“What’s that silly lady doing?” asked one of the beans.


What does one say to that? Oh, just drizzling Champagne into her ass glass? Or, Using her personal tray table? Pouring a tall glass of mommy juice?

I settled on, “Nothing important.”

Having said that — and I stand by it — this is actually a perfectly kicky and arresting visual for someone who surely would love it if we all believed her life involved raining Moet & Chandon all over sparkly couture. It’s chipper and it’s gleeful and it’s flaunting everything about her that she might want to flaunt — including her absurd level of fame and the Internet that helped hand it to her.But this is also one of the most photographed women in the world. We know what her body looks like. It is going to take some extreme proof to make me believe she hasn’t been given the Barbie treatment by an airbrusher, which I fear will make our younglings want to have throw-pillows surgically implanted in their nethers (which is about as real as her rear-end looks in this finished product). Kim Kardashian is not someone who can afford to be perceived as any more cartoonish than she already is, and yet here we are. So the thing is, I like the whimsy, and it’s by far the nicest of her three photos. But there’s also an “I’m famous! SUCK ON THAT, Y’ALL” aura to it that doesn’t look particularly good on her.

Speaking of Barbie, and not looking particularly good on her, the next cover is decidedly not safe for work, unless you work at a place that is pro-crack. Of the rump variety, although I guess if your office is pro-crack in terms of the drug, then a naked derriere isn’t going to faze anyone. Otherwise, tread carefully.

AND THEN THERE’S THIS. Her skin looks as shiny and plastic as anything that ever shot off a Mattel assembly line. Someone on Twitter compared her to a freshly baked Krispy Kreme. To critique this is almost pointless, because it’s doing exactly what it set out to do: get attention, and make people clutch at imaginary pearls like the ones wound so tightly around her neck. It would be a thousand times more alluring, even sexy, if we couldn’t see any of her prime meridian. But Kim Kardashian is all about coming at you with everything, always, in your face, so why would she do anything OTHER than hang Humpty Dumpty out to dry over that wall?

And, SUPREMELY NOT SAFE FOR WORK,for the longer story she posed in full frontal nudity as well. If you don’t click on the link, it’s her standing with the dress at her feet, everything exposed, and yes, waxed to a sheen. Us Weekly has a mildly censored version, but only mildly, along with a nip-censored side view.

Here’s the thing: A lot of reactions are, “GIRL. YOU ARE SOMEONE’S MOTHER.” And of course it’s tempting to do that. But then I have to stop and think, if Anne Hathaway has a baby, will I look at Love and Other Drugs — a movie I hated, also, so there’s no inherent artistic-merit score here for me — and tsk, “Girl, you are someone’s mother”? No. Did anyone say that to any Playboy model who had a kid? Doubt it. Did anyone say it about. say, Cynthia Nixon after the first Sex and the City movie, in which she’s kneeling on the bed arching herself to the camera, her genitals cupped by Steve, who’s plugging away at her from behind? Probably not, or if they did, I didn’t hear it. So whatever; Kim is naked in a magazine and on the Internet. A LOT of people are. Honestly, Kim will probably walk around naked in front of North a lot in North’s life, and there’s certainly PLENTY of other things she’s done to embarrass that poor kid. So yeah, as much as my personal decision would have been not to pose that way, it’s probably just a drop in the bucket in the Internet world and in Kim’s or North’s.

Here’s why I think it’s bad: YAWN. Why are you doing this? You were on the cover of Vogue, Kim, You had ascended. Against all odds, you got to exactly the place on the newsstand you wanted to be — the one everyone said was too high for you to reach. (Right now I bet Anna Wintour is pouring herself a double and muttering, “I did all that FOR WHAT?”) So what is this for? Were you bored? Planning to get pregnant again and wanted a souvenir, just in case? Had anyone REALLY stopped talking about you? Were you tired of people ragging on your terrible clothes, so you just took them off? What on EARTH does this do to advance Kim Kardashian as a brand — or even, frankly, as a person — in a useful direction? Where is this taking you that you needed to go? It cannot just be about getting attention. This woman is photographed six times a day as it is. Attention isn’t a unicorn she’s chasing anymore.

The story itself, while well-written, is simply the textual excuse for the controversy. It offers up nothing we haven’t read — that Kim is petite; that Kim is really really famous and has lots of social media followers; that she is supremely attractive; that she’s soft-spoken; that she has an easy manner, yet is varnished to the point that neither her skin nor her speech has any texture. All of that is what we knew already. So the profile brings her zero steps forward. And while the pictures might give her a big leap in exposure, relying on her backside is, to me, a backslide in the bigger picture.

And so the question again is, what’s the point? Which was always the original macro-query about Kim Kardashian in the first place. Full circle, then?

What do you think?

  • STOP IT KIM. (33%, 2,160 Votes)
  • Aspects of the photos are fine, but I wouldn't have done it (4%, 256 Votes)
  • Hey, do it while your bod holds up, I say (6%, 393 Votes)
  • I think the whole thing is phenomenal and she's at the top of her game (3%, 186 Votes)
  • I just... what IS the point? To ANY OF IT. (54%, 3,475 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,470

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[Photos: Paper magazine]