Tag Archives: photo

Kim Kardashian is just another battle in the cyber war over women’s bodies

14 Nov

The naked pictures may not have broken the internet, but they have proven a point about the extent to which the female body has become a digital commodity

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Kim Kardashian’s hyper-sexualised naked body is this week’s internet ballyhoo. Her greased behind, paraded by Paper Magazine as the photoshoot to ‘break the internet’, has been glistening in every dark corner of cyberspace. Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress- you name it- internet users have been unable to turn a corner without being visually confronted by Kim K in the raw.

As with all nude internet sensations, the photos have sparked a furore of polarising debates. Aside from Kim’s robot fans who have applauded her with automatic adoration, humans with brains have raised a variety of issues with the photos, from the representation of her naked body: completely hairless and oiled up, the backlash against her being a sexualised mother, the way in which a female body in and of itself can create superstardom, and the racial undertones to the images.

Some may well defend the photos as female empowerment- ‘women are entitled to do what they want’, or as just another unsurprising day in the internet world- ‘women get naked on the internet all the time, what’s the big deal?’

Fair play. Just last week, Kiera Knightley got her breasts out for a photo-shoot and comedian Tig Notaro performed an entire set, topless. Sadly, as an internet user of the 21st century, the persistent appearance of women’s bodies in the media has rendered me desensitised to seeing them at regular intervals throughout my day, whether I like it or not.

But the difference between Kiera and Kim is that they’re standing at opposite ends of the internet battlefield. While Kiera posed topless on the condition that she wasn’t photo-shopped, making a point about the great variety of women’s natural body shapes, Kim went nude to break the internet. Bravo. As ever, she wasn’t trying to convey anything inspiring or profound. At most, the photos are a continuation of Jean-Paul Goude’s trademark ‘art’ that sexualises the black female body. At least, they’re a sensational attempt to generate an infamous media reputation. Gossip= clicks, and clicks = money.

The photos are standing in a long line of recent internet battles over women’s bodies. The leaked nude photo scandal brought issues of authorisation and consent under the spotlight. Calvin Klein’s size 10 model begged the question, ‘Which size is plus size?’, and Victoria’s Secret’s ‘Perfect Body’ campaign sparked a torrent of bullets against the promotion of one limiting archetype of the female body. Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 15.26.52

Whether each of these debates have been settled in a positive or negative light- or not at all- the sheer frequency and ferocity with which women’s bodies are being verbally attacked, defended and dissected on the internet demonstrates the disheartening reality that the internet has fast become a battleground for the female form. Women’s bodies are being pushed back and forth in internet spats, as lifeless pawns to be claimed or defended like territory. They’re hostage to cyberspace whether the women behind the bodies like it or not.

I might be a dreamer, but I look forward to the dawn of web utopia: the day that women’s naked bodies aren’t plastered so freely all over the internet. But if they are, the best possible public response will be one of complete and utter indifference. That’s the day we’ll know that women’s bodies have ceased to become the hotly contested benchmark against which we measure the value of women themselves.

In this sense, Kim’s photos are nothing new, just another battle amid a war that’s already raging.

What continues to bother me about the photos is that they edge closer to achieving their lurid goal of ‘breaking the internet’ every time they get talked about- praise or no praise.

So please, can we stop liking, sharing and talking about Kim Kardashian’s body and use the internet for something a little more worth our time? Quick, somebody grab an iPhone and pass me the ice bucket.

17 #californiaproblems only tourists will understand

12 Jun

When travelling in California, you can be mistaken for thinking that you’ve wound up in paradise. San Fran, San Diego, Los Angeles, Yosemite- Cali has it all, from world-class stardom, to breath-taking national parks, to luscious beaches. Those lucky enough to enjoy California life will notice that during their time in the Golden State, all of life’s usual worries melt into a distant haze, to be replaced by a set of gloriously trivial #californiaproblems that make you ask- why don’t I live here again?

1. Lying on the beach for hours and suddenly realizing you can’t remember the last time you wore socks DSC03401

2. Having a nervous breakdown because you can’t sunbathe without sandflies hopping all over your body

3. Forgetting what day it is DSC02729

4. Agonising over what message to write in the sand for a super grainy new Instagram pic

5. Not being able to take said Instagram pic because the sun is too bright DSC03184

6. Being late for dinner because it took so long to peel your wetsuit offDSC02775

7. Comparing watch and flip-flop tan-lines with your friends at dinner

8. The overwhelming desire to abandon all forms of normal life and become a hippy in Haight Ashbury

9. Buying an inappropriate number of woven bracelets and never wearing them again once you’re home

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10. Constantly bumping into fellow pedestrians because you’re taking pictures of everything. All the time. Especially on the Golden Gate bridge.


 11.  Buying trail mix that has a disproportionate nut to chocolate ratio. Let’s face it-you only bought it for the M&Ms.

12. The indescribable displeasure caused when you offer trail mix to other hikers and they cherry-pick all of the chocolate bits

13. Not being able to hear your music on the beach because the sound of the waves crashing on the shore is too loud #inconsiderate DSC02740

 14. Worrying about the increasing size of your calf muscles after walking around San Francisco DSC03299

 15. Spilling your complimentary wine on a San Francisco boat tour because the waves are too choppy DSC03243

16. Walking down Muscle Beach and forming the sudden urge to eat steak and workout


17. Coping with post-Cali traumatic withdrawal disorder DSC03386


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