A couple of months ago, when selfie-obsessed sleb Kim Kardashian posted a completely nude picture of herself to social media, the internet, unsurprisingly, blew up. As is par for the course with anything the Kardashians do, the snapshot drew as much disapproval as it did praise.
The most high-profile critique came from Piers Morgan, who said that Kardashian seemed ‘desperate’ and that he ‘found it all a bit depressing’, because she is ‘35 now, and the mother of two very young children’.
With dreary predictability, his remarks were seized upon by the feminist morality police on Twitter who accused the Daily Mail columnist of (yawn) ‘misogyny’ before spewing the usual her body, her rules, blah, blah, blah.
Morgan even engaged in a Twitter back-and-forth with the actress Emily Ratajkowski, of ‘Blurred Lines’ fame, who described criticism of the selfie as ‘sexist bullshit’. In an apparent show of solidarity with Kardashian, Ratajkowski later posed with her in another selfie, in which the two women stood topless in front of a mirror, sticking their middle fingers up to the camera. In an interview with the Evening Standard, Ratajkowski tried to present the joint selfie as a feminist statement about ‘women need[ing] to have a space to be sexual’.
If the photo really was about feminism, I’m not sure the breast-baring duo communicated that particularly well. It seemed more like a weak attempt to ennoble a self-serving act by presenting it as a defiant political statement. Let’s face it: courting controversy is Kardashian’s bread and butter. Her family has made a considerable fortune doing so. I don’t think the negative attention she received for her original selfie would have been terra incognita for her.