Kim Kardashian-West Starts a New Wave of Anti-Slut Shaming

Ah, sexuality. A complex cacophony of awkwardness, indescribable emotions and unwarranted judgement. Alas, once women hit our sexual prime, we're juggling a double-edged sword. Sleep with "too many people" (who decides how much is too much? Why is this a concept that requires a decision anyway?) and you're easy. A slut. A whore. Choose not to sleep with anyone, and you're frigid. Show pride in you're body, and you're cheap. Setting a bad example. You should show some dignity. And the perpetually circular debate of a woman's right to do what she pleases with her own body continues.

Last week, Kim Kardashian-West posted a year-old nude photograph on Twitter, with additional black bars to cover her breasts and vagina. The picture, of course, received a mixed reaction, ranging from supportive to downright nasty. To coincide with International Women's Day, Kardashian released a powerful essay outlining her exasperation at the constant scrutiny and backlash she receives for publicly celebrating her appearance. 

In her essay, she said, "In all seriousness, I never understand why people get so bothered by what other people choose to do with their lives. I don’t do drugs, I hardly drink, I’ve never committed a crime—and yet I’m a bad role model for being proud of my body?"

She continued: "I am empowered by my body. 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 am empowered by my husband, who is so accepting and supportive and who has given me a newfound confidence in myself. He allows me to be me and loves me unconditionally. I feel so lucky to have grown up surrounded by strong, driven, independent women," she wrote. 

“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.”

Since then, other celebrity women have raised their voices on the matter. In response to Piers Morgan's unsurprisingly chauvinistic article about the Kardashian picture, Gone Girl actress Emily Ratajkowski tweeted: "Love when a man comments on a woman’s decision to post a nude photo. Her body, her career. Sexist bullsh-t."

"Someone should be reading my Lenny letter and taking a lesson in what it means to be a woman and sexual in our culture. Ehem," she continued. "Also love that when a woman stands up for herself everyone thinks it must be her dude speaking for her."

Actress Chloe Moretz chipped in, Tweeting back to Kardashian with "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." This is truly disappointing given Moretz's is a bona fide role model to millions of young girls across the globe - she shouldn't be condemning other women for their decisions in relation to their own anatomy and free will. She should be leading by example and telling her fans that if a woman wants to celebrate her body for what it is, let her and leave her be. If she wants to utilise her position in popular culture and make a statement of empowerment with her body, LET HER.

Kim Kardashian-West has achieved a phenomenal amount of success from something that should have, and almost did, ruin her career. She continues to rule the roost even now, as a wife and mother of two. It may still be baffling to some, but she is a human being, not a plaything that exists purely to be objectified, and she is unashamedly shifting the paradigms of sexuality as we know it. All power to her.

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