Does Kim Kardashian Really Widen the Spectrum of “Acceptable” Body Types?

I really love this photo by Spencer Tunick. I would tell you why, but Lisa at Sociological Images puts it so well that I’ll leave it to her: “It’s worth a good long look at each body; each is a precious point of push back against mass media’s representation of the female form.”

Click to enlarge

I’ve watched Nicki Minaj’ Super Bass video at least 20 times this week. I can’t get the song out of my head, but I’d be lying if I said a part of my obsession wasn’t with the ridiculous proportions of her body. It’s mesmerizing. I feel the same way about Kim Kardashian and Serena Williams, I just can’t stop staring.

I’m all about body variety, but when I’m internally celebrating a positive moment of a comparatively curvier chick on a magazine cover, it’s easy for me to forget that the “variety” offered up by a Vogue “shape” issue is still very, very  narrow. Yes, adding a Kardashian to the mix of 17-year-old 6-foot Scandinavians is a (small) step in a good direction. Including the bootylicious on the list of conventional beauties, however, doesn’t really widen the spectrum. Instead, it creates another very specific, very exclusive type of body that’s on the “good list.”

What I love about the Spencer Tunick photograph is how undeniably average these bodies are. They are unlifted, unsmoothed, un-retouched. There are wrinkles, lumps, bumps, sagging, tan lines, freckles, spots. You know, that normal shit that magazines would have you think never happens.

Related Post: Amy is in such good shape, why is she worried people wouldn’t want to train with her?

Related Post: Ugh… banning thin women from a yoga studio is so not the answer.



Filed under Art, Body Image, Media

8 responses to “Does Kim Kardashian Really Widen the Spectrum of “Acceptable” Body Types?

  1. Pingback: Curve Appeal vs. American Apparel’s “Next Big Thing” Contest | rosiesaysblog

  2. Amulya

    see: the chapter in Tina Fey’s Bossypants entitled “All Girls Must Be Everything”

  3. Pingback: Why I Want a Kardashian to Wink at Me | rosiesaysblog

  4. Pingback: Mmmm… Delicious! | rosiesaysblog

  5. Pingback: Gilded Age Pin-Ups | rosiesaysblog

  6. butwait!

    But they’re all white women! Or at least from my vantage point look so… So even that photo is missing out on the true diversity of bodies when you consider Latinas (and within that Mexican bodies, which are small and square, Brazilians who are more svelte, etc.), African bodies, Asian bodies…. There’s a lot more than just white chicks, and that itself is somewhat of a specific body type.

    We can never win!

  7. Pingback: Female figures are, by definition, “feminine.” | rosiesaysblog

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