Kim Kardashian: The Anti-Feminist Feminist
She takes nelfie after nelfie, but then tells the media she’s not a ‘free the nipple’ type girl.
By Michelle Nektalov, SUNY Purchase
You don’t have to follow Kim Kardashian on Instagram to know what’s going on in her life.
Whether it’s on magazine headlines or in Kanye songs (maybe in every rapper’s songs, for that matter), people throw around her name like it’s an Olympic sport.
But before I elaborate on what Kim’s done now, please don’t mistake me as someone who—dare I say it—cares. I say that because I’m not here to give you my opinion on Kim Kardashian. Many people relentlessly bash her, while others are quick to make her out to be a goddess of beauty and fashion. I, on the other hand, have kept away from both sides of the Kim Kardashian love/hate spectrum, instead plopping myself in a cozy spot in the middle, where I intend to stay.
So why am I going out of my way to talk about a women I claim not to care about? Well, like I said earlier, her name comes up everywhere, and recently it just so happened to seize my attention when headlines broke out about Kim’s claim that she doesn’t consider herself a feminist.
During a keynote interview at the BlogHer 16 conference in Los Angeles earlier this month, Kim shares with the audience, “Everyone always says, ‘Are you a feminist? Are you this or this?’ And I don’t think that I am. I don’t like labels. I just think I do what makes me happy. I want women to be confident. And I am so supportive of other women…I love to support other women.”
Am I the only one with a question mark hanging over my head? Oh, you do too? Great, so I’m not the only one confused by how one of society’s most successful women wouldn’t want to “label” herself a feminist, while simultaneously giving women her full support.
In response to her negative reactions to the statement, Kim wrote on her blog a more detailed explanation to why she doesn’t want to call herself a feminist. Right off that bat she makes clear, “For me, a feminist is someone who advocates for the civil and social rights and liberties of all people, regardless of their gender; anyone who believes that women should have the same choices and opportunities as men when it comes to education and employment, their bodies and their lifestyles.” Okay great, so she knows what it means.
And only after she states, “Of course I want these things! I’m all about empowering and uplifting women. Obviously, there are things about me that people might say make me a feminist: I work hard, I make my own money, I’m comfortable and confident in my own skin, and I encourage women to be open and honest about their sexuality, and to embrace their beauty and their bodies.” She goes on to reassure that she wants and believes all of those things, but it’s just the idea being labeled and put into a category that turns her off.
This is no time to be an angsty teen, too cool for the idea of being categorized, Kim.
Don’t get me wrong, Kim Kardashian can be whoever she wants to be, but considering everything she’s ever done as an entrepreneur, model, social media icon, mother, wife and sister of what seems like a hundred women, wouldn’t you think she’d be proud to identify as a feminist? The Kardashian family practically sells the value of confidence and self-empowerment to their fans, especially Kim, who shares her products to make people feel good in their own skin and doesn’t shy away from sharing her body with the world. The height of her success today would crumble without the progress of feminism.
It only hinders the cause when one of the most relevant women of our time won’t say she’s a feminist. To deny the technical title of someone who works to create equality amongst people of all sexes for the sake of not wanting to be labeled is an immature move for someone who claims that they want to do all of those things. By brushing aside the label of “feminist,” she is devaluing the term into something that doesn’t sound appealing.
Unfortunately, my confusion doesn’t end there. Kim goes on to say in her keynote interview, “I’m not the ‘free the nipple’ type girl. If you’re not comfortable with that, don’t do it, you know?” I’m not an expert, but I don’t think showing your nips is the criteria women have meet in order to be a feminist.
Plus, let’s not pretend that most of the internet hasn’t seen Kim’s topless selfies that she’s posted herself. Just this March, she tweeted a nude photo of herself accompanied by the caption, “When you’re like I have nothing to wear LOL.” Three weeks later she tweeted another topless photo, only this time she had nothing to wear alongside her friend, Emily Ratajkowski.
*Sips some more tea*
Although I can’t seem to wrap my head around her opinion, I must admit, I admire Kim’s gesture to explain to fans why she doesn’t consider herself a feminist. Despite the hate she receives on the daily, she patiently responds with a positive attitude and high regard for peoples’ feelings as opposed to cursing out anyone who doesn’t agree with her. It’s not very often you see an icon put the time and effort into connecting and keeping a thoughtful relationship with their following, and it shows her willingness to treat others with respect. And hey, maybe after reading some articles (like mine), Kim might reconsider being labeled a “feminist.”