I've noticed that the most prominent critics of Kim Kardashian's latest stunt have been white upper-class women who believed they were speaking against her actions in the name of feminism. Just Google 'celebrities react to Kim Kardashian nudes' and you'll see what I mean.
All the wisecracking and undermining comments coming from these rich white people goes to show that even if you're a rich brown person, you'll still be considered trash by the white upper class, including the self-proclaimed progressives.
Countless white women have donned fictitious personas and posed nude for magazines and film and consequently had their work deemed 'tasteful', 'high fashion', and/or 'crucial for character development'. Examples that come to mind include burlesque star Dita Von Teese, Samantha of Sex And The City, and Lena Dunham's character in Girls.
So the message we've been getting all along is that women can be sexual people, but only when their imagery is fictional and made for a consumptive audience. We can try on sexiness as a costume to serve purposes outside of ourselves, but as soon as we shows signs of non-constructed sexuality, signs that we are real in our desires and are proud of the fact, we get torn apart by friends, loved ones and wider society for 'disrespecting the sanctity of our bodies' and 'selling ourselves short'.
Where are the cis-white advocates of sex positivity when you actually need them?
I think a lot of white feminists simply can't accept the reality that sexuality and intellect can coexist in a woman, much less a woman of colour, still much less a mother of colour. They flaunt their book smarts and cultural capital in place of their flesh in an attempt to elevate themselves above their long-held stereotype of the primitive lustful brown/black/yellow people, invoking archaic binaries such as civility and primitivity, highbrow and lowbrow, and, who could forget, virgin and whore.
Critics can't fathom how Kim, with a body that is brown and thus the antithesis of the white ideal, can be so audacious as to defy the rules of "respectable" feminism by expressing confidence in her sexuality, and god forbid, encouraging the same mentality in other women with unconventional bodies.
It's 2016 and most people still can't wrap their heads around the truth. Which is that people fuck, that women of colour are people too, that it is totally normal to want sex and to want to get sex by displaying one's own sexuality. We've been doing it since year zero. We've, ahem, come so far in our technological age, learning and applying our discoveries in science to invent smartphones, salad spinners, and a robot actress that has gone on to compete with human nominees at a film festival, and yet... We still struggle with this age-old truth about ourselves and our ancestors.
Whether we like it or not, such facts remain. Thus we can conclude that publishing nudes on our own terms won't set back the women's rights movement. Perpetuating the stigma that accompanies body confidence and female sexiness, on the other hand...