Kim Kardashian, Race and the Rule Against the Sexy Mom

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November 12, 2014 by gabnormal

By now everyone has heard about Kim Kardashian’s cover on Paper Magazine.

If you’ve been under a rock, here it is.

Since then, just about everyone has had something to say about it, including “Glee” star Naya Rivera and musician Lorde.


This leads me to a few points. The first being that the purpose of this photo was dumb. Break the internet? Please. Only our beloved Ellen has even come close to that and it was only on Twitter. Sorry Kim, can’t take your side on this one, you’re just not important enough to break the entire World Wide Web.

That being said, Lorde (a self-proclaimed feminist) and Rivera’s reactions to the mag cover are unfair to mothers all over. Can mom-shaming be a new term? Just because a woman is a mother does not mean she is no longer allowed to be sexy or show off her body in whatever way she pleases. When she’s old enough to understand, will North West like that her mom posed naked on the cover of some expensive magazine? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean Kim can’t be proud of the body she’s worked for.

Out of all women, mother’s most likely get it the worst. After actually going through the torture of pregnancy, a woman has fulfilled her worth and is no longer of service to anyone besides her children. Calling Kardashian out for being a mother and basically saying that her actions are inappropriate is inherently anti-feminist. If anything, the reality star should be even more proud of her body because she was able to reclaim it after her pregnancy.

Now with that being said, the cover image looks photoshopped. Photos of Kim on the beach show her looking great, but her waist is simply not that thin. I’ll commend her for being proud of the body she has, but putting forth an image of herself that looks so heavily airbrushed is damaging to society’s view of the female body for reasons I don’t think I have to discuss.

Another point, which is more eloquently stated at The Grio, is that photographer Jean-Paul Goude has already used this pose once before, in another – albeit more racist – photo shoot.

Author Blue Telusma notes that Goude openly admitted to his fascination and fetish with women of color, which says more than a few things about his photos, especially these.


While Kardashian appears white to many, she has Armenian roots and a more curvacious figure, one that is often associated with women of color. As Blue pointed out, she may not have realized what she’s done, but in her quest to break the internet Kim K has become the punchline to a very old, and very sad joke.

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