Though I’m still struggling to figure out how someone taking their clothes off in front of a camera makes front page news in 2016, Kim Kardashian has done it again. She’s stripped down and monopolized our news feeds with her bare assets.
Some respond with anger and I get it. It’s not helpful to men or women to see her fully exposed. The example she sets for our girls by objectifying herself is deplorable.
But as I assess the situation I feel more sadness than anger. Beyond the fake tan and some curves, those ridiculous photos reveal a part of Kim Kardashian she (likely) doesn’t know exists. What Kim Kardashian really wants us to see is how badly she craves affirmation, acceptance, and love.
And when our response to her is “How dare you!”–we miss it.
I can’t point a finger at her because I know that if I did there would be three more pointing back at me.
You see, I’m just like Kim.
I crave all that too. I write words hoping you think I’m admirable. I put on make-up and a cute top then fix my hair, hoping you find me acceptable. I scan my Facebook feed for likes (or “loves”) because I seek your affirmation. I wish for your approval. And, to quote a Cheap Trick song from the 1970s, I’d love you to love me.
Even though I’ve never provocatively-bared my physical body, I also resort to playing up my best features in a vain attempt to get the attention I feel I need.
Don’t we all?
I’ve dressed “hot” to impress a date. I’ve scoured my house to perfection before company walked through the door. I’ve dressed my children in matching Gymboree outfits and taught them to say “Yes, please!” so you’ll see what a great mom I am. And, I’ve prepared and prepared and over-prepared so that the event I planned would leave you saying, “Wow, she’s quite the hostess.”
I’ve used my best assets to try and earn your approval, too.
I’m no better than Kim.
But, here’s where Kim and I part ways. Thanks to God’s grace, I now know who really deserves worship. And, it’s not me.
Though I can get caught up in how good it feels when people praise me, God’s word reminds me that I’m not worthy of praise. My fragile soul was created to worship, not to be worshipped. I can see how that weight of human accolades has crushed so many of our culture’s most beloved icons. In recent history alone–from Marilyn Monroe to Robin Williams–we’ve watched lives snuffed short from the pain that empty glory breeds.
Becoming an idol leaves souls hollow. We simply weren’t designed to worship each other.
Kim hasn’t learned that yet. She sadly believes her best asset–the only asset she can rely on to merit love–is her curvaceous shape. She still chases admiration but settles for ogling. She resorts to the shock-and-awe “break the internet” response to help her feel accepted.
But, it won’t satisfy her. It can’t. She’ll keep trying. She’ll work her body harder. She’ll take more photos. She’ll invite the cameras. (Don’t be surprised, just expect it.)
Yet she’ll still feel empty.
So don’t envy her body. Don’t hate her brazenness or waste your time despising her lewdness. Just pray for her, knowing that beauty, admiration, affirmation and praise is not what a soul needs to feel complete.
It needs Jesus.
And that’s the bare truth she needs us all to see.