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Kim's Empowerment Fallacy

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 21/03/2016 Mari Lyles
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The Daily Beast recently published Amy Zimmerman's article, "Kim Kardashian, Ayesha Curry, and the Toxic Madonna-Whore Complex," which made a valid point regarding women's ownership of their own bodies and society's insistence on categorizing women into certain niches - good girl vs. slut/whore. However, the article missed the more salient point of self-awareness. (Mind you, I'm writing this as a Life and Relationship Coach, taught to dig underneath the glossy patina of pronouncements and perceptions and question the "Why?" and the "What?" and the "How?" of any action veering from society's decaying definition of "the norm," which realistically changes faster than a nanosecond. And while "the norm" is changing exponentially, at some juncture, there exists a point where questioning the reasons for certain actions, instead of packing them all under the banner of "women's rights" is worthwhile.
Kim's claim to fame came as Tonto to Paris Hilton's Lone Ranger, and notched up via a notorious sex tape, which at the time simply heightened her image as fame-whore, golddigger and slutsky. Taking a page out of Angelina Jolie's make-over textbook, Kim embraced her tape, traded in on her attractiveness and launched an empire. You can't hate. Really ingenious, tactical move financially, but how much of a toll emotionally?
Zimmerman defends Kardashian's right to publish as many naked selfies as she chooses by quoting Kim: "I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin. I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me." Hmmmm? Nah. If that were true, I'd buy into and even applaud her statement, but how many meltdowns has Kim Kardashian had when someone criticized her choices? The very fact that she felt it necessary to take on criticizers, 19 year old Chloe Moretz and Bette Midler, to be exact, spoke more about her motives... the "Why's" ... than her actual statement. She could have simply laughed it off and said, "Ladies, I love you too." Or better yet, said nothing. People who are empowered and secure in their decisions generally dismiss others' criticisms as totally irrelevant, as one dismisses a fly on the wall. What I say and do is all about me; what you think is all about you. Empowered people treat criticism nonchalantly, casually; they feel above it all. If my time is spent going after that fly with a vengeance bordering on all-out warfare, when I bring an Uzi to a fly fight, then that fly has gotten under my skin, and I'm not immune to its unnerving - hence, I'm not really that empowered.
Empowerment is a self-confidence that rests in my ability to set my own boundaries and act as I choose on my own terms, regardless of others' opinions. In spite of other's opinions. Real empowerment ignores outside opinions no matter how demeaning because they are not definitive of who I believe myself to be. Again, what you think is all about you. Empowerment also isn't swayed by society's dictums, wooing, judgments or decisions on looks, styles, etc. i.e., I don't need to have a butt, lip, or boob enhancement because certain segments of society think it looks sexy. I'm still sexy if my boobs or ass are pancake flat. I'm sexy whether you see me as sexy and I'm still a bad-ass regardless of your opinion. And I don't need a man to validate my sexiness. If I say I'm sexy, then dammit, I'm sexy. As long as that's how I see myself, then that's the end game. Deal with it. Now, that's empowered thinking.
And what exactly are Kim's "why's?" I have several theories, but they're mine, just as Kim's freedom is hers to do with as she chooses. She doesn't answer to us, nor should she. But my "why's" don't buy into for a second Kim's empowerment rationale, because again, after all What I Think Is All About Me.
Does that mean Kim is wrong to flaunt her bodacious tata's while Ayesha Curry is correct in playing the modest wife and mother? No. Kim and Ayesha are doing them, adding to their twitter followers while sucking in money like a vacuum and probably enjoying whatever fame brings them. Neither woman is obligated to be a role model to anyone other than their very own children, unless they so chose. And, Kim deserves, as do we all, all the happiness and success she is able to obtain in a life-time. But if there is that desire, as Kim states, to use the platform she was given to "encourage the same empowerment for girls and woman all over the world," then let it be genuine empowerment that frees and liberates women and allows them to create their own sense of self without the pressure of retaliation after public censorship.

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