26/11/2014 07:15 GMT | Updated 26/01/2015 05:59 GMT

Like It Or Lump It, Kim Kardashian Is a Good Body Image Advocate

Kim Kardashian isn't exactly the most obvious feminist icon.

A straw poll of most people I know don't like her - in the way that some people don't like those who make their fame and money through things that require no talent, such as a sex tape.

The furore over BreakTheInternetGate only fuelled this further, with many - including myself - feeling that their eyeballs were unnecessarily violated by the sight of her glistening butt at 8am (before I'd even had breakfast).

But the truth is, none of this matters. This is a much bigger statement about body image.

Once my eyes had recovered, I looked a bit closer at the picture. Photoshop or not, racist overtones aside, Kim wore the look of a woman who was supremely confident, comfortable in her own skin (no sniggering in the back there) and while she may have made a lot of money from the aftermath of publicity, was paid nothing for the shoot.

Now, she is gracing the cover of Elle UK as a mascot for their body confidence piece.


While there will doubtless be comment pieces and columns about the travesty of this, I actually think Elle is bang on.

Regardless of how you feel about Kim, she's a woman who clearly loves her own body. She may not be waving the flag about feminism and she probably won't be the next UN Women ambassador, but she's doing what she wants, and is proud of who she is, and surely that's the crux of feminism?

Feminism and body image have had a tricky relationship in the last few years that makes this difficult to argue. If a woman takes her clothes off is she anti-feminism or simply in love with her own body? If she is in love with her own body then does taking her clothes off mean she doesn't respect herself?

It's the tough call. But whether it's #FreeTheNipple or Beyonce in her hotpants onstage, this is about body image. And we can't afford to be complacent about it.

Body image is becoming a chronic problem among young girls, and negative self esteem is fast becoming responsible for a rise in eating disorders and dissatisfaction in how we look whether you're 15 or 50.

According to Elle's front cover, Kim has 70 million fans. That's more than the entire population of Great Britain.

We don't have to love her, but calling her trashy or tearing her down simply for wearing hotpants or posing nude when she looks like she's having the time of her life, sends a damaging message to our younger counterparts about the freedom to love your own body.