I actually had a finished blog ready to post. I then decided that writing out of anger sounded judgmental and, really, probably was judgmental. The last thing I want to feel towards Kim Kardashian-West is anger and judgment. I don’t know the woman, and it is not my place.
I am sure you are well aware of the released photos of Mrs. West. It would be hard to miss this plastering of images on the internet these days. When a famous woman decides to appear naked on a magazine, it is, by the medias standards, news.
The fury that initially arose in me had a lot to do with the accessibility of these images. I thought of any future children I may have, and the battle that they may face by simply being on the internet and having these types of inappropriate images freely thrown at them. Images such as this could be a voice that is louder than mine, telling them this is what is normal, this is who you should be, what you should look like, and how to be confident in who you are.
I also felt rage about how these images only fuel that fire of how women are viewed. We are gawked at for our lips, waistlines, butts, leg tone, facial features and anything else that could possibly be attractive. Mrs. West, in all her freedom to do so, may have believed she did this because she is beautiful and can. However, I believe she also chose to let some men remain in their pits of degradation; saying our bodies are a commodity, do what you please. That we are to be merely skin and bones that can be taken advantage of.
Those are the reasons why I was angry.
Then I began to question how Mrs. West viewed herself. What would make a beautiful woman desire to pose nude, not just for her husband, but for the world? What would make a seemingly confident woman want to make other men desire her? I think there could be a lengthy math equation to give an explanation to these photos – expectations of society + (potential) narcissism + eagerness to please… – but that would still not reveal intentions*.
As someone as beautiful as Mrs. West, one would think that her desire to be known for creating a mobile gaming app, named specifically after herself and worth millions, or making the act of eating Ramen Noodles a thing, would be enough.
But, it isn’t.
She still chose to misuse her body. She chose to reveal the one thing that was truly hers (and, really, her husband’s). She said all of these things were not enough, and now says that who she is is not enough. As someone who struggles with this same faulty thinking in believing that who I am and what I do is not enough, I see that broken part of her.
It is a part that is determined to meet the needs of someone or something else, and have them place the value sign on you.
As much as she may confidently say she chose to do this because she could – because she is a woman with that right to her own body – there is still going to be that need to know what everyone else thinks. Is her body better than imagined? Is she still desirable after birth? After marriage?
And what do we, the grand jury she looks to, reply?
With respect and sadness, my reply could only be a wish. I wish she could see that our bodies, men and women, are not our voice. They do not speak to who we are, what we do or why we were created. Mrs. West may have welcomed this spotlight on herself, but I wish she could see that there is real human value behind her actions. Her value should be based on the respect from a population that sees her worth in who she is, not what she looks like.
I could speak to these insecurities more, but the reality is that she may always find her worth in what the media desires. I wish she could see that the price for more fame is not worth another photo that only dehumanizes herself; that she is worth it because she just is.
*All this to say, I am prepared to be wrong. Perhaps she believes she is a sight to be seen and wants others to know that. (Note: I am not yet a therapist, but there is a diagnosis for that.)