I’m coming up on two years of dealing with the breast cancer “experience”, and the more time that passes, the more I am beginning to resent the impact cancer has had on my life. As much as I truly don’t miss having breasts, I sometimes wish I could take leave of my body to prove a point to other women. Life doesn’t revolve around what your breasts, your ass, your legs, and every other body part looks like. You don’t have to be stricken with cancer to attain that mindset.
Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if Kim Kardashian were diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m not wishing evil on her, but I wonder if she would choose to do what’s best for her health rather than compromise it by attempting to preserve a couple of hanging glands that might eventually kill her. Her body is, after all, her golden ticket. Do not attempt to kid yourself by believing society does not value looks above all else. It is obvious that we are more obsessed now than we have ever been.
There was a recent episode of Keeping Up WIth the Kardashians where the three sisters and their mother all underwent genetic testing to determine whether or not they carried the BRCA mutation that makes a woman susceptible to breast cancer. They all received negative test results, and the message was that if you test negative, you will not develop cancer. Well, I happened to test negative, and I still got cancer.
Genetic testing is not meant to save you from cancer; it is a tool that should be used to help you make intelligent decisions about your health. The problem with all these reality television shows is that we only get a small portion of the story. If the Kardashian women wanted to have a positive impact on their female fans, they would send a complete message, not one that is fragmented. That’s a big reason why I dislike it when celebrities attempt to advocate for women’s health; you never get the whole story.
As for Kim K.’s penchant for nude selfies, I don’t buy into all the drivel about how we tear down other women when they look great and feel great about themselves. Sure, some women are competitive and capable of psychotic jealousy, but, truth be told, many of us don’t really give a shit. The thing that bothers me personally about the entire Kardashian family is that they make millions based solely on their appearance. Is it any coincidence that Rob Kardashian’s struggles with depression, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes don’t even get a mention? The poor guy is suffering from common ailments millions of us fall victim to, while his older sister keeps whipping out her titties for the superficial masses. Am I the only person who thinks there is a problem here?
As I said in my last post, I’ve got some serious issues with my own gender because we’re constantly bitching and moaning about the forces conspiring against us. We don’t need Kim Kardashian to empower us; we don’t need to discuss whether or not her nudity is acceptable, or if it has any bearing on her abilities as a parent. Who cares? She has a social media audience of tens of millions, but not everyone is going to bow down before her every time she posts a new photo.
And yes, women like Bette Midler, who belong to a different generation, are entitled to voice their opinions about whatever they wish. I voice my opinions as well, even though I don’t get quite as much attention. Luckily I live in a country where if I want to show the world my breastless body, I can, and if I want to write about how other women feel the need to expose themselves whenever the mood strikes, I can do that as well. For me, it’s not about morality. commercial gain, or male titillation; a woman who truly “owns” her body will not pay attention to all that nonsense. She will do what is best for her regardless of what anyone thinks. Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?
As technology continues to dominate our lives, it is unlikely we will ever escape things like nude selfies, duck-faces, and all the rest of the superficiality and materialism social media brings us. It is our responsibility, regardless of gender, to take it all with a grain of salt, rather than allow it to overwhelm us with feelings of resentment and failure. We can’t all look like Kim Kardashian, and we can’t all make a living the way she does.
Empowerment resides in your mind, not in your breasts or the rest of your body. As soon as we are able to shift discourse away from body parts, we might have a fighting chance of being taken seriously. Until then, nipples, vaginas and heinies will continue to dominate the conversation for all the wrong reasons.