The Never-Ending Debate On Nude Selfies

The Never-Ending Debate On Nude Selfies

Is it time to cover up?

Oh, look, another pair of boobs.

Pictures like this seem to always find a way onto my social media newsfeeds.

Before I dive into this conversation, let me preface it by saying that I do believe women are still oppressed in a lot of ways and that this is a challenging topic because there are so many sides and ways to approach it. Now, let’s dive in.

Even if you are not connected to the various social media outlets that are available, there are still plenty of other sources that relay the information posted to the general public. Recently, Kim Kardashian uploaded a nude picture of herself online with caption, “When you’re like I have nothing to wear LOL.” Hm. To be completely candid, I, like many, was not shocked at all by this ‘scandalous’ photo. Anyone who is even somewhat familiar with her is aware of the revealing photos she tends to post. Some of my initial thoughts were, “What will your daughter think?” and “What message does this send to young, impressionable women?” To me, everything she stands for is self-promotion through overt sexualization of herself.

The post did not go unnoticed—also not shocking. Within a matter of minutes, various opinions from other celebrities and regular people alike flooded the internet. Comments ranged from ‘how inappropriate this was’ to ‘this was commendable.’ But, there is not a right or wrong answer. Still, I’m sorry, but I find it extremely far fetched that Kim posted the photo with the intent of thinking about feminism, and rather posted it only for personal gain and comments to inflate her opinion of herself to an even higher level.

Just the other day, Kim followed up the image with another nude selfie—this time with a costar in the image, actress Emily Ratajkowski. The two have a black bar censoring their chests, while they both flip off the camera and pout. I cringed. I do not think this really helps the case for feminism. Both these women are famous because they have used their naked bodies as a way to promote themselves and make money. Both seem to always be posting hyper-sexualized shots of themselves. Kim constantly forces her naked figure into the media; she even had a fully unclothed image of herself on the cover of Paper magazine. Emily got her break bopping around almost completely nude in a music video for a song that glamorizes rape culture. These do not seem like women that are truly practicing what they apparently preach as ‘feminists.’ To me, this sends the message to young women that an enviable body and overt sexualization of yourself to the general public are more important than other things that can be brought to the table. Women are already treated as objects to engage the male gaze and solely bring pleasure, so why should we give them any more? I believe that there are other ways to approach feminism and advocate for change. I feel that their actions only fuel the idea that a body is more valuable than a brain. This interpretation was also reiterated by actress Chloe Grace Moretz, as she commented that it sends the wrong message to young women about what is important.

Now that I have said that, and I am sure people are angry at my idea, let me go into another layer of the debate. I see why posting a photo such as this could be empowering. They are posting it on their own time, with their own consent, and think they have the right to be sexy. Their sole purpose is not to satisfy the male gaze. By having the power to post the image they took themselves, the women have total control. While I find the root of this idea appealing, I do not find this to be the proper way to go about it.

Whatever happened to the sanctity of keeping your body to yourself and those you love? Maybe I am a prude, but I do not get why everyone feels the need to share their bodies with the world. Feel empowered, feel inspired, and by all means, love yourself. But, is showing your naked body really making a statement or just a cry for attention? Maybe I feel this way because this is something I would never do. All I can think about when people post images like this is, “Have your parents seen this?” and “I hope you can hide these from your next employer.” Maybe I'm a little old-fashioned.

Regardless of if the slew of nude photos are meant to promote feminism or not, it feels as if they have started to just become yet another typical nude, and because of this, do not have the same kind of impact. If you see something every day, it’s not as shocking anymore. Kim, I feel like I’ve seen your boobs almost as much as I’ve seen my own. Maybe, it’s time for you to try promoting feminism in a way that does not rely on vanity.

We need more role models that promote feminism and empowering messages while their clothes are on—a message that women of all ages can participate in comfortably. Actress Emma Watson is a prime example of this; she is a UN Ambassador for HeForShe, which champions gender equality and has called for alternatives to pornography that do not objectify women. The work she is involved in has received attention in the media, as well, but perhaps not to the same volume as displaying one’s breasts.

Even though I do not fully agree with some of the ways that Kim approaches ‘feminism’ ( I keep putting that in quotes because I am really still skeptical of her intentions), I do think it is advantageous that it keeps the conversation alive as to how people respond to posts and engage with feminism. As I previously stated, there is no right or wrong answer, but perhaps the closest thing to the correct answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Cover Image Credit:

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13 Style Mistakes Every Girl Made In The 2000s

Hide your selfies.

1. Crimped Hair

2. Straightened Side Bangs With Curly Hair

3. Jeans under skirts

4. A "poof" with two braids

...thanks Lizzie Mcguire

5. The solo "poof" with straight hair

Lauren Conrad made this acceptable, right?

6. All silver or light blue eye shadow

7. Too Much Eyeliner

8. "Emo" hair

9. Ponchos

10. Tank Tops Over T-Shirts

11. Those "shrug" Half Sweaters that tied in the middle *cringe*

12. The uggs, graphic t, jean skirt, and leggings combo.

13. Stretching our tank tops way down under a tight T-shirt... Layers are trendy, right?

Cover Image Credit: College Fashion

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As A Muslim American, My Trip To Jerusalem Revealed That Open-Mindedness Bridges Communities

A life changing trip that opened my eyes up to the optimal dynamics in a community.


On Dec. 21, my parents and I flew to Amman, a city in the beautiful country of Jordan, where we took a cab to the main part of Jerusalem. We were told by multiple family friends that it is not the safest to directly fly into Jerusalem because of the religious issues and riots going on. As we entered Jerusalem, I put my hijab on. A hijab is a head covering worn to cover a women's beauty in Islam. As I put my hijab on to pay respect to Mosque Aqsa, I noticed a change in perspective from everyone around me because suddenly, there were eyes from everywhere on me — Muslim and Jewish.

After we paid respect to Mosque Aqsa, we went to the hotel to sleep because we were exhausted from our 14 hour flight. The next morning, we woke up bright and early to begin our day by praying at Mosque Aqsa. I wore traditional American clothes, jeans and a top, because it was often worn in Jerusalem, though I kept a hijab on for prayer.

After praying, I was astonished by the gathering of all the Muslim people in the mosque area. This made me want to see the Wailing Wall and the place of the first church to view how others gather for their god. I knew the Wailing Wall was sacred because it was a prayer and pilgrimage place for Jewish people, while for Christians, Jesus was born inside the first church.

As we exited the mosque community, we found a kind man at the kiosk who gave us pomegranate and mangoes. My dad decided to ask this gentleman directions to the Wailing Wall. The man began screaming at me and my dad. He told us we are not allowed to even want to view the wall of the Jewish people. I responded and explained that we just want another perspective on other religions. The man yelled even louder. He told us that the Jewish people would convert us and that we should not leave the Mosque surroundings. With this, he furiously sat back down and did not give us any directions to the wall that was right behind this mosque. My dad and I were quite confused on what had just happened and the way our question for simple directions were handled.

We decided to walk along the sidewalk until we found someone to help us out. It was a 61-year-old man who seemed to be a Jewish person with his religious hat. He happily helped us out and gave us exact directions for the Wailing Wall, though he did say he was excited new people wanted to convert to his religion.

We followed his directions and successfully reached the Wailing Wall. There were gates at the Wailing Wall that had security checks that allowed people to enter as there were at the mosque. Although, the experience entering the wall and mosque was not the same. As a muslim woman wearing a hijab, I was able to walk through the mosque without anyone questioning me, I was easily able to walk in without questions asked.

At the wall, a security guard first made my family go through metal detectors, checked our passports and asked an immense amount of questions about why we wanted to go see the Wailing Wall if we were Muslim. Finally, after various obstacles and issues, we made it into the Wailing Wall.

As I experienced such obstacles, I thought about how different the community in Jerusalem was from the United States. It doesn't matter what group, each religion in Jerusalem was highly conservative. This is quite different from the United States.

The culture in the United States is significantly diverse, which allows the people here to be open minded. As an everyday routine, Americans interact with people of various religions and cultures that they don't question or change their perspective toward a certain race. Yes, there are always racist citizens who are not comfortable with other religions, but a majority of the United States depicts unity because of how culturally different every person is.

This is not how Jerusalem is seen. Religions are significantly segregated with one another through security check, restaurants, hotels and even streets. Every religion has their streets in Jerusalem and going to the one you are not a part of can result in awkward stares along with rude treatment.

As I had previously booked a hotel before arriving to Jerusalem, we were not aware that the street we booked was on the street of the Jewish people. This wasn't a major issue, but glares and different treatment were conveyed. As my parents and I would eat breakfast in the lounge, we would often get glares for the hijab or clothing we were wearing because it was different from everyone else around us. This was quite disturbing because every day we would go inside the hotel or leave and get glares that clearly depicted that we weren't wanted in this hotel. The hotel workers were indefinitely kind and caring at all times, though the people living there were not.

The experience I had was definitely an eye-opening lesson. It depicted the perspective of others in America versus Jerusalem. The people in Jerusalem are not open-minded, which detaches the various religious groups in the nation. It prevents various religions to connect or be able to create united communities to be able to act as one.

As for the United States, there are different religions and cultures blended together with majority of the people who are open-minded. This allows the union of communities, while also allowing people to connect without the similarity of religion. I'm glad that I was able to have a once in a lifetime experience with my family. Although the segregation in the country was a little uncomfortable, I am glad that I was able to understand how lucky I am to live in an open, happy and united country and that I am also able to learn about the significance of open-mindedness in uniting people and communities.

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