‘Feminist’ Kim Kardashian’s Rolling Stone cover shot by Terry Richardson

Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova, posing with her husband for Terry Richardson.
Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, posing with her husband for Terry Richardson.

I hadn’t noticed, but apparently sexual predator, Terry Richardson, has been on hiatus for the past five months. Maybe he thought we’d forget about his long history of sexually harassing and assaulting women. We didn’t. Rolling Stone, it seems, never really cared about his behaviour to begin with.

Naturally, his biggest fan, these days, is Playboy (ooh but they’re so into “consent” and women’s lib, donchaknow), who released an entire issue shot by Richardson this year. I’m not particularly surprised that a porn rag would support the rapist/photographer but the fact that women and mainstream media everywhere continue to support and employ this man is pretty appalling.

Just last month, Richardson shot a bunch of photos with Nadya Tolokonnikova*, a well-known member of the Russian punk-feminist collective, Pussy Riot. Tolokonnikova posted the photos on her Facebook page, saying, “it was really one of the most powerful of photographers with whom I, in my tender age of twenty-five, have met.”

Richardson’s abusive, misogynist behaviour is well-known at this point and, beyond that, most of his photography is verging on pornographic, if not explicitly so. Yet he’s shot everyone from Miley Cyrus to Beyonce to Nicki Minaj to Cameron Diaz to Lindsay Lohan to Rihanna. He is, it seems, inescapable. He has learned, too, that there is nothing he can’t get away with — clearly the numerous assaults he’s committed has had no impact on his career (but you can bet the women who came out against him have been impacted…)

Nicki Minaj by Terry Richardson.
Nicki Minaj by Terry Richardson.
Cameron Diaz by Terry Richardson,
Cameron Diaz by Terry Richardson,
Beyonce by Terry Richardson.
Beyonce by Terry Richardson.


Lindsay Lohan by Terry Richardson.
Lindsay Lohan by Terry Richardson.

(Oh. He shot Woody Allen too. Decided to let him keep his clothes I guess.)


For Rolling Stone’s July 2015 issue, the magazine featured Kim Kardashian on the cover, shot by who else by Richardson.

Some, um, interesting quotes from the cover story include Kardashian’s perspective on “having it all,” saying that, in 20 years she hopes she’ll be remembered as both a businesswoman and a sex symbol (“I think you can be both. You can have it all.”), as well as her explanation of why she married early, at 19 years old: “I was very happy at home learning how to cook and clean and keep a house. I knew that was where I wanted to end up” (no mention of the brutal abuse her first husband, Damon Thomas, inflicted on her…). Naturally the interviewer asked Kardashian the burning question everyone needs to know about every single female celebrity these days: “Are you a feminist?” Kardashian responds vaguely, “I’ve never really been one on labels, and I don’t like to push my view… If I feel something, it’s how I feel. I never say, ‘I feel this way, so you should feel that way.’ Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I just am who I am. But, yeah, I think you would call me a feminist.”

GOOD GOOD. Now we have that out of the way, but not really at all. (Some day I wonder if someone will do all these celebrities a favour and let them at least Google “feminism” before putting them on the spot in this way…)

In any case, I know that none of you are really concerned with the opinions of Kardashians on matters of social justice, but I am concerned with the fact that huge magazine like Rolling Stone continues to hire disgusting pervert abuser, Terry Richardson, to objectify women for us.

It seems a tad ironic to me that Rolling Stone published one of the most talked-about pieces on rape culture this year while simultaneously supporting and promoting rape culture and rapists unabashedly. (It also strikes me as ironic that women who call themselves feminist continue to hang out with and pose for Richardson…)

While we know full-well that most celebrities care about their bank accounts more than anything else (the Kardashians, in particular — Oh wait, no, I forgot we were supposed to be pretending the fam is doing sooo much for women these days!), it would be just great if the media even just pretended to give two shits about women’s lives. I mean, you don’t have to hire Terry Richardson. There are countless other photographers who can shoot Kim Kardashian’s boobs for you.

I hate everything, it’s all terrible.

*UPDATE, 2015/07/07 — Tolokonnikova has since apologized, saying she was not aware of Richardson’s history when she posed for the photographer.

Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.