Yesterday Kris Jenner, as close to Mother Nature as the tabloid world ever gets, posted a picture of herself in her swimsuit on Instagram. The media melted down in a "bikini body" frenzy. Can we please cut this out? Kris's photo was a response to one her daughter Kendall, 17, posted as an ad for some sort of swimwear line that only tacky people who go to boat shows would ever wear. But the creepy thing isn't that all the magazines were comparing the mother and daughter's bodies. No, it's their continued insistence on using the disgusting idiom "bikini body."
"Move Over Kendall! Kris Jenner, 57, Bares Bikini Body on Instagram" Us Weekly shouted. "Kendall Jenner, Kris Jenner Reveal Their Bikini Bodies on Instagram," The Huffington Post exclaims. "Kris Jenner, 57, Flaunts Bikini Body – PIC," Gossip Cop arrests, reminding us that, yes, there will be a picture of said body on the other side of the link.
This is an everyday occurrence on certain types of sites, rounding up the Instagram pictures and paparazzi shots of C-listers at the beach in their swimsuits and calling everyone to gawk. "Look, we got a shot of a professionally attractive person wearing very little clothing. LOOK!" That's what the "bikini body" is code for. Look at what kind of shape they are in and judge. Or, to the lovers of the female form, it is merely saying, "BOOBIES," in a way that is so juvenile it might as well be 5318008 written upside down on a calculator. At least "David Beckham Strips Down to His Underwear, Looks Sexy" is straightforward in its crassness.
What I hate even more about it is the way that it is phrased, with the emphasis on the "body." It says to us that there isn't a person wearing this tiny piece of spandex and nylon blend, it is just a stack of sinew and bone in the shape of Kris Jenner. She is not so much a person as a form that is meant to show off a garment. She is nothing but a sack of skin with no soul or a face or a sense of humor or talent or aspiration (well, Kris Jenner specifically only possess two of those, but you know what I mean).
I don't have any problem with ogling celebrities' bodies, necessarily. They are fitter and better and richer than us, after all; let us all bask in their glory. But let's at least be honest in our headlines. Let's call a cheesecake a cheesecake and stop trying to couch it in this "look at how good and healthy she looks exclamation exclamation exclamation bathing beauty emoji smiley face" nonsense. Just say, "Damn, Kris Jenner looks really freaking good for 57," or "Kendall Jenner may not be that smart, but she sure is purdy," or "I know you really don't even remember who Audrina Patridge is, but you probably want to see if she got fat or not, right? Well, she didn't. So put down that cupcake, fatso."
So let's skip the "bikini body" nonsense altogether, huh? It's either that or start caring about the whole person as an actual human being and stop chopping them up into little tiny bits for our conspicuous consumption. And after we're done with that, I'm coming for "baby bump" next.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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