Women have been depicted by men for eons, their nude bodies used regularly as gaze-pieces for patrons, sold for money.
Kim Kardashian recently posted a nude selfie to promote body acceptance and people went crazy. “How could SHE post a picture of her naked self?!” The treatment of her was harsh—conservative and liberal people both showing disgust. There was something wrong with a woman depicting her body the way she wanted it.
Yet look at the art featured in many museums showing the nude bodies of women painted by men.
“Oh no, those are just beautiful aesthetics…not the same thing.”
SEEMS PRETTY SIMILAR TO ME.
Kim Kardashian does seem to be slut shamed an awful lot by a culture that commodifies the female body. The funny thing about Kardashian is that she receives the benefit of pay out. Kardashian makes objecthood profitable for herself. Therefore: she is dangerous and powerful.
When Mary Wollstonecraft wrote “A Vindication of the Rights of Women,” she did so under a pseudonym. The piece was praised by the philosophers of her time. She thought this was affirming enough to release the piece under her real name, revealing she was a woman. “A Vindication…” was then thought of as drivel. So strange to consider that shift of female authorship can make such a difference.
There is something threatening about women depicting themselves the way they want. So we should do it.
I’ve been feeling great this summer so far and I recently decided to treat myself to a new bathing suit. Got my fitness and health game up by taking my workouts more seriously and eating more mindfully. I’ve realized how important it is for me to walk every day–it’s meditation for me. As I near 30 I realize how important it is to take good care of myselfie.
STILL NOT ASKING FOR IT!
We are told to be afraid of our bodies. Be careful! Don’t dress like that unless you want to get raped!
Well, no. Being pretty is not why people are assaulted. They are violated due to a culture of male entitlement.
The truth is: no matter how much a woman’s body is on display (no matter how much is showing), nobody OWNS her body. Not even if you think you are buying a sex worker’s body for an hour. Nobody owns any body except their own.
If men in our culture could grasp that (and truthfully many do, they are just taking advantage of privilege) we would not be learning about these cases where women are taken outside behind a dumpster and touched while unconscious.
I’m even supposed to have trepidation while posting this:
What if I go on the job market and people find this picture of me in a *GASP* bikini?!
Cool your fucking jets.
This culture is why one of my heroes Sara Ahmed just left her position at Goldsmiths a few weeks ago. Men know when they are crossing the line with women. They simply do not care because everyone reinforces: male lives matter more than female lives.
They don't, by the way, and we should be able to experience the same amount of respect. That doesn't mean just going to work like them. This doesn't mean just making a lot of money. This means real personhood. The kind where people don't mistake our beauty as proprietary, benefiting some man. Our beauty is our own. You can appreciate if you want. Not by cat calling, uninvited groping, raping, of course. But start to see we have souls that go along with these beautiful bodies and they can co-exist in us.
Don't be ashamed of your body and soul-- even if that's what you have always been told to do. Love your selfie.