A recent Feminspire piece questioned not only whether Kim Kardashian might be considered a feminist role model, but if she is the "overlooked face of feminism." Writer Sundi Sundaram's long-winded essay has sparked quite a bit of debate, including a scathing response from Jezebel. Though she buries it under quite a bit of snark, blogger Tracie Egan Morrissey presents a well-argued refutation of Sundaram's assertion. Below, we've summarized both articles and the merits of each.
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The Femininspire Post: "Kim K: Overlooked Face of Feminism?"
Sundaram argues that Kim Kardashian "[redefines] the meaning of power," by liberating herself from the constrictions of not only objectification but the concept of feminism itself. Kim exemplifies a mode of feminism that is "defined by physical and intellectual presence." As she cautiously markets herself, Kim chooses to take advantage of her sexuality, rather than being forced to do so. Ultimately, Sundaram believes that Kim Kardashian is an overlooked face of feminism, because of the way she has taken control of the spotlight.
Jezebel's Response: "Is Kim Kardashian a Feminist Role Model?"
Morrissey responds that there is nothing "specifically feminist about [Kim Kardashian's] career trajectory. Instead, she argues that Kim's marketing is based on "commodifying women's insecurities" -- positioning herself in a way that implies "that other women who don't look like her are inferior," and then profiting from that inferiority, by selling and endorsing products which promise aesthetic perfection. Morrissey argues that this is unethical, analogous to "someone breaking your legs and then trying to sell you crutches."
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