The Real Reason Everyone Freaked Out Over Kim Kardashian’s Nude Selfie

Jayn Griffith
The Establishment
Published in
7 min readMar 11, 2016

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A woman who can say yes is also a woman who can say no.

WWhether you keep up with celebrity affairs or not, you can’t really ignore the Kardashians — and you definitely can’t avoid knowing what people think about them. When Kim Kardashian posted a nude selfie on Twitter this week, there was a smattering of “you go girl” support, but also a wave of criticism about her immodesty or her pathological need for attention. The response from the public and from other celebrities said a lot about what we think of Kim Kardashian, but even more about what we think of women’s bodies and sexuality. In a culture where we see billboard-sized images of boobs on the daily, why is it this nude picture that makes everyone clutch their pearls?

When a woman is depicted in a sexualized way, with no depth beyond her appearance in order to sell beer, cars, or sandwiches, we call it advertising. We see it everywhere in public space and in media, and hardly anyone ever objects.

When overtly sexual or nude photos and videos of women are posted online or nude photos are printed in magazines, we call it porn. We don’t see it everywhere in the public space, but we’re aware of its ubiquity, and as a culture we look the other way. We say, “Boys will be boys.” Looking at…

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