Kim Kardashian set the Internet on fire this week when her cover for Paper magazine's November issue and nude photos from her photo shoot hit the Web. Many came forward to criticize her and either pick apart her body or the fact that as a mom she has no right to appear butt naked for the public. Others still found her poses to be reminiscent of a historically racist image and condemned her for being ignorant and self-absorbed. Well, Paper’s editorial director, Mickey Boardman, sat down with The Cut to share details behind the issue's concept and how the naked Kardashian project came about.
"We were thinking, 'It would be great to bring in some more high-profile people in addition to changing the look [of the magazine] and updating and bringing in a big digital component.' And we worked once before with Kim and Khloé, for our social media issue. And literally, they were the nicest, easiest people to work with, shockingly enough," Boardman said. "Kim and her publicist are super smart and get it. And Kim wanted to do cool, amazing things. Her attitude was, If we're gonna do this, let's really go there."
Kardashian first poses in a black floor-length gown, gloves, and pearls while popping open a champagne bottle that shoots up and over her head and into a glass that's carefully balanced on her famous derrière. It's a pose that photographer Jean-Paul Goude has taken before (of Carolina Beaumont in 1976) and Kardashian's clothes came off in subsequent shots, completely revealing both her front and back sides.
"We ended up trying one thing that didn't run and that we didn't think worked. We hadn't planned for her to take her clothes off. She wanted to and it kind of fit with the thing, and Jean-Paul was super excited about her attitude and Kim was super excited. Everyone was excited about working together and making magic," Boardman said before adding his shock at how many negative comments were coming from women.
"It seems always like the people who are the negative commenters — I was shocked and appalled at how often it's women," he said. "And people who were negatively commenting things like, 'Oh, you're a bad mom,' or, 'Oh, you're a fat pig whore,' or something like that. It's like, how could you say that to her? To comment on anything negatively like that on anyone's appearance is so wrong and rotten to me. I just don't understand."
As for Kardashian's cover story, writer Amanda Fortini seems overcome by Kardashian's gorgeous features ("She's like a beautiful anime character come to life," Fortini wrote) and how the reality TV star has found so much success despite not truly having earned her fame in the first place. No matter, today Kardashian can boast a multi-million-dollar app, fragrances, clothing and beauty lines, and a television show with her family that's currently filming its 10th season. For someone whose every move is filmed and photographed, you'd think she'd lash out from time to time like husband Kanye West, but she takes it in stride. After all, her entire celebrity hinges on being accessible, being seen, and continuing to be the talk of the town.
"I love sharing my world with people," Kardashian said. "That's just who I am."
To read her entire story and peep the NSFW photos, click here.
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(Photo: Paper Magazine, Winter 2014)