A Double Standard for Double D’s? Sara Willis Examines Kim Kardashian’s Latest Nude Shoot

When it comes to posing nude, is a double standard being applied to curvy models like Kim Kardashian? Photo: GQ Magazine

When it comes to posing nude, is a double standard being applied to curvy models like Kim Kardashian?              Photo: GQ Magazine

by Sara Willis

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Kim Kardashian exists. And she has a large bum. And a fair sized pair of breasts. And she likes to remind everyone of these little facts on a regular basis.

This week she did a nude photoshoot for Paper Magazine, which I’d never heard of until I saw the photos.

As you can imagine (and I’m sure as intended) it caused quite the uproar. Some of the feedback I’ve personally seen has been positive; congratulating Kim on her lovely figure, saying how great and happy she looks. But the vast majority has been not only negative, but downright nasty.

Even if you just go by the fact that we are talking about Kim Kardashian, a woman who started her career off the back of a leaked sex tape, the backlash seems a little odd. It really isn’t anything most people haven’t already seen before. She has a sex tape, she’s already posed nude and she definitely isn’t shy about showing off her body so I personally find all the negativity and “shock” a bit weird.

I also find it full of double standards. The problem isn’t actually the fact she has gone naked, it’s that she’s HAPPY to go naked when she has a figure society tells us she shouldn’t be happy having.

It wasn’t that long ago the world was applauding Keira Knightley for baring her breasts.  It wasn’t that long ago everyone rejoiced at yet another risque Rihanna shoot. It wasn’t that long ago half the world’s population was retweeting, Instagramming and crying over Kate Moss’ Playboy spread.

Yet here we are crying “Whore!” at Kim for doing something she’s done before. More than once. I’ve seen people branding her a slag, a tramp, a bad mother and an embarrassment to her husband. I’ve seen people question how her daughter will take these when she’s older.

I’ve seen people go on and on and on about the sex tape, about how she’s “famous for doing nothing” and how she isn’t a role model. Maybe I follow and am friends with the wrong people but I saw none of this being said about Rihanna, Kate (who is also a mother) or Keira.

The only thing I can see connecting those three which differentiates them from Kim is their figures.

Kate, Keira and Rihanna all have slender bodies, small bums (yes, let’s be honest here, Rihanna has a small bum. Especially so if you compare her to Kim) and even smaller breasts.

Women with small breasts like Keira Knightley are often applauded for posing nude, reinforcing the idea of a double standard. Photo: Interview Magazine

Women with small breasts like Keira Knightley are often applauded for posing nude, reinforcing the idea of a double standard. Photo: Interview Magazine

It’s been going on for a long time, women with “fashion” tits as I like to call them will always get away with showing as much cleavage or skin as they want. They can walk down a runway with their nipples on show to the entire world and be applauded for it. They get called brave, beautiful and amazing. Yet the second a woman with breasts over a C cup dares to show just a hint of cleavage out come the skank, tramp and “she should cover up” comments.

Same goes for women with big bums. You look at any female celebrity with a larger than average bum, none of them are deemed “classy”.

God forbid they actually show it off. Remember this debate? Ever heard of Jen Selter, the woman who carved a career from showing off her surprisingly average sized bum on Instagram? If her bum was the size of Kim’s or Nicki’s do you think she’d be as accepted as she is?

I have large breasts, very large, so I am very aware of the double standards when it comes to body shape. If you have large assets you’re not supposed to be proud of them, you’re meant to be ashamed and disgusted at yourself.

You’re supposed to keep your body as covered as possible (even though magazines tell you to “embrace your curves” you’re only meant to embrace them while covering your figure in a trash bag) otherwise you’ll probably be labelled a slut.

I speak from personal experience when I tell you about these double standards, they exist and they will continue to exist probably until the end of time.

As a glamour model, Sara has plenty of experience dealing with the negativity and double standards other models must face. Photo: PinUp Files

Sara has plenty of experience dealing with the negativity and double standards other curvy models must face. Photo: PinUp Files

As a glamour model (sniff away, I know you are, like I said I’m supposed to be ashamed right?) I use my big breasts to their full advantage. Besides the few annoyances they come with I love having big boobs and although I’m constantly told to consider reductive surgery I wouldn’t change them. I happily bare them in photoshoots and on a much lesser scale I’ve received the same backlash and negativity Kim Kardashian has.

I don’t show any more than you see on topless beaches or on fashion models walking the runway yet I’m told on a weekly basis I have no self respect and that my breasts are disgusting.

In these photos Kim not only looks amazing, she looks happy. She is happy to show herself off, happy to be naked, happy to have a fantastically curvy figure. And that’s the real problem here; it has nothing to do with “letting down feminism” (did Keira let you down too? Or were her bare A cups acceptable?), it has nothing to do with North (were you worried about Kate’s daughter when her nude Playboy shoot came out?) and it definitely has nothing to do with her being “famous for being famous”. It has everything to do with her being happy with something we’re told she shouldn’t be happy with.

Before I go, I want to give my view on another point I saw raised about Kim’s nude shoot. She’s mentioned the past she would never go nude again after she disliked a previous nude shoot. I’ve done a shoot I regret – I was hugely misled over what would be shown and ended up being burnt, embarrassed and angry at myself for putting myself in that situation. I’ve said I wouldn’t shoot again, you’re hurt and at the time you genuinely believe you won’t do it again. But in time you get over it, the pictures aren’t THAT bad and if the right people came along yes you would shoot again. Kim was clearly comfortable and happy to shoot nude again, that’s all that matters.

I leave you with a very fitting quote from actress Mindy Kaling:

“I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?’”


Sara Willis is a glamour model and cam girl from Sussex, England. She runs www.bustysara.com/, and you can reach her on Twitter at @saraurora

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