Kim Kardashian has recently attempted to ‘break the internet’ once again, with a couple of nude selfies. I don’t have a problem with people sharing naked, or scantily clad shots of themselves; if an adult in full command of their mental and emotional capacity choses to do so, that is their choice.
I’ve noticed that the term ’empowerment’ has been bandied around a lot on social media recently, especially with regards to nude selfies. Alluding that getting one’s kit off is an act of empowering feminism makes it rather difficult to criticise, because it feels like a betrayal of the sisterhood. Justifying attention-seeking selfies under the umbrella term of empowerment is misleading and bogus. Male body builders or gym enthusiasts, who reveal their six packs for Instagram, don’t claim to be empowered. They get their pecs out for the camera because they like the attention. The reality is that Kim K exposes her naked body for cynical, commercial purposes; with every tit pic, she publicises and perpetuates the money-making behemoth that is the Kardashian brand.
This might seem a little rich coming from me, as I frequently use my Instagram and Twitter accounts to plug my blog and my writing work. But I struggle with the inherent narcism of fashion blogging and I know that if I weren’t a blogger, I wouldn’t plaster my little corner of the internet with selfies and outfit shots. However, I think it would be better if people could be a little more honest about the motivation that fuels their social media accounts.
Female empowerment is not about a saucy selfie; it’s Malala Yousafzai’s campaign to secure education for girls and young women all over the world. It’s demanding equal pay and standing up to everyday sexism. There are plenty of men and women who post compliment-wrangling selfies, and if that’s your schtick then go hell for leather. But don’t claim it’s for the greater good, because that’s a naked lie.