Here’s What Kim Kardashian’s Nude Photos Teach Us About Society

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By now, you are probably aware of the nude photos that Kim Kardashian recently had put on the cover of Paper Magazine. I am not going to post them in this article – if you want to see them, they are easy to find.

Anytime something like this arises and there is a little (or a lot) of backlash from the public, people tell us to stop talking about it. “Just don’t mention it, that’s what she wants.”

kimk

I think this is missing the point of what is being said. Just because there are conversations and attention swirling around an event, does not mean that good or the intended kinds of attention are being brought to it.

We should be talking about these photos, because not only have we [as society] made this possible in the first place, but it is coming back around and messages are being sent to our youth that, well, shouldn’t be.

This may be a bit of an extreme case but I often think back to medieval times. The times of knights and kings and gladiators. It was a barbaric society, yes – but it was a society that valued honor. A society where people would strive for their names to echo through centuries because of great accomplishments or accolades in battle.

Today – we idolize Kim Kardashian.

Now, I am not going to say anything bad personally about Kim. I know people who are friends with her and I’m sure she is a perfectly nice girl in person. I am not going to say she shouldn’t be doing this because she’s a mother, or a wife, or make any sort of comment about what her body looks like. I think those things all have their own conversations that can happen around them – but I think it needs to be said that Kim Kardashian’s nude photos are a good example of how you need to keep pushing the envelope in order to stay famous when there is no real reason you’re famous in the first place.

As a society, we uplift those who are beautiful, who are wealthy, who are essentially mantelpieces. Do I value beauty? Of course. Do I strive to be wealthy? Of course. But do I think those are benchmarks of how we should measure a person and their stature in society? No.

Where are the magazine spreads for kindness? For empathy? For integrity? Or any of the other qualities that should be valued far above beauty or wealth?

Some people, like Kim, got lucky in the gene pool by no virtue of their own. Why do we value this so much as a society? Why do we put it on a pedestal? There are plenty of members of the human race who are where they are simply because of the family they happened to be born into. This goes for those both fortunate, and unfortunate.

Just as we do not look down on the poor children in third world countries who did not choose their place of birth, we should also not look up to those who were handed their privilege for no good reason.

Some people will say that Kim works hard. She does promotions, appearances, has stores, clothing lines, endorsements, a TV show where her privacy is constantly in the public eye, and so on. To that I would respond – would she have any of those things if she wasn’t already who she was?

This is what we do as a culture. We idolize people who are famous for simply being famous. We support them and give them our money and buy their products to feed the cycle. And when these things are glamorized, it sends messages to the youth.

Particularly young women who may look up to Kim as a role model of sorts, I believe she is letting them down without even knowing it. She is teaching them that if you want to be famous, all you have to do is bare it all to millions of people. They will look, sure – but what will they think?

I think we should talk about Kim Kardashian’s nude photos because it represents us as a culture. It represents what we value. It represents the type of people we idolize. It sets the standards for the people our youth want to be like.

Just a couple of years ago, W Magazine sent Kim on an emotional rampage because they did not cover enough of her body before publishing the images. She was mortified and said she would never pose nude again…”Not even for Vogue.” Ah, but, here she is again – willingly standing proud because hey, art.

We need to give more attention to publications like Men’s Health who feature amputee war veterans on their covers. Why has that story not garnered nearly as much attention? How many of you actually knew the name Noah Galloway? This man, right here:

noah

But Noah doesn’t fit the standards of what pop-culture glorifies. He doesn’t trend on Twitter. He doesn’t distract us from reality: He makes us stare it in the eye.

So yes, I do think we need to talk about Kim Kardashian’s nude photos. I don’t think we should brush it under the rug and say we are giving her the attention she wants if we acknowledge it. Nobody does things like this to garner negative feedback. We should talk about it not just with each other – but with our youth.

Act to gain respect, not attention. It lasts longer.

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29 Comments

  1. athenarcarson9 on November 13, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    “We should be talking about these photos, because not only have we [as society] made this possible in the first place, but it is coming back around and messages are being sent to our youth that, well, shouldn’t be.”

    Completely agree – I am increasingly aware of what messages are sent to kids now that my two girls are approaching the preteen years.

  2. worldfamousraph on November 13, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Reblogged this on F.A.M.E(FASHIONED AND MADE FOR EXCELLENCE) and commented:
    Act to gain respect, not attention. It lasts longer.

  3. Zahra Haider on November 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Spot on!

  4. Tina on November 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Well said, James!

    Personally, everything I value (morals, especially) seems to be what society pays no attention to. We live in a morally bankrupt society, and quite frankly, I find it to be disheartening.

  5. George Kages on November 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I believe this woman first became famous for her mediocre exploits in a sex tape. That’s when fame followed. . .
    All in all, yes, a very sad reflection of modern “culture.”

  6. laughsighcry on November 13, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Completely agree. Brilliant post. These images add to the hyper sexualisation of our culture and further normalise and glamorise such behaviour. This is not empowerment, it is exactly the opposite and it is sending a dangerous message to the young, impressionable women of today.

  7. louisely on November 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Reblogged this on Louisely's Blog.

  8. rlcarterrn on November 13, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Once again, I think you have read my mind. This line at the end is particularly brilliant: “Act to gain respect, not attention. It lasts longer.”

  9. Michelle on November 13, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Absolutely great job on mentioning Noah Galloway, he and Alex Minsky are two of my heroes for their service and also for the obstacles they have over come and over coming their limitations. Like Kim they have beautiful bodies but I’m more impressed with the challenges they have faced returning from war and how the have over come them…

  10. Tony on November 13, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    I personally do not still see any problem in what she is doing. I am no fan of Kim in anyway… but lets remember how clever this women is.

    Firstly her ex sends a sex tape of her around the world – the reason he did this is because her dad was defending OJ Simpson and also she started as an assistant to celebrities and was best friend with Paris Hilton.

    Secondly she turned something that could have ruined her life and shamed her into a positive and took the opportunity to make money from it, which now means she has an empire of products from clothes, bags and make up etc! She is now worth nearly $80 Million with an annual salary of $25-$30 million. To me that is a very very smart move! she could have hid away but instead made money from it.

    Thirdly Fair play to her for standing there in the nude! Wouldn’t you if you were offered $1,000,000 +++ to do it? I know I would!

    I do not in anyway think it is to stay relevant, their TV show does that enough. $$$ Talks. People sell their children, weddings, holiday snaps and more! This is just merely taking advantage of how famous she has become – and to that I give her kudos! Because I know I would do EXACTLY the same thing!

    • Joseph on November 15, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      She was not paid for that shoot, Paper magazine does not pay anyone to be on their cover.

      • Angel Lazo on November 16, 2014 at 1:21 pm

        “In-Kind” is the form of free publicity is of payment.



      • Angel Lazo on November 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm

        “In-Kind” is the form of free publicity is a form payment.



    • ozyno on November 16, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      You lost the focus of this article. It is not Kim shouldn’t be famous.
      Is about how bad we are doing as a society…. go read it again.

  11. Beverly on November 13, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I read the article in “Men’s Health” about Noah Galloway and saw a photo taken of him and his three children. I found it very bothersome that a man who lost his arm and leg while serving in the military, would want his own son to hold a (I believe) play gun in the photo plus none of the children are looking at him or he at them. Mr. Galloway said he was proud to serve in the military but after he was injured, he became depressed and began doing drugs, etc. and then he snapped out of it and devoted his time to getting into shape. No mention of him taking care of his family. Bet that was no chunk of heaven for his wife to have to take care of three children and him, and yet there was no mention or photo of her. Maybe I’m just being cynical, but I wasn’t impressed with the man as a husband or father and that, to me, is more important than his muscles. As far as Miss Kardashian is concerned, she’s only young once and for whatever reason decided to show it all. Showing your nude body is not a sin. Magazines are out to make a buck.

  12. Greg mesman on November 13, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    She is in a trash bag where she belongs.

  13. Renay M. (@renaymo) on November 13, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    wow…how redonkulous..your argument is that we stop idolizing or giving attention to women like Kardashian…because its gauche and we are all messed up yadda yadda … and they a few lines later you gush over Men’s Health and their pics of war amp vets…umm ok? so we should idolize war? soldiers? men who are trained and paid to kill working class or working poor men, women and children in other parts of the world in the name of oil? Big Biz? or Western freedoms? yikes…give your head a shake. No offence to Noah..but why is he so special? huH? because he made the “ultimate” sacrifice..think about all the pain, loss of life, damage and destruction that war has done…and then think of Kim…who btw is in part only trying to get what she can from the patriarchal enticement machine…in the ways she is allowed to be valued…that is about the male gaze and male domination. Same as Noah…and many men of colour and poor men and women who join the armed forces to get a degree of feed their families…not to be heroes with missing limbs. YES we need to take care of veterans…because they got duped, but let’s not keep vaporizing war.

    • Pavel E. on November 15, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Young lady, what you just did there is known as “Straw man fallacy”, where your argument is based on the misrepresentation of an opponent’s argument. Please, re-read the post and then try to refute what the author actually said and not that caricature you wrote. And please, refrain yourself from Ad-hominem arguments as well. Thank you.

  14. Naicker, Jeeva J on November 14, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Greetings…
    How true..
    Thanks for sharing..
    J

  15. Chronicles of Christie on November 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Reblogged this on Chronicles of Christie and commented:
    “Act to gain respect, not attention. It lasts longer.” -James Michael Sama

  16. yzhui96 on November 15, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Reblogged this on jenileqca.

  17. Angel Lazo on November 16, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    “This may be a bit of an extreme case but I often think back to medieval times. The times of knights and kings and gladiators. It was a barbaric society, yes – but it was a society that valued honor. A society where people would strive for their names to echo through centuries because of great accomplishments or accolades in battle.” A bit extreme is an understatement, delusional would be more appropriate. Give me the Kardashians any day than barbarism where millions were slaughters in the name of “Honor”. Journalistic malpractice is your worst offense with this ludicrous drivel.

    • James Michael Sama on November 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Perhaps my point should have been even more abundantly clear – society today values and elevates the talentless while a blatantly admitted barbaric society at least had the decency to want to accomplish great things in order for their names to echo through eternity.

      Now girls just want to make sex tapes and pose naked. Great advancements, eh?

    • James Michael Sama on November 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Also not sure what journalism you are referring to as you have visited a personal opinion blog written by a regular guy from Boston.

    • Junior on November 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      Omg.. you need to learn how to read..

  18. Lola on November 17, 2014 at 8:27 am

    While I agree with the author that KK is a talentless bimbo who, unfortunately, got more than her 15 minutes of fame, I also abhor criticism that lacks an astute use of the English language. Before you attempt to render any more critiques, please brush up on your English comp. Your grammar, punctuation, and lack of syntax is showing.

  19. Shep Bostin on December 10, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I don’t understand the people who keep taking you to task for your grammar. This is a personal opinion blog on the Internet, not an edited, published work. Do I agree with everything you say? No. But I enjoy hearing your various points of view anyway.

    As for this article, I agree with much of it but not all of it. However, the following quote is one I will surely share:

    “Act to gain respect, not attention. It lasts longer.” -James Michael Sama

    That is one for the ages…and from someone with imperfect grammar! 😉

    • James Michael Sama on December 10, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Shep – thanks so much for your comment! Completely agree with you on the grammar as well as respect our differences of opinion, of course.

      If I was a professional columnist or repeatedly published author (hopefully soon…) whose grammar in professional works was lacking, I would expect criticism. But I am a guy with a blog! Haha.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read and respond, have a great rest of your day.

  20. […] jamesmsama.com […]

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