I guess I have arrived a little late to the latest Kim Kardashian controversy. I only noticed the image in question (along with the debate it was causing) when it popped up in my Facebook feed this morning. My first reaction was ‘Whhhaaaatttt?!’ I just don’t understand this woman, she constantly seeks validation through an ongoing parade of images ranging from the bizarre to the gratuitous. Is it insecurity? Narcism? A bit of both? What makes such a woman tick?
Ignoring the reasons behind her constant need for attention, a more worrying thought crossed my mind. What about the millions of young women who look up to this woman? They see this body and just think perfection – I admit I was pretty much in awe when I caught a peek. I gazed in misery at my mummy flab (alright food flab) and felt a little pea green with envy. This lasted mere seconds before buttery toast called me downstairs but I am no longer a vulnerable teenage girl, full of fears that her body just isn’t ‘right’. I worry such selfies like Kim’s are just putting too much pressure on young girls today to be tanned and thin without a wobble or a jiggle in sight.
An even more pressing concern for me is that I have a tiny lady in my house and I want my daughter to grow up with role models who are noted for their brains, their achievements and their gifts not just the assets hiding under their t-shirts. The internet is such a valuable tool (I use it everyday) but it has led to people like Kim K perpetuating the belief that being hot is all about getting your boobs out and displaying your bits to millions of people around the world. I want my daughter to grow up thinking it’s hot to use your brain, it’s hot to study and it’s hot to take care of yourself and others. Yes be proud of your body but that body doesn’t need the validation of others for you to feel pride in it. Bodies are more than pieces of flesh to be ogled over, they are strong, they allow us to eat and drink, they let us play and run, they grow other people! We all have amazing bodies when you really think about it.
And Kim K this isn’t about body image or anybody saying you should be ashamed of your body. Having pride in yourself and your body is an important message we all need to pass on to our children. However, I don’t believe the proliferation of naked celeb selfies is the way to do this. In fact it’s encouraging vulnerable teenage girls to think it’s cool to send naked photos of yourself over social media. Parents everywhere are trying to send the message that this isn’t okay; that you may mean your image for private consumption but once online these images can end up anywhere and they last long after the pangs of puppy love have died away.
So please Kim for the sake of all the young girls who look up to you, think before you post. Save your fabulous bod (and it is pretty fab) for your husband and post selfies of your new make-up or hair style. Think of all those young women who want to be just like you and think before you press the share button.