“We should be building women up; not tearing them down,” writes Tara Watson
Overnight, Mia Freedman posted on Mamamia an article where she lambasted Kim Kardashian’s naked selfie, while championing Lena Dunham’s semi-naked underwear shot, which was attached to her newest Lenny Letter.
In the article ‘Two semi-naked women. One made me feel happy. One made me think FFS’, Freedman notes what she says is the major difference between the two images:
“Kim’s nude selfie didn’t seem to have a purpose beyond showing the world how much weight she’s lost since having her second child a couple of months ago. It was defiant in another way. It said: “I’m not fat, bitches. I’ve lost weight and I’ve brought sexy BACK.” Oh where to start,” said Freedman.
Where should we start? First of all, the image of Kim was taken before Saint West was born – not after. This has been verified by Kim herself and is easy information to source. So none of this ‘not fat anymore, ner ner ner’ is based on anything other than the opinion of Freedman and how she assumes people she deems as superficial may think.
In fact, there is a good chance Kim was posting an old image to own how bangin’ her body was back in early 2015 pre-baby.
It should be noted that I’m no fan of Kim Kardashian. I don’t watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians. I don’t have her app or emojis. I don’t buy her products. I generally greet any Kim-related news with an uber enthusiastic “uh huh”.
I am, however, a fan of Lena Dunham. Even since she swaggered across my screen on the game-changing Girls, it’s been love at first sight. I read and subscribe to her inspiring Lenny Letter. I watch everything she is in. Stalk her Instagram by the hour. I basically think she is a goddess.
The problem I have with Freedman’s words, is the comparing of women’s bodies – something which is in essence starkly anti-feminist. And something that Mamamia is apparently against, if their articles regarding the Ashy Bines/Tess Holliday issue are anything to go by.
Why to champion Lena’s body, do we need to bring down Kim’s? Is there no room for these two hot ladies to co-exist?
With the exception of Piers Morgan – who would frankly pen an opinion piece about a can of baked beans – the people to shame Kim have been women. This is particularly unsettling surrounding International Women’s Day (IWD), a day that advocates women uniting and supporting one another.
Aren’t we a sisterhood?
Just as Freedman was lambasting Kim for “bragging” with her naked selfie, American singer P!nk has jumped on the Kim-shaming bandwagon, tweeting a message that read:
“Shout out to all of the women, across the world, using their brains, their strength, their work ethic, their talent, their ‘magic’ that they were born with, that only they possess. It may not ever bring you as much ‘attention’ or bank notes as using your body, your sex, your tits and asses, but women like you don’t need that kind of ‘attention.'”
In the quiet moments, you will feel something deeper than the fleeting excitement resulting from attention, you will feel something called pride and self respect.”
— P!nk (@Pink) March 9, 2016
The message seems to say that Kim has no talent, so that’s why she uses her ‘body, tits and ass’. What a beautiful message for IWD! It also contends that there can be no pride or respect that comes from sharing publicly that you are happy in your own skin as a woman and own your sexuality.
Our favorite girl Amber Rose was quick to yell bullshit. Calling attention to the many contradictions in Pink’s message, responding on Instagram saying:
“Pink, we’ve seen u damn near naked swinging from a rope (beautifully) but what’s the difference between a rope, a pole and a pic on Instagram? Classism. Because u sing while ur[sic] half naked does that make it ‘classy’ or is it because u have a ‘talent’?”
Damn Pink we were all born naked society sexualizes our breast and bodies. If a grown mother of 2 is comfortable with her body and wants to show it off that's none of ur business or anyone else's. Now, if u wanna talk to kids and be a mentor to young teens, tell them to go to school and to not use their bodies to get ahead?! I'm all for it! But please as a grown woman let another grown woman live as she wishes. That's our problem! We're so quick to down each other instead of uplifting! Pink, We've seen u damn near naked swinging from a rope( Beautifully) but what's the difference between a rope, a pole and a pic on Instagram? Classism. Because u sing while ur half naked does that make it "Classy" or is it because u have a "talent"? I'm not dissing at all Pink just curious after u said "You'll never have to make a silly excuse for yourself".
Young actress Chloe Grace Moretz retweeted Pink’s message, and had tweeted days earlier, which has since been deleted:
“I truly hope you realize how important setting goals are for young women, teaching them we have so much more to offer than just our bodies.”
It is comments like this and that of Freedman that tell women that they can’t be proud of their bodies and simultaneously inspire women to achieve greater things then rocking a hot rig.
Freedman says that when Dunham and women like Dunham post images of their bodies it is okay because it is “brave”. She goes on:
“You know why it’s brave when Lena Dunham publishes a photo of herself in her undies or when she shows her saggy boobs or dimply bottom on Girls? Because it’s transgressive. She’s not model thin. She’s not fitspo ripped. She’s not Hollywood perfect. Lena Dunham’s body, dressed or undressed, is a bit of a statement.”
By calling Lena’s body “brave” and Kim’s “braggy” while vastly patronizing and insulting to women that consider themselves much larger then Dunham, all it is doing is judging women’s bodies – putting them on a scale based on a perceived idea of body positivity.
Kim responded to some of the controversy that her naked selfie has gained, saying on her website:
“I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin. I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me. And I hope that through this platform I have been given, I can encourage the same empowerment for girls and women all over the world. I feel so lucky to have grown up surrounded by strong, driven, independent women,” Kardashian writes.
“The life lessons I’ve learned from my sisters, my mother and my grandmother, I will pass along to my daughter. I want her to be proud of who she is. I want her to be comfortable in her body. I don’t want her to grow up in a world where she is made to feel less-than for embracing everything it means to be a woman.”
I’m happy enough seeing Kim nude. Just as I’m happy enough to see Lena semi-nude. They are two beautiful ladies that don’t need to be competing against one another. The tendency to rate, compare and shame women is exactly what women constantly strive against – yet these women are perpetuating it.
We should be building women up; not tearing them down. FFS Mia, isn’t that what International Women’s Day was all about?