Body too bootylicious for you

Paper Magazine’s asspirational rise to web fame

Editorial

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There comes a time in every newspaper opinions section when it must include something about Kim Kardashian West’s backside.

The bum that broke the Internet first appeared on social media when Paper Magazine revealed its winter issue cover, which features one of two images of Kardashian and her butt, one naked and one catching an airborne flow of champagne in a glass which rests on her infamous booty. Within the magazine spread, which also features an article describing Kardashian as a near exact replica of her on-screen self “like she comes with a built-in filter of her own,” the reality star also happily—or so her ecstatic smile suggests—goes full frontal.

Her nude body revealed in its entirety, Kardashian has, as expected, garnered parodies, spoofs, edits and of course the ever-present criticism, including a self-criticizing comment from the model herself:

“And they say I didn’t have a talent…try balancing a champagne glass on your ass LOL #BreakTheInternet #Paper Magazine [sic].”

The whole concept was clearly a stunt from its stated goal (hashtag included) to #BreaktheInternet to the magazine’s choice in ass-baring cover star. It was created to create buzz — buzz for the magazine and more buzz for Kim and her posterior.

The magazine, which has a paid circulation of 125,000 subscribers and 1.3 million unique website viewers according to a Yahoo! Style article, brought itself into the pop culture limelight and onto the Twitter feeds of the masses through a shiny, bronzed rump. A shock-inducing addition to the magazine’s recent redesign, everyone is talking about Paper, when a month ago, most people outside its niche audience had never heard of the publication.

But what distinguishes the NSFW spread from an X-rated magazine such as Playboy? Maybe the high-profile French photographer Jean-Paul Goude, whose work has been featured in museums around the world or the artistic quality of the publication as a whole justify it as art. Regardless, the magazine made a choice, the photographer made a choice and the subject made a choice. And it worked.

Frankly, Kardashian, who specifically told Paper that she was willing to take all of her clothes off according to the magazine’s editorial director, Mickey Boardman, has created a name for herself we all know and love to hate. Getting naked with a silly hair style and a goofy expression on her face created the most buzz on the Internet since Alex from Target, and for that, Paper Magazine should be proud.

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