We’ve all seen the NSFW Kim Kardashian West Paper Magazine photos. Some people love it. Some people hate it. I tend to fall on the “it’s art” side of the argument: subjective and open to interpretation. However, many responses to Kim Kardashian West’s latest publicity have been viciously negative in a way that I am not ok with – people are shaming her decision to take nude photos because she’s a mom.
A recent New York Times Op-Ed I shared with my readers via Facebook preemptively addressed this issue. Author Heather Havrilesky’s piece “Our ‘Mommy’ Problem” addressed the defining of women by their reproductive status in an incredibly poignant way. Havrilesky wrote, “Motherhood is no longer viewed as simply a relationship with your children, a role you play at home and at school, or even a hallowed institution. Motherhood has been elevated — or perhaps demoted — to the realm of lifestyle, an all-encompassing identity with demands and expectations that eclipse everything else in a woman’s life.” In short, when a woman becomes a mom, it’s expected that she lose her identity.
Kim Kardashian West is not your average woman (or “mom,” for that matter). However, her role as a mom is something we should talk about, because like Kim, I’m a mom, but I don’t want my role as a mom to be used to attack me or limit my choices as an individual.
We all understand that parents have a responsibility to their children to care for and protect them. We understand that, as parents, we’re the first real role models in our children’s lives. But North West, Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West’s daughter, is 16 months old. She’s not looking at Paper Magazine, and if she is, she’s not sexualizing her mother. In fact, most 16 month olds see their moms naked all the time. A mom’s decision to pose nude, run for office, enjoy a night out, or work outside the home should not be under criticism because “she’s a mom”. Fact: moms are people, too. We’re people who are not just moms. We are, in fact, adult people. Imagine that! Many of us have ambitions beyond the playground, but we are shamed into thinking that our lives are no longer our own – that motherhood is the be all, end all of our existence. Once we have children, we’re treated like it’s all over.
That’s not true.
And it needs to change. Now.
Women, who happen to be moms, can be outstanding role models to children by furthering their careers and trying new things. The idea that women, who happen to be moms, can be influential both in and out of the home is something we should not only accept – it’s something we should encourage. Too many moms have felt the painful pull of responsibility hold them back from pursuing other projects. They’ve sacrificed their own wants and needs in order to avoid judgment and socially required guilt.
“Mom” is how your children define you; it shouldn’t be how society defines you. The fact that you are someone’s mom should have nothing to do with how the adult world views your contribution to society. You are not society’s mom. You are not society’s nanny. You are not society’s moral compass. You’re a person, who happens to be a parent. Feel free to pose nude.
“It doesn’t sit well with me for Kim to be shamed for being naked and sexy(ish) because she’s a mom. If you don’t like the photo at all that’s fine by me, but what should being a mom have to do with it?” – Sara McGinnis
Mrs. Bottlesoup I totally agree! Whether you care for Kim’s style or sexual nature is your personal choice. That is not my personal style and probably would not be so comfortable, but that’s my way. However, it is clearly the way for the millions of people who continue to support her. Kim at 34 year old married mother of one, has a net worth of $28 million which lands her FOUR spots on Forbes! #80 on Forbes celebrity list. #65 money list; #21 press; #17 social. Her mobile App has earned upwards of $43 million dollars in 3 months. Sexuality is not a new phenomenon – turning it into a brand and a financial powerhouse – however is something we should all get used to -redefining women in business – Wives in business – Mothers in business. Her business savvy is not defined by her motherhood or nor should it be judged on that basis. She loves her little one, just like the rest of us.
Mrs. Bottlesoup says
Thank you! I’m so happy to read from others who realize mom’s shouldn’t be limited in the choices, personal or professional, that they make. Her decision to pose nude has nothing to do with how she raises her child. It’s ridiculous that society assumes this much.
Jaime Nicole says
Sigh. I have to agree with you here.
Here’s my opinion on Kim and the rest of the Kardashians, I am not a fan but I don’t despise them. Say what you will about them being famous for being famous, they are smart women (despite public opinion). They have capitalized on Kim’s infamy and I applaud them for it.
I won’t lie- if I looked like Kim, I’d be nekkid 24/7. LOL I would have been enjoying being young, single, beautiful and rich and dating like crazy (Kim gets called a whore but what? Stupid).
This isn’t how I would roll but go girl.
What do they expect? Minivans and Crocs? It has no bearing on whether or not she is a good mom.
Mrs. Bottlesoup says
Exactly! Moms don’t have to fit the stereotypical mold to be great parents. Thanks for reading.
I love this I’m working on a similar post for my own blog. I really hate that term. Its like some people feel like the moment we give birth with out baby we should be given a turtle neck and a pair of faded mom jeans. They fail to see I CAN be sexy (which is why I have more than 1 child) and be someone’s mom. Thanks!
Mrs. Bottlesoup says
Thanks! Let me know when you make that post, I’d love to read it.
all that talk, let see your post up nudes. I guess if a mom loves attention of a stripper, she should go ahead and be a stripper, or if a mom want to be bang out by multiple people, she should go ahead and make a porn video and show the world 🙂 What’s the worst that can happen? Not like people will talk about you, look down on you, or your friend’s son/daughters will be showing picture of your mom naked vagina and body around or anything. I guess standards are replaced with “it’s my body i do what I want!” People that are okay with this behavior or people that has not invested in their mind for success. They are only good at spreading their legs and show off all their assets.
Then again twerking is now a profession, that should tell you something with today’s woman and mom. Sell your soul for that money, it’ll come back to you don’t worry 🙂 All mother should not approve this behavior as a mother. We got porn stars for stuff like this, let them do their job. Any mother that agree with this post, I can’t wait to see your new mom’s gone wild video =D post links, share to the world, you don’t mind showing it off anyhow! =D
Mrs. Bottlesoup says
Moms who agree that women should be empowered to make their own choices, regardless of parenthood, are not obligated to post their own nudes in order to support the feminist right to choose.
You may have different values that you uphold, but that doesn’t give you the right to demean a woman’s choice because she chooses differently from you. If a woman wants to show off her body, she should be allowed to – whether she’s a parent or not. Your attitude is disgusting and degrading toward all women because you think that women/moms should not be able to decide how they present themselves without being persecuted.