Unless you’ve been living under a rock, on another planet, or with no wi-fi connection (which is basically the same thing), you have undoubtedly seen a certain celebrity’s backside all. over. the. place.
Yesterday, Paper Magazine posted the cover story of their latest issue featuring Kim Kardashian.
Or should we say Kim Kardashian’s body.
That’s right, the article featured several nude pictures of Kim, with one picture in particular fully revealing her famous larger-than-life behind and in turn going wildly viral online. The racy and NSFW image was tagged #BreakTheInternet and has been plastered on every major and minor news source on every social media outlet worldwide for the past 24 hours. Odds are if you’re reading this, you know exactly what picture we are talking about.
Now, normally we wouldn’t post about such a thing. Celebrities choose to do nude modeling all the time and we don’t get involved in it. Our Fight is against the harmful effects of porn and other forms of sexual exploitation, and almost always, nude celebrities in magazines don’t fall into that category. So while we do not support material like that, a celebrity’s choice to do a nude photo shoot doesn’t automatically make them a porn star.
But similar to our open letter to Jennifer Lawrence, there are times when society’s twisted and warped ideas about women, sex, and intimacy, can’t go uncorrected.
Here’s the question: if the person isn’t actually doing porn but their nude pictures are being published all over the world wide web, is it having the same negative effect on society?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
Dr. Gary Brooks, a psychologist at Texas A&M, has published many articles on the harmful effects of pornography. What’s interesting about some of Brooks’ work in particular is his research on the harmful effects of “soft-core pornography”, (basically naked bodies not necessarily having sex.) Brooks is published in the Witherspoon Institute’s The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers, where he is quoted:
“Soft-core pornography has a very negative effect on men as well. The problem with soft-core pornography is that it’s voyeurism – it teaches men to view women as objects rather than to be in relationships with women as human beings.”
Dr. Gail Dines, a renowned lecturer and professor of sociology, as well as the founder of Stop Porn Culture, wrote in her book Pornland:
“By inundating girls and women with the message that their most worthy attribute is their sexual hotness and crowding out other messages, pop culture is grooming them just like an individual perpetrator would. It is slowly chipping away at their self-esteem, stripping them of a sense of themselves as whole human beings, and providing them with an identity that emphasizes sex and de-emphasizes every other human attribute.”
Starting to get the picture?
When nude images of women are promoted, pushed, raved about, and placed in front of everyone’s news feeds, there are extremely negative and harmful ideals that are subconsciously being placed into society. Men start to believe that these images define women and that they are what is truly sexy. Women start to believe that their worth is attached to their bodies and that they have to compete with these images. Research shows that when adolescents, both male and female, are exposed to sexualized media, they are more likely to have stronger notions of women being sex objects.
So whether celebrities like Kim Kardashian realize it or not, they are contributing to the idea in society that women are to be objectified, compared, weighed, and measured by an arbitrary standard set by the media that produces them.
It is way not cool for people, including Kim herself, to be viewed as “just a sex object”.
All these findings are from legitimate, peer-reviewed science and research that prove that sexualized media in general, not just pornography, have a huge negative impact on society.
What You Can Do
If you aren’t cool with naked women being plastered all over your social media and news sources, SHARE this article and spread the word.