Despite assertions to the contrary, Kim Kardashian never really breaks the Internet. That would be counterproductive to her goals, which tend to involve people seeing her on the Internet doing whatever’s figuratively going to break it. Such was the case when she tweeted a sort-of nude selfie with the caption, “When you’re like I have nothing to wear LOL.”
Some things we can agree on. For example, it’s very difficult to deny that Kim is in possession of a very large and beautiful bathroom. I mean, seriously, look at the size of that thing. Plus it’s very tasteful and understated, with just a hint of pattern on the flooring.
Second, it is a revealing picture, I guess, but not more revealing than the average Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Third, whenever Kim does this, we’re going to get think pieces. Large think pieces. Round think pieces. The breaking of the Internet demands them.
Cue the Bared Teeth
One such example was offered by Bridget Phetasy over at the new and improved Playboy. In it, she defends Kardashian’s tweet, even as she isn’t much of a fan of Kim herself, while chastising all those who would shame her for it.
So SHAME ON YOU if you are a man or a woman or Bette Midler and felt compelled to type negative words into your little box connected to the world, reminding the world that Kim’s ‘a hoe’ or isn’t ‘wife material’ or has ‘#noselfrespect.’ Kim might be a navel-gazing narcissist, but she pulled in upwards of $75 million dollars last year— $75 MILLION.
To be fair, I’m not sure why Bette Midler was getting in on the act, but it was pretty funny. It would have been funnier coming from Joan Rivers. Alas, that isn’t possible these days, so Bette will have to suffice.
Kim Kardashian tweeted a nude selfie today. If Kim wants us to see a part of her we've never seen,
she's gonna have to swallow the camera.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) March 7, 2016
Kim was not amused by this, nor was she amused by a tweet from Piers Morgan, that intellectual heavyweight of the highest order. Morgan was so perturbed that she didn’t find him funny he wrote his own think piece, in which he questioned her sanity. I guess he has a point. Obviously, not finding Piers Morgan funny is a sign of a mental breakdown.
Boxes Full of Women
There is a common thread running through all three of those varied responses: nudity is an essential component to Kim’s brand. She laid the foundation for her empire with a sex tape and, of course, this says something about society. (It does, but not that much.) In the words of Phetasy:
The less confident elements of society want to put women in labeled boxes IT GETS TO CONTROL. This is a ho. This is a wife. This is a mom. This is a sidepiece. I call bullshit. Society’s grip on female sexuality lessens more and more every day. Every time Kim Kardashian posts a nude selfie she redefines what ‘shame’ even means and where the line in the sand even is—whether you agree or disagree with what this means for humanity—and the fact of the matter is that Kim changes the landscape of what’s acceptable because we have accepted her for her sexuality. Kim K built a fucking empire with hers. What have you done with yours today?
Look, just because people are overreacting to Kim showing some skin doesn’t mean society is getting ready to create some boxes full of women. We all saw how that worked out for Mitt Romney, plus it seems like a lot of effort and—here’s the real kicker—most people don’t care.
Yes, Kim Kardashian did first gain notoriety via a sex tape. What box did we place her in as a result of that? The one where she’s a freaking millionaire. She has a television show. She’s married with two kids. Honestly, people question her decision to marry Kanye much more than they question anything else she’s done. To be fair, that is the most vexing question.
There, But for the Grace of Technology, Go We
Perhaps it’s because many of us have on more than one occasion whispered that silent thank you, the one about how grateful we are that we didn’t carry pocket computers and video cameras with us when we were engaging in our own youthful exploits. There, but for the grace of technology, go we. Kim herself addressed this via her app, which is a thing she apparently has, too.
It always seems to come back around to my sex tape. Yes, a sex tape that was made 13 years ago. 13 YEARS AGO. Literally that lonnng ago. And people still want to talk about it?!?!
I lived through the embarrassment and fear, and decided to say who cares, do better, move on. I shouldn’t have to constantly be on the defense, listing off my accomplishments just to prove that I am more than something that happened 13 years ago.
I am a mother. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, an entrepreneur and I am allowed to be sexy.
You know what? She’s right. She is all those things, and she is allowed to be sexy if she wants to, to flaunt her stuff on Insta and Twitter. Just as we continue living our lives knowing we did some outrageous things when younger, so should she. Glass houses, the log in our own eyes, and all that. Kim also deserves some added respect for tangling with foes such as Bette Midler and Piers Morgan.
So, Kim, you do you. Keep on breaking the Internet, one explosive and ridiculous backlash at a time. It’s a worthwhile endeavor, one that needs to happen until we learn to be a little less outraged over each and every little thing that comes across our screens.
2016 may be the stupidest of times, but there is still hope. That hope isn’t a thin- and orange-skinned reality star; maybe it is a tanner one. So Kim, as your husband once said, Imma let you finish. Keep on keeping on and keeping up and get out there and break some shit, one piece of the Internet at a time.