“Everyone wonders how Chyna lost all that weight after the baby and she lies to everyone but no I’m such a great Husband that on our anniversary I paid 100K to do this surgery to get all everything fixed as much as they could.” - Rob Kardashian, 7/5/2017
That’s how Rob Kardashian captioned a video he posted of ex-girlfriend Blac Chyna in the hospital, along with several others that day including photos of her breasts, vagina and butt. While revenge porn was made illegal in California, the responses and coverage of this case reveals just how much the topic still needs discussing. The incident between Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna encompasses all of layers of sexism that compose this ongoing tendency to weaponize nudity.
First we must question why a video of Chyna in the hospital should be shameful at all. Hollywood culture is already well known for promoting unrealistic body expectations for women and fat-shaming those who don’t meet it. This pressure has led thousands of women to undergo procedures to fit these impossible standards, yet videos like these are used to shame women for attempting to become what we expect them to be.
Even more concerning are the implications Kardashian makes in his complaints:
- "A woman I just paid 16K rent and Ferrari I just bought and lambo and 400K in jewelry. Damn.”
- “I just bought her 250K of jewelry yesterday. This woman is so disrespectful and I don't care.”
- "I prob spent a million alone in the past 2 months. 90K necklaces. 70K watch. The Ferrari that u pretend u got yourself.”
- "Damn I spent millions on this girl in less than a year and a half and she f*cking dudes who hit me begging for money or they gonna expose her.”
The consistent mentions of lavish gifts and dollar amounts not only reflects Kardashian’s belief that the money spent entitles him to her loyalty, but also a deranged appeal to ownership over her body - especially by grouping the surgery among his “shopping list.”
Let’s not forget, Chyna has already posed nude for Elle, but under her control and her consent. But when other women like Chelsea Handler or Amber Rose post nude photos online, they receive criticism, harassment and hate for revealing too much or being slutty. Yet while we shame women for the photos they choose to share of themselves, people will scour the internet leaked photos of celebrity nudes.
But Rob Kardashian’s abusive and illegal meltdown is one in a long line of men posting nude photos to humiliate women, using their own bodies, yet we deny women the right to promote their bodies if they chose.
Nobody should own Blac Chyna’s body, except herself, and no amount of cheating or money should change that. Yet revenge porn, or as it should be called, online sexual abuse and harassment, punishes women using their own bodies against them for photos and videos taken without their consent.
We as a culture obsess over women’s naked bodies, sexualize them, commodify them. But at the same time, we tell women they do not have control over who views their bodies, and slut shame them if anyone does. If a woman posts nudes it's considered slutty. When men post female nudes without their consent, it’s a category of porn. It’s a paradox in which women can never win.