Notorious younger sister of the Kardashian trio, Kendall Jenner posed sans-clothing for David Sims in Love Magazine’s 12th issue. Within the graphically risqué issue, Jenner seductively poses donning only a fur hood or draped necklaces over the shoulder. Immediately after seeing this particular spread, I felt an overwhelming wave of ambivalence. The 18 year-old reality star turned model is undoubtedly a mainstay in pop culture. But how does that translate into her being a paragon of the “American girl”? The concept itself is an elusive archetype that ultimately builds a distorted cultural context and delegitimizes the notion and the individual. What is it about her that qualifies her to become a poster child of our culture? Considering her highly privileged lifestyle, ever-growing stardom, and generally intangible existence, Jenner seems light years away from being the ordinary American girl. Sure, her image is easily obtainable as she’s become a popular face in the media, but is she herself actually relatable? If so, does that make her qualified to be a symbol that will inevitably be emulated? And why, oh why, is she naked? High fashion doesn’t necessarily translate into purposeless nudity.
If the kitschy magazine is suggesting that the standards of such a complex notion can be reduced to social stature and media prominence, then boy…we may have a problem. What do you think? Let’s discuss…
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Photo source: Fashion Copious