Kim Kardashian is the very definition of a sex symbol: undeniably attractive, charismatic and glamorous, she oozes sex appeal in a way most of us can only dream of.
So she’s a sex symbol, yes. But she’s so much more than that – mum, daughter, reality TV star, socialite, law student, entrepreneur, a role model for young women all over the world… The list goes on.
Regardless of who she is or what defines her though, how Kim chooses to express herself – whether through clothes, make-up, or on social media – is no one’s business but her own. So then why has her husband Kanye West made it his business?
During the latest episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, as per People, Kim was seen the night before the Met Gala preparing for her show-stopping entrance by trying on her corseted Thierry Mugler dress.
Part of that preparation included getting herself into a corset that pulled her waist in so much that she had to take breathing lessons before wearing it, the whole process taking 20 minutes.
So you can imagine Kim’s reaction when her husband decided to tell her – less than 24 hours before the event – that he thought her outfit was ‘too sexy’ and she should take his feelings into account before wearing it.
Here’s the (stunning) outfit in all its glory, in case you missed it:
Upon seeing his wife in the outfit, Kanye decided to unpick it piece by piece, referencing his ‘transition’ to Christianity while explaining why he doesn’t think Kim should wear the dress.
The rapper told her:
The corset, the underwear, all that vibe, I just feel like, I went through this transition where being a rapper, looking at all these girls and looking at my wife, like, ‘Oh my girl needs to be just like the other girls showing their body off’.
I didn’t realise that that was affecting my soul and my spirit as someone that’s married and loved and the father of now… about to be four kids. A corset is a form of underwear, it’s hot, but for who though?
Understandably, Kim was not about to take all of that lying down and argued back with Ye, criticising her husband for bringing her down the night before such an important event.
— THE NEIGHBORHOOD TALK (@TNHTalk) October 14, 2019
Telling Kanye he was ‘giving [her] really bad anxiety’, the reality star told him she ‘didn’t need any more negative energy’ from him because he wasn’t into her wearing a tight dress. At this point the rapper responded with: ‘You are my wife and it affects me when pictures are too sexy.’
You built me up to be this sexy person and confidence and all this, and just because you’re on a journey and transformation doesn’t mean I’m in the same spot with you.
And it’s true: Kim has spoken many times in the past about how Kanye was the one who made her feel confident in her nudity and encouraged her to be a sexual being, telling GQ three years ago how he constantly tells her to ‘just do what makes you feel happy and confident’.
Just last month, Kim told Vogue her husband had taught her not to ‘compromise’, saying he brought out a confidence in her she never had before. ‘[He] showed me a whole other way,’ she continued.
So then why has Kanye done what appears to be a complete 180-degree turn? Why is he now claiming his wife’s fashion choices are insulting to him, when he was the one who encouraged her to be herself in the first place?
And why is he acting as though he’s only just become aware of the fact that his wife is a sex symbol, despite the fact he’s the one who branded her ‘this generation’s biggest sex symbol’? Because he’s a hypocrite, that’s why.
From the moment the rapper started dating Kim in 2012, he knew exactly who she was, and he knew thousands aspired to be just like her because of this. In fact, I’d argue her being a sex symbol is what drew him to her in the first place.
Not only that, but in the years since they got together, Ye has flaunted Kim’s look – even placing her front and centre in his Bound 2 video as she rides on the front of his motorbike, naked, caressing him.
You can watch the video below:
The rapper also spoke openly about Kim’s ‘sexy’ figure in an interview with Style.com in 2015, as per E! News, describing her as having ‘the body of all bodies’ before saying her curves were ‘sexy and still dignified’.
Which, fine, he’s her husband. But if you’re going to proudly describe your wife in such a sexual way for the entire world to see, showing her naked body off in the process, don’t then expect her to hide her figure away when you – and only you – decide it goes against your new faith.
Silva Neves, a psychosexual and relationship psychotherapist who works with individuals and couples who have sexual and relationship problems, told UNILAD Kanye’s behaviour is ‘confusing’ to say the least.
The therapist questioned whether the rapper only wanted Kim to dress however she likes as long as it’s within the boundaries of his own judgements. ‘Something like: “as long as I approve, do whatever you want,”‘ the therapist added.
Neves went on to say Kanye’s comments are ’embedded in misogyny’, stating:
Women are so often criticised for how they look: too sexy, not sexy enough, too tall, too fat, too short, too thin, too sexual, not sexual enough, too blonde, too professional, too old, not motherly enough, and so on and so forth.
With that comes a certain element of control, of course. A lot of the rhetoric that we might attribute to a husband’s concerns can actually be his way of controlling his spouse into what he feels comfortable with, rather than hearing and accepting what his wife wants.
Of course, Kanye has been known to control how Kim acts and dresses prior to now; if you can remember, it was he who ‘revamped’ Kim’s wardrobe in the first place. And by revamp, I mean he got rid of all of her clothes and replaced them with ones he liked. Yup, that’s a thing that actually happened.
Don’t believe me? Kim confirmed it in her interview with Vogue, saying Kanye ‘gave [her] the biggest closet makeover’ when they met.
Speaking to Kanye, she said:
I didn’t understand at the time why you wanted to get rid of pretty much everything I owned, but I pretended like I did. You were showing me all of these different designers that I had never heard of before.
Now, I totally get it. Now I’m very confident in what I wear. You have been my best stylist.
For Kanye to effectively turn Kim into his own personal Barbie doll, building her up to feel confident in a very particular style of his choosing and parading her around in clothes he’s chosen, only to then decide he doesn’t like that style anymore and expect her to follow suit is complete bullshit.
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Even worse, shaming her about what she’s wearing in an attempt to make her feel guilty, saying her choices will ‘affect’ him and his reputation, is something so embedded in sexism and patriarchal ideology it doesn’t even deserve a reaction.
The reaction Kim gave was ultimately the best possible one though, in that she shook off Kanye’s hypocritical comments and headed to the Met Gala dressed head-to-toe in designer latex. In other words, dressed exactly as she intended before Ye decided to voice his ‘concerns’.
Disclaimer: she looked fierce as hell.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).