It started with a selfie, and ended with a very real — and relevant — conversation about the way women portray their bodies and themselves, and how society perceives them when they make the conscious decision to put their bodies on display.
But, before we get into all that, here is what has happened so far.
The Major Critics: Bette Midler, Piers Morgan, Chloë Grace Moretz, Perez Hilton, Pink
The Supporting Characters: Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Emily Ratajkowski, Bella Thorne, Ariel Winters, Rowan Blanchard, Abigail Breslin
The Extras: Kylie Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, Kanye West
She has "nothing to wear LOL." I think we — the general public — can agree that this is supposed to be a joke.
... and Morgan...
Act 2: Kim Throws Shade, Engages With The Critics, Sparks Conspiracy Theorists To Believe Kanye/Khloé Are Tweeting For Her
Kim logs on, and starts reading the comments.
Then she thanks everyone for thinking the pic was recent, 'cause that was her pre-Saint West figure.
Act 3: In Which Millennial Women Of The Internet Defend Kim
Cyrus wants everyone to stop acting "tacky" and focus on the fact that ironically, it's International Women's Day.
Dear women, you ALL are acting tacky AF! Why don't we overly (myself included) fortunate women come together and try to create and bring jobs to other women in desperate need of them so they can support not only THEMSELVES but their families! #happyinternationalwomensday can we all put the cuntiness aside for one fucking day and love / celebrate one another! PS no matter how hard you (or myself) work NEVER will I feel I am worthy of the comfort I live in.... Because so many others while I tuck myself in at night are laying their head on the pavement, dreaming of all the things we take for granted every day. Much love to all my women!!!!
Ratajkowski is well versed on the subject because she recently wrote about the over-sexualization of women for Lenny Letter.
If a guy posts a shirtless picture, people say how "steamy" and "hot" it is. But if a woman chooses to do that, it's setting a bad example?— Abigail Breslin (@yoabbaabba) March 8, 2016
Act 4: Men Continue To Fan The Flames
Act 5: Kim Reiterates That She Is Behind It All
Act 6: Kanye Speaks
Act 7: A Full-Circle Moment
Kim posts the picture again, twice, with the hashtag #INTERNATIONALWOMENSDAY.
Act 8: Sarah Silverman & Amber Rose Have Questions
Silverman is a fan, but wants to know about Kim's grooming routine.
Damn Pink we were all born naked society sexualizes our breast and bodies. If a grown mother of 2 is comfortable with her body and wants to show it off that's none of ur business or anyone else's. Now, if u wanna talk to kids and be a mentor to young teens, tell them to go to school and to not use their bodies to get ahead?! I'm all for it! But please as a grown woman let another grown woman live as she wishes. That's our problem! We're so quick to down each other instead of uplifting! Pink, We've seen u damn near naked swinging from a rope( Beautifully) but what's the difference between a rope, a pole and a pic on Instagram? Classism. Because u sing while ur half naked does that make it "Classy" or is it because u have a "talent"? I'm not dissing at all Pink just curious after u said "You'll never have to make a silly excuse for yourself".
Act 9: Kim's Explanation
Late last night, Kim uploaded a lengthy note to her website. In it, she pins all the negative attention back to her sex tape from 13 years ago. She also goes on to say that a women proudly displaying her body is an image that she sees as powerful, confident, and positive.
Short answer: yes.
Long answer: The response to this image highlighted a big issue in our world today — the way women's bodies are portrayed, and the idea of self-love. We all don't need to be posting or sending nude photographs, but it is well within your right to own every feature on your body. There are, of course, other (and better) ways to show your strengths, and portray power, like Pink said in her post. But the amount of harsh judgement stemming from one picture is kind of scary.
Was Kim purposefully trying to show us how quick we are to judge and attack other women who are embracing their sexuality and proudly taking control of their bodies? Is this, weirdly, part of what International Women's Day is really about? About taking a minute to think before we speak, especially in regards to "slut-shaming" or criticizing each other as women? Can we learn something from this viral phenomenon?
Whatever the reason, it happened, and it will