Photo by Jean-Paul Goude/Paper Magazine
Unless you live in a cave, you’ve seen Kim Kardashian’s NSFW Paper magazine photos. There’s a bare butt on the cover and full frontal nudity in the centerfold. It’s Kardashian, in all her look-at-this-body, I-had-a-baby-17-months-ago glory, with the headline “Break The Internet.”
The Internet is still up and running, but the reality star did manage to spark plenty of controversy. (What else is new?) Specifically, about her role as a mom.
Take Glee actress Naya Rivera, who wrote on Kardashian’s Instagram page, “I normally don’t. But… you’re someone’s mother…” On Twitter, other criticism pored in: “Kim Kardashian is trashy. Why are you still doing nude photo shoots when you’re a mom,” wrote @kybutlaa. And @BethWhitson tweeted, “Wow I didn’t realize Kim Kardashian went full frontal nude in paper magazine.. Bit trashy. She prides herself on being such a good mom ha.”
But does mom status automatically disqualify you from the right to pose nude? I’m a mom, and I probably wouldn’t have made the same choice as Kim, but that has less to do with motherhood and everything to do with not wanting to be naked in public. Ever.
“Kim was making those choices before she was a mother, and she’s making them now that she is a mother, so why should our reaction be any different?” Amy Richards, author of Opting In: Having a Child Without Losing Yourself, tells Yahoo Parenting. “People tolerated it before, and now they want to curtail it just because she has kids. When someone becomes a mom, we feel like we can label them good or bad, as if their choices are up for grabs and we’re all allowed to weigh in. But having a child shouldn’t subject you to different standards than anyone else.”
Still, these pictures may become problematic in the future, parenting expert and family physician Dr. Deborah Gilboa, tells Yahoo Parenting. “Of course Kim has every right to take these pictures. She’s an adult and it’s her body and she gets to make her own decisions. But could she really reprimand her daughter if she did something similar? Teens are often highly vigilant for any hypocrisy in adults.”
That’s not to say the photo shoot has any bearing on Kardashian’s status as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ mom, according to Gilboa. “Parenting is about imparting our beliefs to our kids, and guiding their choices in the world,” she says. “If Kim thought it out and said, ‘I would be ok with my daughter doing this,’ then great. But if she doesn’t think her choices and actions are going to impact her daughter, she is in for a rude awakening.”