Weeks ago, Kim Kardashian West tweeted a “nude” photo that broke the Internet… again. Even though censor bars were appropriately placed, the internet just about blew up. Not only did it receive response from the stereotypical misogynists with replies like “Seeking for attention at its finest”, or comparisons to other mothers, but it also sparked many to comment that Kim isn’t a good mother due to her “lack of respect for herself,” usually followed by a different picture of a “real” mother smiling with kids in hand — yet there was also a surprisingly clear example of white feminism among the responses.
To quote a fellow Feminist Culture writer, Oyinkansola Sofela, in her article titled “The Real Definition of a ‘White Feminist’”:
“White feminists are an exclusive group of feminists in that they do not include women of color, queer women, or any other minority group of women in their talks of gender equality. They are only concerned about equality for white heterosexual women, hence the name white feminism.” [emphasis in the original]
It’s essentially a blanket term for a form of “feminism” that doesn’t include all branches of feminism and is only concerned with one cause or certain kind of person. Unfortunately, this is usually the kind of “feminism” that gets the most attention in the media and is what the average person connects to the word feminist. This is one of the more common reasons people turn their backs on the cause.
The clearest example of white feminism sparked by the photo came from Chloe Grace Mortez, an actress, a model, and, most importantly, a “feminist since birth,” as she told Nylon Magazine. Ms. Mortez tweeted shortly after Kim K posted her selfie:
“@KimKardashian I truly hope you realize how important setting goals are for young women, teaching them we have to much more to offer than just our bodies. There’s a huge difference in respecting the platform that you’re given as a celebrity and ‘slut shaming’ something I have never done and would never do.”
Now you might think “what on earth does this have to do with white feminism?” Well, even though Chloe claims to be a feminist, her version of feminism only caters to women who think that women should act in a certain way, that they should be modest, and that Kim’s nudity somehow has anything to do with setting goals and being a good role model. It’s white feminism because it works for Chloe Mortez and that’s about it.
So Ms. Mortez, I think you’re right. It is very important for young women to set goals, and that’s why, personally, I know Kim Kardashian is a great female role model.
I truly believe Kim Kardashian, and to give credit where credit is due, her mother Kris Jenner, are two of the most brilliant business women of their time. That’s why their family has a total net worth of over 300 million dollars, Kim’s alone being 53 million. There is no better business model than one who has taken absolutely nothing and been able to sell it for a profit. As it’s been talked about on various occasions, the Kardashians have no specific talents or real reason for their rank, and no one is really sure why they are even famous. Yet they still have an empire that influences our society as a whole.
Kim Kardashian has worked tirelessly over the past decade to become the icon she is, taking every business endeavor she can think of including appearing in commercials, starting a retail chain with her two sisters, and even having her own video game — and that’s admirable. She took her father’s influential role in OJ Simpson’s trial and the unfortunate circumstance of having her sex tape released without her consent and ended up using it as a platform to push herself into the higher ranks of our society by talking about it on shows like the Tyra Show and becoming more involved in mainstream media to the point where her claim to fame was no longer her father or her sex tape, even though it’s still being talked about thirteen years later.
I think a lot of young women can look up to Kim and her family and admire their dedication, hard work, and absolute business brilliance. The Kardashians didn’t happen by mistake, they created their own empire almost out of thin air. With that being said, I think it’s clear that Kim has more to offer than her body.
But even if she didn’t have the great success that she does as a business woman in this country, Kim’s confidence and bravery is almost unmatched. Exposing her most vulnerable form to her 41.4 million followers is inspiring. Her following tweet, a different naked portrait, was hashtagged #LIBERATED showing us that it’s okay that some people are empowered or even liberated by nudity, whereas others can be empowered by being more conservative with their bodies, sexuality, and clothing.
We should root for these women who know their empowerment and cheer them on as they show us their favorite version of themselves, despite what that version may be. Kim even commented herself, saying, “I am empowered by my body. I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin. I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me.” Kim, thank you for this amazing opportunity to show us your power and strength. Thank you for showing young girls everywhere they can be more than they could ever expect as well as showing them to love and take pride in who they are and what makes them feel like they can run the world.
Thank you, Kim. Break the Internet.