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International Woman’s Day commercialisation: Kim Kardashian’s emojis branded opportunist, row over inspiring Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

8th March 2018

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It being International Woman’s Day, it seems for many an opportunity to round on an internationally-known woman and fling the same vitriol as chaps shaming and muttering “dissscusting, but I wanna see more”.

Kim Kardashian: Feminist icon or emoji opportunist? (bbc.co.uk).

KIMOJI Women’s Empowerment emojis

Kim Kardashian’s decision to launch a “women’s empowerment” add-on to her personal emoji collection for International Women’s Day has received a considerable online backlash.

The collection features slogans such as “nasty woman”, “my body, my choice” and “full time feminist”.

A “nasty woman” emoji acting as a kind of digital witch’s curse responsible for shrinkage and shriveling of alt-right doodah to fulfill the feared “feminist agenda”.

Some on social media celebrated the move as positive promotion of ideals of equality. Others accused the personality of hypocrisy because her other products and emojis are provocative and sexualised.

Leading back to whether, with said “feminist agenda” women are allowed to be provocative and sexualised, or still only sexual under covers with masturbation either discussed in articles which are plainly just for womens eyes or else quickly becoming aggressive riot grrl fingerpower with dodgy “fuckboi” terminological inversion (metro.co.uk).

But this kind of controversy around Kim, in particular, is nothing new.

Indeed not, as said she’s the biggest bedunk in a Korps of rich culturally sanctioned bogeywoman it’s okay to hate while pulling one off.

Around International Women’s Day in 2016 she posted a naked but censored mirror selfie from her (uncensored) Selfish nudie coffee table book which drew much criticism (celebrityoopsdigest.blogspot.co.uk, 7 Mar. 2016)—and almost broke the internet again like when she balanced that champagne glass on her bedunk—for which she was trounced as seemingly letting the side down, but with some such as Emily Ratajkowski, Miley Cyrus, Courtney Stodden, and indeed a humble baby clutching mum choosing to celebrate her “real life” body, seeing perhaps more than opportunity in posing nude in solidarity. But since then, other “anti-feminist” targets have been found:

Emma Watson: “I’m allowed to show my tits, I’ve a genderless gong.”

The debate around whether nudity has a place in modern-day feminism is not isolated to the Kardashians.

When actress Emma Watson, a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and activist, [almost] exposed her breasts in a Vanity Fair photo-shoot last year (celebexposuredigest.blogspot.co.uk, 28 Feb. 2017), it sparked similar comments.

She responded angrily, asking what her body had to do with her feminist politics.

The poster girl for modern feminism seemingly using the same “my body, my choice” defense for which cries for Kim to do some sort of Game of Thrones naked walk of shame around some un-Hidden Hills part of Beverly Hills are made.

In the past Kim has previously resisted the term “feminist” because she did not believe in labels, but I guess it all comes down to who is given the authority to give labels, and indeed, in an age of “empowerment”, the profit from their use:

Dr Cynthia Carter, who specialises in feminist media studies at Cardiff University, acknowledged that many feminist academics took issue with self-objectification by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian or Beyonce.

“But if someone wants to call themselves a feminist, they should be able to,” she said.

“Who is to say that there has to be one type of feminist and everyone has to sing from the same hymn sheet?” she told the BBC, adding that she thought feminism should be a dialogue, and not a hierarchy.

Kim is a Christian too, and profited from a Kimoji representation of herself as the Virgin Mary around Easter last year (Latest Picks 21st April 2017), for which she was equally harangued.

And equally related to the commercialisation:

Frida Kahlo: Row erupts over Barbie doll based on artist (bbc.co.uk).

Barbie Inspiring Women series
Barbie Inspiring Women series: (left to right) Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, Katherine Johnson

A row has broken out between relatives of the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and the corporation which claims it holds the rights to her image.

It comes after the toy company Mattel launched a range of new Barbie dolls based on “Inspiring Women”—Kahlo among them.

The family of the avante-garde socialist insisted Mattel was not authorised to base a doll on Kahlo for the “Inspiring Women” series (barbie.mattel.com) while the Frida Kahlo Corporation—who own the rights to the brand name—and Mattel say they are.

This is not the first time that the commercial activities of the Frida Kahlo Corporation are said to have angered some of Kahlo’s descendants.

“Mrs Mara Romeo, great-niece of Frida Kahlo, is the sole owner of the rights of the image of the illustrious Mexican painter Frida Kahlo,” the family said in a statement.

With the likeness of the doll in question seemingly being a postcolonial faux pas too:

Mrs Romeo told AFP news agency that the problem was not confined to image rights.

“I would have liked the doll to have traits more like Frida’s, not this doll with light-coloured eyes,” she said.

Sympathetic to what I just heard on the radio regarding Barbie dolls still catering an unobtainable form and role model to girls more so than what the eagle-eyed and machinegunning Action Man (GI Joe) role model gives to boys, seemingly not having updated that argument in regards that Mattell added diversity in both looks and professions “curvy” and slightly more anatomically correct #TheDollEvolves to its Fashionistas line in 2016 (barbie.mattel.com).

Barbie Fasionistas line
Barbie latest Fasionistas line

How does ‘Curvy Barbie’ compare with an average woman? (bbc.co.uk, Mar. 2016).

She is far slimmer than the average 16-24-year-old woman in the UK. The average British woman of this age is 164.5cm (5ft 5in) and has a waist measuring 79.5cm (31.3in), according to the 2012 Health Survey of England. Those figures on the M&S scale would equate to a dress size 14.

But Curvy Barbie has been praised by commentators as a marked improvement. By the same scaling, if original Barbie were a real woman she would have a size 2 waist (54cm [21.25in]) and size 2 hips (78cm [30.7in]). It’s possible to imagine her having difficulty standing upright.

Updated 21st April 2018

Judge ‘blocks’ sale of Frida Kahlo doll after complaint from Mexican artist’s family (telegraph.co.uk).

A Mexican judge has blocked a company associated with US toymaker Mattel Inc from commercializing the image of artist Frida Kahlo, her family says, as it seeks to halt sales of a Barbie doll styled after the influential artist.

Ruling that Kahlo’s family own the rights to the brand, image and work of the artist.

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