with a generous behind." We've all heard these descriptions before about Kim Kardashian.

It is not wrong for Kim Kardashian to boast a shapely figure that most women desire but it could spell trouble when a woman's body seems to be used for the wrong purposes.

So what did she do that sparked much controversy?

The reality TV star was on the cover of Paper magazine's winter issue recently, where she strikes a playful pose for the camera, baring her well-oiled body and generous bottom.

The 34-year-old, who is married to American rapper Kanye West, has a 16-month-old daughter, North. Reports say she wants to do another nude photo shoot before getting pregnant again.

According to US news site InsideHalton, Kim is "eager to show off her famous physique as much as possible before she gains any weight".

In the photos for Paper magazine, Kim wears a shiny black dress with a pair of black satin gloves and several pearl string chokers, balancing a champagne glass on her famous asset.

Sounds familiar? If you did not yet realise, the photo shoot was a recreation of French photographer Jean-Paul Goude's famous "Champagne Incident", shot in 1976.

Responses to her nude photo shoot were mixed. According to African American news site theGrio, while some felt that she was already a mother and should put on clothes, others commended her for her courage and of course, sex appeal.

But more strikingly, Kim brought back issues such as black female racism and misogyny into the spotlight again.

The photograph Kim posed for appeared to be a "reincarnation of Saartjie Baartman", who was a woman "whose large buttocks brought her questionable fame and caused her to spend much of her life being poked and prodded as a sexual object in a freak show," according to theGrio.

What this means is that Kim could be looked upon as, ironically, the butt of an old joke.

In her photo shoot, Kim's nudity is not as simple as it looks although some might not blame her, as she seems like she does not realise the underlying connotations of her actions.

However, in her quest to "break the Internet", which is a campaign that is part of Paper's mission according to the magazine's website, she could have found a way to work around these issues.

The similarities between her photo shoot and Saartjie Baartman are that they are subjects of mockery but the difference between them is that Baartman did not have a choice for her objectification.

So whether Kim is a mockery of black female exploitation or if she genuinely is just showing off her assets in the most naked form is up to one to decide .

stephluo@sph.com.sg

 

More about

Kim Kardashian
Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDINSIDER

SPONSORED

Most Read

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.