Kim Kardashian: Slave To The Rhythm

14 Nov

This article is good, so very very good, so please read it.

First off, those of you declaring that these pictures are “history-making” need to chill out. There is nothing new or even original about this spread. Renowned French photographer Jean-Paul Goude just dug into his archives, pulled out some of his old favorites and recreated them with reality TV’s reigning It Girl.

Which led to me googling Jean-Paul Goude. Which leads to this

Ahh the iconic photos of Miss Grace Jones! I’ve seen them before of course. That search then leads to the music video Slave To The Rhythm. Apparently the music video (music by Grace Jones) is constructed from several Jean-Paul Goude photographs. Grace Jones was his muse.

I’ve seen this video before, and I loved it when I was younger. Now I see things I didn’t see before. The blackface, but not only the blackface, the insistence of blackface, the promise of communal love and acceptance if black people can live alongside blackface.

It’s kind of disquieting. Wrong. Racist. This is racism borne from love. Jean-Paul Goude says he loves black bodies, but all of the black bodies in his art are disfigured, exaggerated, and ripped apart.

Read on Goude’s original shoot:

“The subject wears an ‘exotic’ hairstyle and ‘smiles’ for the camera in the pose of a ‘happy savage pleased to serve,’” she says, “which suggests her complicity in having her body depicted as a literal object, a ‘primitive’ vision to provide pornographic pleasure and intoxication presumably for a white male spectator.”

And a Daily Dot writer’s reaction to Kim Kardashian’s face in the shoot meant to mimic the original shoot:

She looks almost innocent: playful and unrestrained. She looks happy, she even looks kind of funny. 

Something is very very wrong with us.


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