Pop Culture Shock: Kim Kardashian tries to “break the Internet”

Columnist McKenna Bulkley isn’t entirely sure what to think about the newest Kardashian controversy.

I’m having a bit of trouble trying to form an opinion on the Kim Kardashian “Break the Internet” photo shoot for Paper Magazine. There are so many factors to consider, and there are a lot of things wrong with it.

Firstly, while Kim has every right to do whatever she wants with her body, I don’t really want to see pictures of a naked Kardashian all over my Twitter feed. Especially because I tend to innocently scroll through my Twitter app in public places, and all of the sudden there’s a naked body on my screen. And everyone, I mean everyone, retweeted it. I couldn’t not see it.

But does it make me a bad feminist that I don’t think she should have done the shoot for that magazine? I want her to do whatever she wants with her body, but I think a fully-naked photo spread should be saved for the pages of Playboy. If she wants to pose for Playboy or another risqué magazine, I wouldn’t purchase it, but I would absolutely support her in her endeavors.

However, I think the argument that she shouldn’t take naked pictures because she is a mother is ridiculous. Naya Rivera felt the need to remind her of her daughter (you know, like Kim forgot or something) when she commented on Kim’s Instagram picture saying “I normally don’t. But … you’re someone’s mother …” I guarantee Kim did not forget about her daughter.

But just because she’s a mother doesn’t mean she has to hide her body and become a nun or something. She can still have her sex appeal. It’s basically how she built her empire.

Secondly, Paper’s headline “Break the Internet” is annoying. What does that even mean? Ellen DeGeneres brought down Twitter with her celebrity-filled Oscars selfie, and Blake Lively crashed her online site, Preserve, when she announced her pregnancy. Those people could be considered to have broken the Internet, but Kim Kardashian? Not so much, and especially not because of a random magazine spread in which she was naked. She already posts pictures of her rear end on Instagram, and the first time she made headlines was from a pornographic movie. Naked Kim Kardashian is not groundbreaking news here. Stop trying to break the Internet, Paper. it’s not going to happen.

And finally, there’s a lot of controversy on the cover photo, the photographer and the history behind it all. The photo was a recreation of an old photo taken by renowned photographer Jean-Paul Goude, which shouldn’t be a problem by itself, because photographers use old photos as inspiration all the time. But the photo was a part of a photo book called “Jungle Fever,” which was filled with black women posed to look like animals. And Goude has been known to fetishize black women’s bodies in a lot of his past work. Why would Kim be OK with recreating a photo in a book that is so clearly racist? Was she just not aware, or did she look into it and think it was nothing more than a nod to his past work?

So I’m still torn about this whole thing. Naked pictures aren’t new, and I’m all about body positivity and showing off your body. So, like everything else in the pop culture world (and especially like all things Kardashian — does anyone even play her Hollywood game anymore?) I’m just going to let it blow over and forget about it in a week or so.

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