Like most good articles, this one began with an early morning argument over a Facebook status. Being the obnoxious, keyboard-warrior journalist that I am, I provoked what I knew would become an explosive debate, and that neither side of which would be able to reach mutual agreement - being as the debate was not governed by UN mediation, but was in fact, just a separation of idiots with smartphones.
So, now we've got the mediocrity of social media debates out of the way, let me expand on my original release, and cause a bit more trouble.
Less than a month ago, Kim Kardashian West revealed with pride that she would be releasing a book that comprises of 352 pictures of Kim Kardashian West, taken by Kim Kardashian West. In other words, a big ass book of selfies, entitled Selfish.
There are plenty of things about the Kim K selfie book debate that piss me off.
My first vexed thought was about how women who garner a lot of media attention (whether they are actresses, singers/musicians, reality television stars, or socialites) are usually first defined by their appearance. If I had a nugget for every time I saw one of these women on the front cover of a celebrity gossip glossy without her make up on, carrying out some type of mundane everyday task such as taking out the rubbish bins, or walking the dog, or popping out to the shops to get milk, with some sort of obnoxious headline slapped across their forehead, usually embellished with the word GASP! - SHOCK! - or SCANDAL! I'd be a very, very wealthy woman by now.
And if the media isn't continuously taking the piss out of women for daring to leave the house in the natural state of being they were born in, it's instead co-opting the female image, over-sexualising it, and using it to sell shit.
And sometimes, if the media really wants to rub salt in the wound, it'll then even go as far as to slander women who are used in advertising and accuse them of being unnatural, a bad example of what a real woman should be.....
.....Until that woman takes out the rubbish bins without any make up on. Aaand the cycle continues.
So what, I beg, is the issue with an incredibly beautiful woman, who happens to be one of the most photographed, talked about, and recognised American icons of the present day, realising and claiming her worth, and capitalising on it in a way that any other corporation would love to have the chance to? Is there something about a woman using her own beauty for her own gain that society simply cannot comprehend? Because realistically, if Kim K ain't making money off Kim K, some other blood sucker gonna try to.
I, for one, was delighted by the news of Selfish's release. I was, however, also expecting the backlash of negative responses that were espoused by the general public. Here are a sample of some of my favourites:
"People in the world are dying, and we're all too concerned with a book of celebrity selfies? What is society coming to!"
This claim is usually made by someone who never has, and never will talk about "people in the world that are dying" in any other context, other than to slag someone off. Probably could not name and describe one natural, or man-made disaster that has occurred in the last 5 years.
"All Kim Kardashian has ever done is suck dick on camera, I don't see why anyone even cares."
A claim usually made by someone who doesn't understand how to use Google, and/or only ever uses the internet to read Perez Hilton's blog.
I refuse to entertain any porn-movie shots about Kim K that are fired nowadays, mainly because there are so many flaws in this argument it isn't really worth my precious time to dissect - but, as I'm awake particularly early today (for someone who works late nights behind a bar), I'll give it a swing.
Let's say, for arguments sake, that all Kim Kardashian has ever done is suck a dick on camera. Sexuality and respectability politics don't correlate. Your worth is not sanctioned by how you conduct yourself sexually. End of discussion. Not that it matters, anyway, because we all know that Kim Kardashian has built around her an entire empire of perfume and make up ranges, shares with her sisters a clothing outlet that sells items all across America, gives charitably to the Dream Foundation off of the back of her online eBay auctions, and has still somehow managed to create and maintain a family in the midst of her high profile, fast paced lifestyle.
Let's also say, for arguments sake, that the media purposefully paints Kim Kardashian as being little more than a big ass with a big bank balance. Let's assume that, being a woman, her media worth has been whittled down to exclude her external business achievements, and that nothing more than her face and her body is produced to the public in various different states, both with and without her consent. Doesn't sound so hypothetical anymore, does it?
"Kim Kardashian is a terrible role model for young women. We should spend more time listening to other, more respectable women."
Now, this one is my personal favourite. Following this statement, the claimant will usually insert the name of a female scientist that they will have had to have spent no less than 10 minutes searching the internet for, seeing as they have literally never talked about woman's accomplishments for any other reason than to pit them against the accomplishments of another woman, in some kind of bizarre competition that neither women agreed to enter.
Why isn't Kim Kardashian a role model? Because she comes from a wealthy family, a facet of her life that she used to gain fame and fortune through her own hard work? Because she made a sex tape that was meant to be a private recording of her and a former partner, that was eventually leaked into the mainstream media? Because it's not fair? Because you're butthurt?
"She's basically just offering herself up for masturbation."
No, my creepy rape culture advocating friend. That statement right there is quite literally the "that short skirt was offering her up for rape" of this debate.
"But what does she THINK is going to happen if she publishes a book of pictures of her..."
"...but what does she THINK is going to happen if she walks around alone at night...?"
Need I say more?
Of course, I don't technically agree with a society that is run by a capitalist system. I don't enjoy the idea - nay, the fact - that there are less than 50 people in this world that are harbouring more than the entire wealth of the other 7 billion people that live in it. But for fuck sake, man, it's not Kim Kardashian's fault.
To me, the only real problem there seems to be with Kim K publishing a book full of pictures of her face is that there are only 352. Personally, I'd like to see a nice, round 365. One for every day of the year. Now, if you'd all please realise that your sour attempts to discredit Mrs. Kardashian West will not even be presented at her feet, and stop doing her PR work for free, go ahead and just pre-order your copy of Selfish, on Amazon. The book is set to be released in April 2015.