Aloha, break the internet, Brian Moylan, Caitlyn Jenner, Cameron Crowe, consent, Crazy Stupid Love, cultural appropriation, Easy A, Emma Stone, feminism, fucking, Jean-Paul Goud, Kim Kardashian, La La Land, Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, Paper Magazine, patriarchy, pimps up hoes down, Privilege, rape culture, sexism, slut-shaming, Time Magazine, transgender visibility, Trump, whorephobia, woke, Woman of the Year
When I say hate, I don’t mean, “You find her irrelevant and over-rated.” I don’t mean, “You recognize racist implications in Jean-Paul Goud’s photography and you think she needs to do more privilege-checking.” I mean that she was robbed at gunpoint in Paris last year and you were giddy-glad. Every time a celebrity dies you meme-plead with God on the internet to take a Kardashian instead. You hate her with a red-hot, searing, personal malice you really can’t explain.
I can, though. You hate Kim Kardashian- hate, hate, hate her – because misogyny.
You don’t think so, I’m sure. You think it’s something else. Fine. Let’s talk about Kim’s “break the internet” photos featuring her bare ass. And let’s remember, the most influential commentary didn’t mention photographer Goud’s racial fetishism. Brian Moylan’s Time magazine response specifically declares it impossible to consider anything of social significance while perusing these photos.
Unlike other celebs who posed nude, Moylan explains, Kim never had to struggle against the patriarchy. That makes it impossible to think about anything while looking at her ass other than “how it looks like a glazed Krispy Kreme donut.” He concludes: “We want there to be something more, some reason or context, some great explanation that tells us what it is like to live in this very day and age, but there is not. Kim Kardashian’s ass is nothing but an empty promise.”
So, we should remember that with great ass comes great explanation. Moylan doesn’t say who made him this “promise” that any woman on display would martyr herself to some great social cause. But he’s watching Kim. K. reap all the fame and reward for herself and calling foul. In his estimation, the great moral failure of this nudey pic is that he isn’t himself entitled to some form of profit.
There’s something Kim K. does that you don’t like, and it’s because of patriarchy. She knows what her image is worth. She owns it. She sells it. Her name in your mouth is a product, for good or for bad, so you buy it. Kim K. is subverting the societal expectation of a self-apologizing female sexuality. It’s a status quo insisting that the sexy woman can’t sell her sexiness without also having to sell, like, beer. Or deodorant. Anything, really, that benefits some dude in a suit. One might say, pimps up hoes down.
When America complains that Kim does nothing, what you mean is that she’s done nothing to advance your personal interests. If you cared about a greater social good, you’d remember that she survived a physically and verbally abusive marriage, and made herself an icon in the wake of a leaked sex tape. You’d mention her advocacy for recognition of the Armenian genocide. You’d have something to say about the fact that without Kim’s spotlight, we would not have been celebrating our first trans Woman of the Year in 2015. Which marked a huge historic shift in transgender visibility, on a global scale.
I’m not saying you’re some anti-trans asshole. Don’t get me wrong. I’m saying you’re an asshole who takes it as betrayal that a woman’s nakedness didn’t happen on your terms. You want Kim’s ass throwing its weight behind a cause that you’ve selected.
Go ahead and keep pretending we’ve all been reasonably judging one more privileged white lady making bank on aesthetics invented by women of color. Go ahead and tell me, “cultural appropriation” as your cincher, your one big final reason Kim K. is hate-fodder conscientiously-approved. Then explain how it is that when you talk about Emma Stone, you don’t sound like, “Haha, maybe she’ll die next year.”
There was one joke one time that sounded like “Stone can play any race” – and then you were talking about Cameron Crowe apologizing for casting her in Aloha, since after all it was his fault, and jamming out to La La Land like nothing ever happened. Everyone’s just like: dear sweet, silly Emma. How could she have known that she wasn’t cut out to play a character named Allison Ng? How could one faux pas make us love her any less, after we saw her in Crazy, Stupid, Love kiss her boyfriend on the forehead and then go to sleep without banging?
If you give a damn that her ignorance cost some Asian actress a career-launching role, it was muted by the greater concern that your daughters grow up wanting to look like Emma Stone, and gluing references to required reading on their chests while not having sex during high school.
God forbid your girls start to emulate Kim. God forbid someone call slut in the hallways and they take a bow instead of run home weeping. Hello, Rape Culture, were you here the whole time?
Let’s talk about the sex tape. 2007. The debate – all in an angry voice – that perhaps the video was leaked on purpose. Her hair and makeup were done so well, the scene professionally-lighted, film-quality up to porn-industry standard. Men who watched the video told me so. And that was a reason why they said nobody likes her. After all, who could enjoy a bedroom scene that wasn’t really stolen? Why did she have to go and maybe, just maybe, consent about it?
Be scared of what Kim has to teach your daughter, ok. Don’t at all be terrified of what your father taught you. Keep screaming that you’re woke in the era of Trump, and trade memes of a naked Melania. Calling slut and shaking your head. Keep pinning her to your wall. There’s no connection in hating Trump with all your heart and looking at his naked wife. It’s all in defense of Michelle. Mrs. Obama would surely it as a compliment.
There’s this thing about A Woman Who Lets You Watch we figured out a long time ago. The thing is that you want to, even though you know it’s wrong. And we’re all in agreement that when you just can’t stop yourself from watching, it’s her fault for being such a dirty worthless whore that she won’t fight tooth and nail to make you look away.
Time magazine was pleading: Explain your ass, Kim Kardashian. We know that it’s wrong to objectify and brutalize and demean, but damnit. If this object won’t make the effort to convince us it’s a person, what other choice do we have?
It’s terrifying to meet a slut who simply doesn’t care. When you can call her any name you want, watch her gunned-down bloody on an episode of South Park and laugh when the same thing almost happens in real life. When you can spread her naked pictures over the internet, and her image in your hands is yours to do with whatever you will.
You need her to try and stop you. Because, you realize, maybe what you want to do is violent, sadistic, brutal. And you tell yourself it doesn’t count – that it’s just her type of woman. You tell yourself this isn’t you, this isn’t you – this is all on her. It’s a tale as old as time.
The truth is, and always has been, that you hate Kim Kardashian just because you can.