So there I was, doing my usual morning perusal of the internet; finding out if anyone famous had died so that I could post a tweet claiming to be more upset than anyone else, seeing if any more wombats had been photographed sitting in teacups, when there was a flash of light. There in front of me, looking like two bald men fighting their way out of a bin liner, was some woman’s arse.
I don’t know much about Kim Kardashian, but as it looks like I am to be intimately acquainted with her backside, (something that usually only happens when that person has at least taken me out for dinner or something) I feel that I am qualified to talk about it.
Firstly, wowsers. Photo shopped and injected with silicone or not, that is one amazing arse. Once you see it you can’t un-see it. It follows you around the room. You shut your eyes and it’s there, like when you look at the sun. It’s so damn shiny I almost want to touch it. (And then scrub my hands with antibacterial handwash, obvs). But obviously, it makes me a little bit cross.
The reason it makes me cross is that it highlights the unspoken rules we are required to live by. It forces us to judge women by their appearance alone and starts yet another conversation about women’s bodies, as well as women’s choices. We are told that this kind of thing should make us feel liberated. But I don’t feel liberated, or empowered looking at this, (I mainly needed some soothing balm for my burnt-out retinas), it just makes me feel exhausted, like we make one step forward only to be pushed back again. It’s all being done quite subtly and in a way that lets us think that anything goes when it comes to our bodies, and anything does go, just as long as it fits into The Rules.
Look, they say, big is beautiful, and then go on to show us photographs of size 14 women.
A recent number one song, called All About That Bass is hailed as a song celebrating body positivity, but if you actually listen to the words it’s basically saying that it’s fine to be big, because believe it or not there are some men out there who actually like big women. I know, right? It sounds crazy but yes tubbs, there might even be someone who has a thing for a chubster like you, so it’s all fine. As long as it can be validated by men then you go ahead let yourself go, love. Have a big old arse. Just make sure it’s not any big old arse, we don’t want any droop or flab. And reign it in a bit when you get to a size 14. And don’t forget to slag off those skinny bitches on the way. Brilliant, have another pie.
These are all misguided assurances. Said to our faces while behind our backs they’re laughing at how yet again they’re getting away with making us feel shit. Shine that arse up as much as you want, this is still publishing exploitative photos of women, it’s just got a different title. It doesn’t really matter how they get there, how liberating they tell us it is, the end result is just the same. We’ve still ended up slagging off a woman, judging her for her appearance and her decisions in a way that a man’s body/life choices would never be scrutinised. We’re always seeing photos of David Beckham in his kecks, but not once have I heard anyone discussing whether or not this makes him a bad father, or whether it means that he must sleep around and is a bad person, yet Kim Kardashian has been called a whore and a bitch, as well as a bad mother.
We constantly see naked or topless women in the media, it’s all part of advertising and I’ve talked about the mixed messages and contradictions of breasts before, here. We are all allowed to look at Kim Kardashian’s alarmingly shiny bum as much as we like, but if someone posts a picture on facebook of themselves breastfeeding their baby, it’s instantly removed. It’s all about control. This year some celebrities were hacked and some naked pictures were leaked. There was outrage. Not at the fact that they were hacked, but the fact that they had taken the photographs in the first place. Sluts, the lot of them, they deserved everything they got. How dare they take control of their own bodies?! It seems it’s a case of get your tits out for the lads, but wait, only when the lads say so, right? Can’t have you getting any ideas about your own body now, can we.
Keira Knightley took a stand against photoshopping and published some un-photoshopped pics of her boobs earlier this year. Which was great, it’s refreshing to see things like that. But she was still pouting seductively, she still had make up on, her hair was wet like she’d just stepped out of a bukkake party and in the accompanying text the emphasis was on it being a raunchy photo shoot. Don’t panic lads, it’s OK, let ’em think they’re running the show but don’t worry it’s still all about whether or not we’d still shag her despite her having such tiny tits.
It just emphasises how yet again women are just doing it wrong, reminding us that we can have all the PhDs we want but we will still mainly be judged by the size of our tits, or, in this case, our incredibly shiny arses. And yes, I know I’ve mentioned the shinyness of it a lot, but jeez, that is one shiny bottom.