Sunday Times 2

Does Kim Kardashian really sum up all that’s wrong with modern society?


Kim Kardashian is the poster girl for ‘almost everything that is wrong with Western society’, according to a leading headmistress.
The reality TV star is part of a culture that glorifies women’s physical appearances over their character, claims Dr Helen Wright, head of a private girls’ boarding school.

Famous for being famous : 'The descent of Western civilisation can practically be read into every curve

In a speech tomorrow, Dr Wright will show Miss Kardashian posing in her underwear on the cover of men’s magazine Zoo.�The headline, from an edition last month, praises Miss Kardashian as ‘the hottest woman in the world’.
‘It is not too strong a statement, I venture to suggest, to say that almost everything that is wrong with Western society today can be summed up in that one symbolic photo of Miss Kim Kardashian on the front of Zoo magazine,’ Dr Wright will say.’The descent of Western civilisation can practically be read into every curve, of which, you will note, there are indeed many.

‘Officially the hottest woman in the world? Really? Is this what we want our young people to aim for? Is this what success should mean to them?’ Miss Kardashian – who was photographed in Paris yesterday wearing rather more than usual – first became famous when a sex tape of her appeared online in 2007.

Her late father, Robert Kardashian, was a defence lawyer for OJ Simpson in his 1995 murder trial.
Dr Wright, head of St Mary’s School, Calne, Wiltshire, will say that Miss Kardashian is famous for her reality TV series, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, ‘for hanging out with the rich and famous, for a sex tape, a 72-day marriage and a rather ample backside’.

‘What is she telling our young people about life? As a society, we have clearly attached a value to her,’ she will say.
‘There may be some messages about hard work buried in there somewhere – I expect she has to slave in the gym to keep that posterior in shape – but these are very hidden messages, buried under the other messages surrounded by glitz and sparkle.’Messages about physical appearance being more important than character or substance, for instance, or messages about financial rewards coming with meanness, scandal and boundary-less living.’

Dr Wright will present her warning to the Institute of Development Professionals in Education, whose members help raise funds for schools.’The pupils in our schools really are soaking up a diet of empty celebrity and superficiality,’ she will say. ‘They are under a huge amount of pressure, buffeted by these images and messages.’

Dr Wright, the former president of the Girls’ School Association, will also warn that premature sexualisation and the objectification of women is rife on TV, the internet and magazines.’I have spoken out a lot over the past two years about the increasing dangers of the premature sexualisation of young people, and the objectification of women which accompanies this. And this is what our young people see around them all the time: online, in magazines, on TV.’

Schools must lead the way in helping young people understand who they are and instill good values, she will add.
� Daily Mail, London

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