In defence of the naked selfie

Be quiet Bette Middler

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Ever heard of the human body?  It’s possible by this time in your life you’ve encountered a few. If you’re lucky, you’ll have encountered a few naked ones too. Good for you. We can all agree that bodies, especially naked ones, are pretty fab. And you know who’s body is particularly fab?  Kim Kardashian’s. We all agree on this point- most of us either envy it or desire it, possibly both, or at least admire it. And yet when Kim posts a photo of something we all want to see, we act as if the world has gone mad, as if bodies are disgusting and something to be ashamed of. How does this make sense?

The selfie in question, just in case you’ve somehow managed to avoid it:

This isn’t just a classic Kardashian drama- it’s highlighted much wider issues. Issues like revenge porn and slut shaming. Any one of us can take a naked selfie but we have to abide by a few rules: we can’t take or send them too often, and we can’t share them with everyone, and if they get leaked we must be very ashamed of ourselves. Being proud of our bodies is for some reason shameful.

We all want to check out what everyone looks like beneath their clothes but the moment they show us, show the world, we’re repelled. We say it’s tasteless, it’s tacky, it’s attention seeking, when in reality it’s an expression of people showing us how good they look naked.

kim

If you haven’t seen Kim’s boobs yet, where have you been?

Kim K did something amazing this week, and most of us missed the point. For sure there’s an element of showing off her incredible body, but there’s also something much more significant going on. Bette Midler said that if Kim wanted to show us something we haven’t seen before, she’d have to swallow the camera. Whilst she makes a fair point, what she’s glossing over is that Kim Kardashian is perhaps the most famous victim of revenge porn ever. Most of us were introduced to her now infamous arse when her sex tape was leaked, 13 years ago.

Since then, every photo she uploads makes a point of reclaiming her body that we all invaded when we watched her in a sex tape that she didn’t even consent to being released. She’s doing the direct opposite of what society expects of revenge porn victims: she’s not shying away, ashamed. For years, she’s just been putting up two fingers to us and basically saying, “well, you’ve seen it all before, but now you’re seeing it on my terms.” This is just the latest chapter in that saga. Uploading another nude shot with the caption “#liberated” the next day is not just catchy, but also incredibly true and meaningful.

Whatever you might think of Kimmy K, you can’t deny this is something remarkable.  She might actually been doing more for feminism and the freedom of the female body than anyone else. And not just the female body, but guys too. Take a leaf out of Kim’s book: if you think you look good, why shouldn’t you share that with people? Seeing skin never killed anyone.