Anatomy of the naked selfie

I highly doubt that Kim Kardashian posts nude selfies on Instagram for the purpose of feminist discourse, but this person seems to think so. I can’t tell if it’s purposely tongue-in-cheek, or if it takes a nude selfie with the caption “I have nothing to wear, lol” a bit too seriously. My guess would be the latter, but it still got me thinking.

Most of us have seen these before: the anti fat shaming selfie of a woman in a dressing room posing in a bikini; the “no makeup” selfie trend. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with these, especially if the purpose is to inspire other women to be comfortable in their skin and make peace with so-called “body flaws.” At the same time, if the confidence is truly genuine, I wonder why there’s a need to share these photos at all…especially the naked ones.

I shake my head at some of these “pride selfies” for the same reason I shake my head at the posts bragging about how incredible one’s spouse or boyfriend is, how happy and perfect and #blessed the marriage/relationship is. Yes, sometimes the reason I want to hide these posts is out of jealousy. But seriously, consider this: is it possible that the truly happy, satisfied, confident people don’t need to post about it? I might believe this more if the ‘like’ and comment features were turned off, cancelling all expectations of compliment showers.

Keep in mind this is pure speculation, not a judgment against every woman who has shared provocative images on social media. Only she can know her true motives. I think the real target of my increased jadedness is the society so obsessed with body criticism that makes these photos necessary. That, and the sad fact that naked or barely-dressed women sell more beer, clothes, cars, music, you name it than clothed women do.

There were many comments on the aforementioned xoJane piece shaming women in general for “attention-whoring” themselves by exposing their nudity, but I have to say that this particular comment sums up my feelings on the matter:

I just want to know how come the primary way women seem to get popular/known/etc is by getting naked. I’d like to see a world where a woman who prefers to keep her clothes on can be as successful. I don’t fault her for owning her body and her sexuality, I don’t care about her sex tape, and I don’t care how many nude selfies she wants to post. However, there comes a point where I think female celebrities who make these choices also need to start calling out the fact that objectification is bullshit, and women shouldn’t have to take their clothes off to get attention.

I think the operative words there are “She shouldn’t have to.” But if she wants to, then it’s not my business. And there are plenty of ways to politely disagree with this kind of exhibitionism without resorting to slut shaming.


If you look at my social media accounts, this is the typical selfie you’ll see. Catniss is quite photogenic, don’t you think?


3 thoughts on “Anatomy of the naked selfie

  1. I normally don’t like to judge other women for the choices they make and I am very much OK with women taking charge of their own sexuality. However, I couldn’t help but cringe when I saw the selfie that Kim Kardashian posted. There was nothing empowering about that. It had nothing to do with feminism and embracing her body. It was purely done for attention. That photo was carefully orchestrated with the right lighting and the right filters.

    I am also with you on the relationship thing. I feel as though the people who post the most about how “happy” they are in their relationship are actually the least happy. I’ve seen it firsthand. Someone who I know how their relationship is in real life is posting on social media about how wonderful their man is. It makes me wonder who exactly they are trying to convince with the posts. Sorry for the long message but I am pretty jaded myself when it comes to social media.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with this 100%. I don’t like seeing this in my social media feed either. I seem to get them the most on Twitter. Most of the time I just by pass these photos, but sometime it irritates me so much that I will track it back to where it came from and unfollow that person. When people follow me I don’t just blindly follow back on Twitter for this reason. I go to there account page and see what kind of tweets they post. If there are a lot of nude pics I don’t follow them back. It takes more time but it makes for better feed. I don’t care what people post and I’m not about to insult them for it. But I don’t want to see it in my feed and I am certainly not going to follow them back because personally I think that whether it is a male or a female posting nude photos of themselves it sends the wrong message. They may wind up getting the kind of attention that they really don’t want.


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