Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski share nude selfie and vow to never say sorry for their sexuality

'We are more than just our bodies,' wrote Ratajkowski, 'but that doesn't mean we have to be shamed for them or our sexuality'

Heather Saul
Thursday 31 March 2016 09:07
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As politicians and campaigners understand all too well, an effective way to really hammer a point home is to repeat it - regardless of whether the message was well received the first, second or third time around.

The effectiveness of repetition is also not lost on Kim Kardashian-West and Emily Ratajkowski. The model and actress have both written essays on agency and the right to celebrate and express female sexuality, something they have both been criticised for.

Kardashian-West's initial and very polarising nude divided her critics and saw a number of women jump to her defence, with some such as Ratajkowski even sharing their naked selfies in a display of solidarity. Kardashian-West penned her own riposte to her critics, vowing never to apologise for her sexuality.

Ratajkowski addressed the right to self-expression in an essay for Lena Dunham's Lenny letter, where she highlighted how society has long expected her to repress her sexuality and chastised her when she has refused.

Together, they compounded their arguments on Wednesday when the pair posed in a bathroom, topless save for a black modesty bar Photoshopped across their chests. Both held up their middle fingers, subverting the male gaze with a defiant message delivered straight to the camera.

Kardashian-West captioned her image with a more light-hearted reference to the tweet that kick-started the debate while Ratajkowski used her caption to underscore her original Lenny letter argument: women have the right to celebrate their sexuality without shame or reproach.

Ratajkowski also referenced criticism from the actress Chloë Grace Moretz, who urged Kardashian-West to teach women that they have more to offer than their bodies. In her response, Ratajkowski reiterated her calls for a space within which women can be sexual.

“We are more than just our bodies,” wrote Ratajkowski, “but that doesn't mean we have to be shamed for them or our sexuality.

“Even if being sexualised by society's gaze is demeaning, there must be a space where women can still be sexual when they choose to be. Why demonise female sexuality if only to keep us in the dark about the power and beauty of our bodies? #liberated."

But one person who did not seem to understand the message was Piers Morgan, a man who incurred the wrath of both women after the first naked selfie by suggesting Kardashian-West was too old to be posing nude. This time, he missed the point once again by tweeting: “Feminism as it was intended is dead”.

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