These days, we hear an awful lot about “empowerment.” In an image-based culture, explicitly connected to social media, this has meant that young women’s understanding of ideas like “empowerment” and “positive body image” comes in the form of selfies and the positive reinforcement they get when they post objectified and sexualized images of themselves online. Yet, too often when we talk about things like objectification and body positivity, we get stuck in this conversation about “choice” and the way individual women may or may not feel about their own bodies, without pushing further.
Last week, this conversation exploded, yet again, in light of a naked selfie Kim Kardashian posted to twitter. While some wished that the reality TV star could find alternative avenues for validation and attention, others argued that we should support what has been construed has “confidence” in her body.
When you're like I have nothing to wear LOL pic.twitter.com/UlSLZb1fp1
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 7, 2016
In order to explore some of these issues, I spoke with Lindsay Kite, PhD, and co-founder of Beauty Redefined, a project aimed at helping girls and women recognize, reject, and resist harmful messages about their bodies.