Books

By, with, of and for Kim Kardashian — keeping up with Kulture

You’ll know Kim Kardashian’s body better than your own lover’s after gawping at this collection of selfies

30 May 2015

9:00 AM

30 May 2015

9:00 AM

Selfish Kim Kardashian

Universe Publishing, pp.352, £11.95, ISBN: 9780789329202

The almond eyes that rise towards their outer edges. The cheekbones that curve down to the corners of those upholstered lips. The dark strands of hair that fall wisplike on to her chest. The hourglass extremities that will exercise your ciliary muscles until they snap.

Dear me! After looking at this book, you’ll be more familiar with the particulars of Kim Kardashian’s body than with your own lover’s. For this is her hardback collection of selfies. It contains almost 500 photographs of Kim, by Kim. Six of them include her daughter; 60 of them feature at least one of her siblings; 100 have Kim in a bikini, in her underwear or completely naked. The book’s title, Selfish, might be the most knowing of all time.


But who is Kim Kardashian? If you need to ask that question, then I’m afraid you’re behind on your Kulture. Kim isn’t just a 21st-century celebrity, she is the 21st-century celebrity. She can tick every box on the checklist with a flourish. LA socialite? Yes. Sex tape? Yes. Reality TV show? Yes. Marriage to a sportsman, followed by divorce, followed by marriage to a rapper? Yes, yes, yes. And now this, I repeat, a hardback collection of selfies. It’s so now that everyone else is playing catch-up, stuck behind Kim’s voluminous behind.

There’s a test to determine whether you will enjoy this book. It comes on page 350. There, beside a photo of Kim — hair dampened, lips parted, breasts out — is a small quantity of text. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever taken as many selfies as I did in Thailand,’ it reads. ‘It’s one of the prettiest places I’ve ever travelled to!’ This must be the Kardashian philosophy in aphoristic form: pretty place, prettier face.

Does that make you laugh or cry? I chose laughter years ago. Keeping Up with the Kardashians, currently in its tenth series on television, is more entertaining than any number of Breaking Bads or Mad Men. Watch Kim and her extended family in high definition! The get-togethers! The break-ups! The houses! The dresses! The flesh! It certainly beats spending your day wading through the Daily Mail website for celebrity gossip. I get my fix in concentrated doses. There is no need for anything else.

Be warned, however: it reaches a point where you almost admire Kim and those other Kardashians. They may have selected fame as a career in itself, but at least they work hard at it. If the medium weren’t photo shoots and interviews and endorsements and tweets, people might even call it dedication to the craft. And Selfish would be the manual. It closes with a photograph of Kim Kardashian’s and Kanye West’s hands intertwined on the day of their wedding. That’s how you go from intimate to Instagram. That’s how you live your life, in the open for us all to gawp at.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £10.95 Tel: 08430 600033

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  • sfin

    In your initial description you forgot “the backside of a brood mare.”

    • Feminister

      Maybe because he isn’t a misgogynist who compares women to farm animals.

      • MacGuffin

        Don’t be such a cow, Feminister. Ooooooops!

  • MacGuffin

    The sheer mass of that woman’s backside threatens the functioning of oceanic tides and even the proper alignment of the earth on its journey around the sun.

    • Feminister

      No it doesn’t.

      • MacGuffin

        It certainly does. On a brighter note, scientists have confirmed that the huge shadow cast by her buttocks has singlehandedly (singlearsedly?) stopped global warming.

  • Jams O’Donnell

    Such a beautiful face, such a putrid brain.

    • Feminister

      What’s putrid about her brain? How do you know about her brain?

  • Shorne

    I recall asking my younger daughter sometime ago who this woman was exactly the reply was ‘She made a sex tape…silly cow’. That’s my girl!

    • Feminister

      Why does making a sex tape make her either silly or a cow?

      Would you be more comfortable if she appeared in one made by a male producer, like the kind you spend a good portion of your week watching? Did you ask your daughter what she thinks of that?

      Maybe it’s time to talk to your daughter about why making a sex tape would lead to fame for a woman; who is watching it in their millions and why they tend to insult the women they watch.

      This could segue neatly into a discussion about the hypocrisy of sexism that has leaked into your daughter’s language.

      You also might want to probe the sexting situation at her school.

      • Shorne

        My daughter isn’t at school ( why do you automatically infantalise the word ‘daughter’?)and does not hold with the idea that appearing in porn can somehow be enabling for women. Your assumption that everybody watches porn is risible.If you think the word ‘cow’ is sexist you should listen to what a group of teenage girls can come out with when they get together, have you ever actually met any?

        • Feminister

          I don’t think that porn is enabling for women either. But that doesn’t make porn actresses cows or silly. It also wouldn’t lead to fame unless a lot of people consumed it.

          Do we call men cows? Therefore it’s sexist.
          Cow: a domesticated, unintelligent, milk producing animal. Yes, it’s sexist.

          The fact that teenage girls say sexist things doesn’t make them less sexist; girls absorb our sexist culture every bit as much as boys and will readily employ the same misogyny against one another. It’s your job as a parent to make her question it so it hopefully will be better for her and her daughters.

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