Kim Kardashian’s opus is a book of pictures all about… herself.
Some pairings are so obvious, they hardly warrant mentioning: Bert & Ernie, Michelle & Barack, and Kim Kardashian & Greco-Roman poets from Latin literature’s BC era.
For it is Ovid who told us the myth of Narcissus, the breathtakingly beautiful son of a river god.
One day Narcissus gazed upon his reflection in a pond and was so captivated by it, he couldn’t look away. His self-infatuation was his destruction, and eventually he died at the water’s edge. This is from where we get the word “narcissism”.
Today, Narcissus would wind up with his own reality TV show and release a book of hundreds of photos he took of himself. Enter: Kim Kardashian. Like Narcissus, she is undeniably, breathtakingly beautiful. She is also deeply enamoured with her own reflection, taking this love to a new level with her recently released book of selfies, brilliantly titled “Selfish”.
There are things I like about Kim. She more than successfully breaks the mould of fair and skinny models that dominate pop culture, and women have stated her “different kind of beauty” is one of the reasons they love her. From all we’ve seen (“all” being the operative word when discussing a life self-documented in micro-seconds), she is a loving mother, sister, wife and daughter.
Watch Kim describe how to take the perfect selfie to Jimmy Kimmel.Post continues after video.
But I was puzzled by the book – why would anyone buy what was mostly available for nothing on Kim’s Instagram? Perhaps the book provided witty commentary on current society, or offered new insight into previously-unknown aspects of Kim’s life? Nope. Flicking through the book, my puzzlement grew further still. There appeared to be no point to the book whatsoever.
It is just page after page of Kim’s (mostly bathroom) selfies, many uncaptioned or with only the barest nod to description (“I love bathroom selfies!”). Pages are devoted to almost identical pictures, each frame taken within seconds of each other and only showing a slight difference in how open her mouth was or the angle of her jaw. There’s a lot of pouting and bare skin. As she merrily captions (more than once) “Bikini selfies are my fave!”. There are even full-frontal nude selfies, which she says she wasn’t going to include until they were leaked and then, oh well. In for a penny, in for a pound and all that.
It’s easy to poke lazy fun at the book, such as when she takes a selfie of her face perfectly positioned next to a horse’s ass, apparently unaware of what punchlines suggest themselves. Or when she gushes about the beautiful places she is taking selfies while managing to obscure any vision of these sights (such as Thailand, the desert, and the aquarium) because her own image takes up so much of the shot. Or when a caption is so badly written, it appears conclusive proof the book editor had entirely checked out by this stage, like on p 243 where it reads as if Kim and her friend were trapped in a wardrobe for a quarter of a year: “We were in Miami here in my closet. We were there for three months filming Kourtney and Kim take Miami.”