Tuesday 22 October 2019

Rachel Dugan: 'Hands off our Kimberleys, Kimberly!'

Kim Kardashian West suffers from psoriasis. Photo: AP
Kim Kardashian West suffers from psoriasis. Photo: AP

Rachel Dugan

Kim Kardashian's new business venture landed the reality star in trouble this week after she unveiled her new shapewear brand. For those unacquainted with this particular branch of masochism masquerading as women's clothing, its main function is to give the impression of an almost mannequin-like smoothness to curves. I like to call it torture wear. Think Chinese foot-binding for the bodycon dress generation.

The issue is that Kim's named it Kimono Intimates, calling her range after a long traditional robe dating back to the 15th century.

Considered Japan's national dress, it's a garment so steeped in cultural significance it's reserved for special occasions.

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Cue a deluge of angry tweets from right across the accusation spectrum, from insensitivity to cultural appropriation to blatant racism.

What exactly does this conservative cover-up have in common with underwear designed to keep your wobbly bits from wobbling?

But people seem to have forgotten the moniker mantra by which Kim and her sisters live: if it begins with "K" it's fair game, and if it incorporates your name, then you practically own the word.

Kim probably had no idea she was disrespecting the traditional garment of an ancient culture. All she could see was her own name staring back at her.

Being a Good Samaritan, I thought I would have a look and see what other culturally sensitive words Kim might be drawn to when she releases her next product.

I'm not sure how sensitive Koreans are about their national dish, but best to steer clear of any suggestion she launch Kimchi, her own line of chakra-aligning tote bags. Best, too, to give skimmed milk a wide berth, or she might find herself at the wrong end of the dairy lobby.

But I've also uncovered a worrying threat to our own national heritage. Surely it's only a matter of time before the reality star comes for this cornerstone of Irish society. I'm talking, of course, about our biscuits. Kim, hands off our Kimberley, Mikados - and our Koconut Kreams!

Love Island's Maura has us all a flutter

Love Island's Longford inmate, sorry contestant, has been quite a divisive figure. She breezed into the Mallorcan villa last week like a cooling ocean zephyr, reinvigorating viewers and housemates alike. In a flurry of f-bombs, 28-year-old Maura Higgins's tell-it-like-it-is approach soon won her an army of fans. Then she ill-advisedly crawled all over potential love interest Tommy Fury like one of Dracula's bloodthirsty wives and went from straight-talker to sex pest.

In the end, Tommy chose someone else and Maura moved on, which involved cosying up to newbie Tom. Then that all came crashing down when she overheard the chiselled hipster telling the boys he was excited to spend the night with her and find out if "she was all mouth".

Because not only is Maura not backwards about coming forwards, she's also talked about sex quite a lot since entering the villa and in such a candid and forthright way that Tom seemed to take it as evidence of her being happy to hop into bed with anyone.

A "raging" Maura's expletive-heavy, no-bulls**it response swung the audience back in her favour, and even saw her hailed as a feminist icon.

Her treatment of boxer Tommy was without doubt unacceptable and had the roles been reversed, he may well have been sent packing.

But I think most viewers, myself included, believe Maura's earlier transgression doesn't mean she can't also make a stand against slut-shaming and toxic masculinity.

A forgiving but flawed Irish woman who tells a man who's tried to slut-shame her to "go f*** himself?"

Now that would get your attention.

Irish Independent

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