The naked truth

Kim Kardashian’s nude photo sparks valuable debate


Maggie Curran, Opinion Editor

This past week, the world of social media overreacted to a nude photo. Again.

There is no point in giving my two-cents worth about Kim Kardashian West’s nude photo recently posted on her Twitter account. There is no point, because it seems every other person has already come forward and given theirs. Several celebrities have taken the time to express that they think Kardashian’s photo—which, by the way, had black bars covering more than a bikini swimsuit would— was anti-feminist for promoting the idea that women aren’t worth more than their bodies, that women should strive to be better than her and that she’s too old (at 35) to be posting photos like that.

One of the loudest voices opposing the photo was Piers Morgan, the journalist best known for having an unapologetic take on controversial matters. Morgan, shortly after getting in a Twitter feud with Kardashian over the photo, wrote a column entitled “You’ve still got a great body Kim, but if you’re really so successful, so secure and so rich why do you still feel the need to pose nude at 35?” The headline alone is fairly telling as to the content of the article, which details how Morgan was on board with Kardashian’s nude photos in the past, but now sees them as “a bit depressing.” He believes her latest post is an attempt to stay in the spotlight, despite it being her time to “hand the baton onto the next generation, however reluctantly.”

Like I said before, there’s no point in yet another person giving their unwarranted opinion on the topic. However, I will say that I disagree with Morgan. His idea that female celebrities reach a point in their lives at which they no longer merit attention, regardless of how physically attractive they still are, is a bit backwards considering no one says the same about aging male celebrities. In fact, Morgan of all people shouldn’t reprimand Kardashian for nude photos at 35, when in 2009 at the age of 44, he posed nude for an advertisement for Burger King meat-scented cologne (yes, that really was a thing). Additionally, his only approval of Kardashian’s nude photo is that she’s “still got a great body,” wrongly implying that if she didn’t, the post would have been inappropriate.

Morgan sadly isn’t alone in this thinking. Kardashian’s brand is largely known as her physical appearance. People still cite the sex tape she made 13 years ago as her claim to fame, and cite her body as what’s kept that fame alive. While there may be ground to stand on with that claim, it diminishes the truth that Kardashian owns a production company, a shoe shopping website, a fragrance line and a clothing boutique, created a mobile app and of course, stars in her own reality series. Life handed her a sex tape scandal, and she made lemonade.

Say what you will about Kardashian as a person, but she doesn’t get money and fame by doing nothing. She’s actually pretty tactical at manipulating the public into caring about her every move, and this recent blowup only proves that fact. I’m not someone who’s invested in the lives of Kardashian’s family, or the Jenner sisters, or anything else to do with their brand. But here I am, writing an article in defense of her nude photo that took zero effort on her part to post and sent the world into a frenzy. Why would Kardashian “hand the baton onto the next generation” when she so clearly is still in the race?

So, to answer Morgan’s question: the reason Kardashian posts nude photos even though she is so successful, so secure and so rich? Because she wants to, and she can. The fact that those photos further her popularity and keep her in the limelight is just an added bonus.