How Kim Kardashian became a role model we can’t afford to lose
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By Andrea Peyser
October 7, 2016

How Kim Kardashian became a role model we can't afford to lose

With her deft manipulation of social media and complete lack of physical modesty, Kim Kardashian West has risen from being the co-star of a sex tape to one of the world’s leading post-feminist icons — though she disowns that “F” word.

Armed with little more than her bodacious bod and her Snapchat and Instagram accounts, the female half of Kimye has seized the means of production. Rising to fame amid a pack of female Hollywood stars who whine incessantly that they’re paid less than the guys, Kim, 35, has eliminated the middle man, winging it solo while selling her brand’s sole asset — herself.

This also appears to have brought on a horrifying gunpoint robbery of $10 million-worth of jewelry, cellphones, a wallet and credit cards in Paris. Kim survived, miraculously unhurt. From the silence of her social-media platforms, and the near-blackout from her sisters following the early Monday atrocity, it appears that the American original has put herself on lockdown.

And that is a pity.

Kim is the classic “famous for being famous” gal, displaying no particular talent except marketing genius. But that expert ability to tap into the zeitgeist and give the people something they didn’t even know they wanted, but can’t ignore, has launched her into the A-list as the star of a reality TV show and mobile gaming app. And — who’d a thunk it? — it has turned her into a role model for 21st century women and girls.

The World Wide Web has become the great confessional, and a vehicle for proving that a person exists. It also is potentially hazardous.

Easy access to electronics has fouled up folks from Anthony Weiner to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. By comparison, Kim has presented herself as a paragon of decency and wholesomeness. The sex tape long behind her, she has never been pictured, to my knowledge, smoking anything, drinking alcohol, taking drugs or committing a crime. And she’s never been recorded mouthing bigoted barbs. She comes off as a dutiful mother of two, and an adoring, faithful, wife to Kanye West, 39.

Her bod was glorified and mocked (even by me) after Kim was photographed in the buff for a 2014 cover spread in the “Break the Internet” issue of Paper magazine. Her ample, oiled-up booty served as an end table for a Champagne glass. But it was a selfie she posted earlier this year to Instagram showing off her exaggerated curves (though she concealed important bits with black bars) that amused and rankled many observers and celebs.

Defending herself, Kim adopted you-go-grrrl language.

“I am empowered by my body. I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin,” she wrote on her official Web site in March, adding that she hopes her daughter, North, now 3, is “comfortable in her body” as she grows up.

“The body-shaming and slut-shaming — it’s like, enough is enough.”

Yet Kim rejects being compared to a Gloria Steinem type.

“I don’t think that I am [a feminist]. I don’t like labels,” she said at the BlogHer 16 conference in Los Angeles in August. “I do what makes me happy and I want women to be confident. I am so supportive of women . . . but I’m not a ‘free the nipple-type’ of girl.”

Her undoing may have been her zeal to show it all off, something that is neither illegal nor, frankly, immoral. But as Kim has found, it is unwise.

Authorities have theorized that crooks were drawn to her $4.5 million diamond ring, with its nearly flawless, 20-carat emerald-cut rock — a gift from her husband — by her Instagram post of its picture.

Meanwhile, online trolls and critics of all things Kardashian have alleged this was all a hoax, a publicity stunt designed to draw eyeballs to the struggling E! TV show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” as it limps to the premiere of the second half of Season 12 Oct. 23. I think that’s mean.

Kim needs to face up to the fact that putting it out there is hazardous to her safety. A source told The Post’s Page Six that she’s beefing up security and plans to hire a body double to foil potential assailants. I would urge her to reconsider eliminating her online presence. This would deprive the world of a trailblazer, a woman unafraid to turn herself into a canvas upon which we can all place our discomfort with nudity, wealth and feminine beauty.

That would be a tragic loss.

©2007-2017 Andrea Peyser and andreapeyser.com; No Reuse without permission.
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