Kanye West and Kim Kardashian: Sex Symbol Controversy

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In a recent episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, featuring Kim prepping for her Met Gala appearance, Kanye expressed that he feels his wife’s sexy photos are affecting his ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’. Kanye has encountered a great deal of judgement from this comment, as he criticised his wife’s corset-style dress which seemingly defied anatomic proportions by exaggerating her hourglass figure.

Kim is undeniably considered a sex symbol, and this has become what she has built her brand around. Being a renowned sex symbol was also something her husband previously encouraged and was arguably an aspect which drew Kanye to Kim in the first place. 

Previously, Kanye has played on elements of Kim’s sexuality, featuring her in some of his past music videos such as ‘Bound 2’ which showed a topless Kim riding a motorcycle with Kanye. Before even listening to the somewhat objectifying lyrics, the music video itself has highly sexual undertones. 

Kim notes the hypothetical nature of his argument as she says Kanye “built me up to be this sexy person and have confidence” but now he has changed his mind as he is on his spiritual journey.

It would appear Kanye’s progression from an arguably misogynistic rapper to embracing a world of spirituality means Kim’s provocative style is no longer suiting his narrative. Kanye now seems to expect Kim to follow his Christian transition

Is this simply another one of Kanye’s notorious fads, such as his plan to run for President, or does this argument represent something significantly more worrying? It could be seen as Kanye viewing Kim as an accessory for his own brand and wants her to change her style to serve his personal agenda.  

Does Kanye have any validity in his argument? He expresses his views, concerned by how the sex-obsessed media could be objectifying his wife. Referencing his past experiences in the, often, misogynistic world of rap, Kanye saw the way women can be objectified. Now, aligning with his newfound Christian values, he is viewing women in a different way. 

Should Kanye, as Kim’s husband, have any opinion over what his wife wears? Surely he has a right to express his feelings if he feels uncomfortable, but does the partnership of marriage mean he can dictate how Kim dresses? 

This is not the first time Kanye has been somewhat controlling of what his wife wears. When they first got together he notoriously threw out Kim’s clothes and styled her in outfits he approved of. He built Kim into the sex symbol she is today but now he seems ashamed of her sex appeal.

It seems his emotions could stem from jealousy as he tells Kim “It’s hot, but hot for who though?”. Many women have experienced this sort of behaviour, which could be deemed as possessive. Perhaps Kanye does not understand that Kim may want to dress ‘sexily’ for herself, not anyone else. 

Why should being a wife alter the way Kim chooses to express herself? Kim can still be a loving wife and mother and should be able to dress any way she pleases without criticism. 

Ultimately Kim can present her body in whatever way she wants. Kim is unapologetically sexy and is happy as herself and with what she is doing. The star has built a multi-million-dollar business empire based around her sex appeal. Her newly released shapewear called Skims is a prime example of this as people are buying her shapewear in the hopes of achieving the envied Kardashian-esque figure. 

It is highly hypocritical for Kanye to choose to empower his wife, then suddenly want to make her change. Kanye has built Kim up to be a confident woman, to feel liberated by her sexuality. Kim is thriving in this presentation of herself. She is rightfully defensive to Kanye in telling him they do not have to be in the same place as he follows his Christian journey.  

Leah Dunderdale-Smith

Image credits: https://pagesix.com/2019/10/14/kanye-west-thought-kim-kardashians-met-gala-corset-dress-was-too-sexy/