On why we need to stop slut shaming Kim Kardashian for her nude selfie

Regarding Kim Kardashian’s nude selfie the other day: you do you, girl. And for all the other girls and women around the world: you do you, too.

Since her post, Kim K. has been flooded with slut-shaming by celebs from Piers Morgan (which by the way, are you even relevant, Piers? Yeah, I didn’t think so) to Bette Midler. Can we just take a moment to dive into Morgan’s headline?

You’ve still got a great body Kim, but if you’re really so successful, so secure and so rich why do you still feel the need to pose nude at 35?

Does a woman need to have any reason to post a nude selfie other than 1) because she fucking can, and 2) she fucking feels like it? It’s 2016 and yet here we (women) are again forced to explain ourselves, our motives, and our actions under scrutiny.

If there even was a point to Morgan’s pathetic excuse for an article, it was that Kanye West was behind Kim Kardashian’s tweets, which he characterized as “odd since Kim’s usually very nice and polite on social media, in direct contrast to Kanye whose Twitter rants have grown steadily more insane and abusive in recent weeks.”

Ah yes, my favorite. A woman using her voice? Nope, must be the husband pulling the strings. Why is Morgan so quick to assume that Kim can’t exercise her own agency and stand on her own two feet?

But I digress from the issue at hand. If a woman wants to take a nude selfie or make a sex tape or wear revealing clothes or do whatever the fuck she pleases, it is her prerogative to do so.

Let me repeat: a woman can do what she wants with her body. Period. End of story.

Kim K. replied in an essay on her website (which is unfortunately behind a paywall, so read the BuzzFeed summary instead)  titled “Happy International Women’s Day.” (Oof, right in the feels.)

In her essay, Kardashian brings up the sex tape she made 13 years ago with Ray J—Why are people still talking about it, she asks.

Nobody ever talks about Ray J’s role in the tape. It’s Kim K’s personal burden to bear, 13 years later. People now know that she—gasp!—has and enjoys sex, and therefore they can’t think of her in any other light. Double standards much?

Of course, I’m not saying we should slut shame Ray J. But how about we stop slut-shaming both parties who were involved in the tape? It’s time that we stop making Kardashian’s sex tape the punchline of our unimaginative jokes, and it’s time that we stop slut-shaming her, along with all other women, altogether.

Just stop.

As Kim K. wrote in her essay (and I can’t help but shout “PREACH” to this one):

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. And I hope that through this platform I have been given, I can encourage the same empowerment for girls and women all over the world.

I know we all scoff and roll our eyes at the Kardashian family as a whole (“They’re famous for being famous!” but there’s no denying that millions of women across the world see Kim Kardashian on a regular basis, especially on her Instagram. And those women also notice the backlash against her.

That is to say, there is something to be taken from her hundreds of selfies — some of which might be naked or revealing—and that something is simple: Here is a woman being proud of her body.

You could argue that it’s a simple thing for her to do because she’s wealthy and has had plastic surgery, so it’s easy for her to post pictures on social media. But no matter a woman’s financial or social background, whether she’s wearing flawless makeup or going au natural, whether she has had plastic surgery or doesn’t even get her hair cut on a regular basis, she will always be under public scrutiny and vulnerable to slut-shaming.

So yes, it takes courage for a woman, even a woman as famous as Kim Kardashian, to post a naked selfie on social media where she will be attacked by the Piers Morgans of the world, to exert her autonomy over her own image and say “I’m fucking proud of my body!”


Meghan is a pug enthusiast interested in social justice, environmental issues, Latin America and women’s rights (both here in the U.S. and around the world). When she’s not worrying about postgraduate plans, Meghan binge-watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Jane the Virgin. She’s still uncertain about the career path she will pursue after graduating, but would like to work in international development and public policy one day. Until then, she’ll keep watching videos of Doug the Pug while sipping whatever bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon is on sale.

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