It’s obvious that she is not consciously aware of the annotations of these images. Or, maybe she is and just doesn’t give a fck. Either way, Kim Khardashian has chosen to work with a photographer who has a history of an infatuation with the black woman’s body – her ‘exotic’ features.
Jean-Paul Goude who was in a relationship and photographed Grace Jones – and who recreated that iconic shot of her in a cage with Amber Rose. A woman being placed in a cage, a black woman symbolizes so much in so many negative ways.
As I read from the article http://thegrio.com/2014/11/12/kim-kardashian-butt/ the image above was originally from a book called “Jungle Fever’, in which Jean-Paul got the idea from the originally photograph the black woman on the right of these two images. Recreated by a Kim K.
These images go back further than that. They are too familiar of the images of a black slave woman brought to London by the name of Saartjie Baartman. Her large buttocks brought her racist fueled fame. Like Kim, Saartjie was voluptuous but tiny, but all natural unlike Kim K. She stood four feet, seven inches to Kim’s purported five-three. Unlike Kim, she didn’t just have her sizable assets in the way of talent. (Whether ‘balancing a champagne glass on your ass’ is a talent remains up for discussion.) She had learned and practiced multiple instruments in her native land (in what is now South Africa). On the stages of London and Paris, she regaled packed audiences with singing, dancing, and instrumental routines.
Baartman’s Khoisan heritage and unearthly figure meant that she was both an exotic foreigner and a “freak.” Her arrival in London merged those two categories together, ushering in the era of the human zoo.
The posing of a black woman’s body as being unusual, not of what is considered normal (in European standards), is blatant racism and misogyny. To have these very same images recreated by the photographer and white women is a sign of mocking to the black woman’s body – as it is a public figure for all to see.
The racist undertones still present in media today shows how we are not past this issue and have to be more consciously aware of the images being created and fed to society.
Who is Saartjie Baartman? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQ7mmMe4klQ