A friend texted me the latest selfie of Kim Kardashian with the simple question, “Thoughts?” My first was “EW!” Like half the people on Instagram and Twitter, I’m not crazy about a new mother publishing half-nude picture of herself for all the world to see.
However, her body prompts a different set of reactions for me. The first is amazement. Her butt is not only super size, it appears genuinely toned. (Though I’ve got to say, enjoy that while you can, Kim. That flesh will inevitably head south.)
The second reaction is – good for her! She is celebrating her curves, albeit in an inappropriate way. I don’t know much about Kim’s lifestyle, but I’ve never heard that she’s a hard-partying girl. According to the tabloids she works out with a trainer and eats well. So if this is her voluptuous post-pregnancy body, then I say, You Go Girl!
Kim is clearly never going to have Paris Hilton’s skinny body. Maybe she doesn’t want that. By posting this photo she’s pretty clear that she takes pride in her curves.
By all accounts the Twitter backlash has been scathing, with lots of use of the words “fat” and “disgusting.” It’s scary how freely hypercritical people are on social media.
Our standards of beauty are somewhat capricious. The seventeenth-century painter, Rubens, portrayed Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, as an equally full-figured and sensual woman. And more recently, during the mid to late 19th century, the bustle was the height of women’s fashion. And what about Jennifer Lopez? She’s got some junk in the trunk. Is it possible that she and the Kardashians can help reset the bar on our current paradigm of beauty and physical perfection?
Image: Peter Paul Rubens – Venus at a Mirror [1613-14], Oil on canvas, 98 x 124 cm, Private Collection.