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This is ART

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I work for a women’s leadership organization, which is headquartered in a women’s college, so just imagine the whirlwind of female opinions swirling in the office after seeing the latest contribution to the Kardashian derrière album by Paper Magazine.  Let’s just say a lot of eyebrows were raised over the unbelievable greasiness.

I will fully admit that when I first saw the cover image, Break the Internet Kim Kardashian, I fell into a circle of feminist-fueled irrational judgment.  But more so, I was confused.  Something wasn’t right and it wasn’t the image – it was me.  WTF was I thinking?

I was a damn art history major in undergrad.  Hell, I managed an art gallery for most of my 20s.  This is ART.  Period.  Regardless of what you think about Kimye, the Kardashian family, or their place in pop culture.  Say it with me, A-R-T.

Whether you like it, or not, simply doesn’t matter.

Some of the criticism that was lauded against the covershot, and its subject, was unfounded and simply ridiculous.  My absolute favorite bit of criticism surrounded the fact that she is a mother and shouldn’t be on display as a sexual being.

Are you kidding me?  I am fairly certain that baby North West was made the old-fashioned way. Mothers and motherhood, have been represented in various mediums since us humanoids realized that cave walls needed artwork and objects could be carved.  Take a look at this tiny gem of pure female from a mere 40,000 years ago.  And in a few years when Miss North enters tweenhood, she may be embarrassed by the nude photos of her mother.  Who hasn’t been embarrassed by their parents at some point in their life?  Hello, mom jeans are eternal, folks.  I would hope North’s embarrassment quickly turns into respect for her mother’s embrace of  voluptuousness in a time of stickbugs.

This brings up another point of criticism, however, and one that’s above my blog pay grade.  Race and the mockery thereof.  And more specifically the depiction and treatment of Saartjie Baartman in the 19th century.  Bustle covers the topic well.  Also, according to a survey conducted by TheGrio, 42.2% of those polled agreed that Paper Magazine’s images of Kim Kardashian have racial undertones.  I agree with these criticisms, but check out this champagne advertisement from the 1920s by Leonetto Cappiello:

Champagne De Rochegre by Leonetto Cappiello, circa 1920

Champagne De Rochegre by Leonetto Cappiello, circa 1920

Look at the hair piece and the gloves!  Strip off the frumpy getup and you have some Kimye.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Butt the most important question remains, what kind of oil was used to obtain that level of glisten???


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  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! My thought on the whole thing has been “seriously, who the hell cares?” Let the woman walk around naked if she wants to. WHO CARES?! But you hit the nail on the head, Suz. Also, I laughed at your “blog pay grade.” 🙂


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