Kim Kardashian has once again caused a stir on the internet over her nude selfie. With many people praising her for celebrating her body and embracing her sexuality, others have been quick to judge.
There seems to be a thin line of what we think about selfies. Are they empowering or a little narcissistic? It's hard not to judge Kim. She has done something most girls wouldn't dare do. Women are usually the harshest judges toward other women, and we'd like to think we're above posting a picture of our nude bodies for everyone to see. We call Kim out and say she's being a bad role model, being a bad mother, and should put some clothes on.
But when did our bodies become something so shameful that we are criticized for liking how we look naked? I think we need to think about why we view the body as something so filthy that it needs to be concealed at all times. What troubles people about Kim's selfie is that she has done it for herself. It wasn't something that was leaked, and intended for a specific person. She uploaded it with the full intention of others to see it, because she was proud of her body and felt like sharing it with others. The fact that we are seeing a woman be so confident in her body that she can upload a nude picture of herself scares people. It's against the norm. The female body is so used to being viewed through the male gaze, that Kim's actions are perceived as scandalous and wrong.
John Berger talks about how the male gaze has dominated every aspect of society. We only see females through the male gaze; females are to be looked at, and objectified. But when a women views herself for her own pleasure, she is disgraced for it. He says, "you painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her, put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting "Vanity," thus morally condemning the woman whose nakedness you had depicted for your own pleasure". Kim has actively blurred the male gaze by taking control of her own nudity and away from the male dominated media.
Who are we to judge Kim for doing something that empowers her? There are always going to people who will judge, and you can't control what others will think of you. Nudity isn't anything new. We see nude art dating back to the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. What's refreshing is seeing Kim fight against the haters and take control of her body, and feel empowered by her own nakedness. And I think that's something no one should be shamed for.