Empowered or Exploited? Kylie Jenner’s Galore Photoshoot

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In a true way in which only the Kardashian and Jenner family can fully achieve, the internet has exploded with Kylie Jenner’s latest racy photo-shoot for Galore Magazine. There’s no doubt in my mind that on the surface, Kylie looks absolutely stunning, but I couldn’t help but wonder if there is something deeper to the shoot that perhaps, as a society, we have overlooked.

Kylie for Galore Magazine photographed by Terry Richardson

A photo posted by @kaliforniaklassstumblr on

Before I mention anything else I’d like to take a moment to focus on how beautiful Kylie Jenner looks within these photos. Starting with her makeup I truly believe that she looks fierce, her long tousled hair coupled with eyes that seem to pierce the cameras lens, there’s something that’s both empowering yet vulnerable about her look, for me the softer pink lip contrasts with the deep brown to show a feminine yet fierce woman – something emphasized further with the stuffed tiger prop.  

Kylie for Galore Magazine photographed by Terry Richardson A photo posted by @kaliforniaklassstumblr on

I’m not going to be talking about her body because I don’t want to sexualize her but she appears confident, happy and free, something that women across the globe long to achieve and yet the un-achievable has been achieved by a teenager who has only recently turned eighteen. Although I believe that women have every right to reveal their bodies, I was concerned once I realized who the photographer was – none other than Terry Richardson.

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For many celebrities the chance to work with Terry Richardson is a huge opportunity and it’s hard to ignore his glossy portfolio featuring the likes of Miley Cyrus, Kate Upton and Rihanna, yet it’s equally hard to ignore the allegations against him of sexual abuse and sexual harassment causing more than one model to take a stand against what The Guardian has dubbed ‘fashion’s shameful secret.’

The world truly seems divided over Richardson- some companies including H&M have refused to work with him after allegations became public, yet other media outlets and publications don’t seem to be fussed over his reputation as long as the end product is something that will generate publicity.

A photo posted by @kaliforniaklassstumblr on

After reading a quote directly from Kylie Jenner herself ,I couldn’t help but feel sick at the idea that many photo-shoots have a sexual undertone that could quite possibly be based on the photographer’s lewd and predatory ideas.  Kylie Jenner was quoted in Galore Magazine as saying:

“The reality is that I don’t even want to be 18. I wish I could be 17 for the rest of my life. I don’t want to get any older. I  just want to be young and enjoy it, but this lifestyle absolutely made me grow up faster.”

 

Kylie for Galore Magazine photographed by Terry Richardson A photo posted by @kaliforniaklassstumblr on

For me personally as a young woman, that quote haunts me and is one of the first things I think of when I hear people talking about Kylie’s scandalous photo-shoot. It made me think that as a society, is there pressure on women to be constantly perceived as sexy?

The world has become more accepting yet seemingly more desensitized. Racy photo shoots are something that we’ve accepted and we don’t question why the woman in such photos has chosen to expose herself to the world, is she seeking empowerment or is she simply being exploited?

A photo posted by @kaliforniaklassstumblr on

With airbrushed models on every billboard, the latest fad diet, cosmetics and clothes it’s easy to get sucked into this concept and I find that even I end up with an insatiable urge to look good and sexy, because like everyone else, I too want to be perceived as classy, beautiful and feminine.

The one thing I can say from the bottom of my heart regarding this shoot is that I truly hope that Kylie Jenner has truly done this photo-shoot for herself and nobody else. The human body is a wonderful thing but when exploited can leave lasting damage to a person’s mind. I just hope that Kylie is happy with the final results and truly embraces herself for what she is. A powerful and empowered woman – for me there’s no greater compliment.

Do you feel like women are pressured to look sexy? What do you think of Kylie’s photoshoot? Let me know in the comments below or on social media.

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Lucia Widdop

Editorial Assistant Intern: Writer and self professed beauty obsessive, divides her time between writing, reading and testing beauty products. FOLLOW MY BLOG

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