The Biggest Difference Between Beyoncé And Kim Kardashian’s Risqué Photos Is Artistic Intent

Opinion

Beyoncé’s relationship with her sexuality has always been a prickly one. She’s always been a master-class example of straddling the line, baring her slender legs, bodacious curves and jaw-dropping looks strategically to leverage attention to her music — also, to flaunt her stuff, as she rightly deserves.

Charting her sexual growth throughout her career reveals her growing comfort with her body. When she came in, she was reserved. Over time, through her outfit choices and dance routines, she became a sexual goddess that took no prisoners. Now, she’s in her final form and it’s about time.

Progressive social reform pertaining to women’s sexual freedom has made women being comfortable in their skin not a wish, but a necessity. The most pertinent women in the millennial gaze through Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat often are the most sexually free, confident in their identity, further inspiring women to find their true selves and bare it to the world.

Perhaps a product of her evolution, her current “On The Run II” tour with husband JAY-Z, and the opportunity to promote her music, Beyoncé made a courageous artistic decision to include some racy, semi-nude photos in the concert series’ tour book.

OTR's book

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I'm SHOOK….

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#JayZ x #Beyonce for #OTRII tour book

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The intimate photos, when viewed without the proper lens (as evident by some of the more ignorant Twitter analyzations), seem to be purposelessly sexy. Beyoncé must be baring her curves for the hell of it. She’s a show off, that’s what it is.

But when taking into account the idea of the tour, her eagerness to share the intimacy of her family life with the public, and a willingness to embrace the full breadth of celebrity in 2018, these pictures showcase a tantalizing, yet restrained side of Beyoncé that we’ve not seen in her 20+ years in the game.

Beyoncé’s sensual flicks are an extension of her artistry and maturation in relation to her comfort.

While everyone, undoubtedly, appreciates the pictures for various reasons, a needless conversation has taken Twitter by storm. It constitutes a single question: Isn’t what Beyoncé’s doing with her photos, and is celebrated for it, the same as what Kim Kardashian does, which she’s vilified for?

Kim Kardashian’s celebrity has long been predicated on her willingness to be sexually open. An X-rated tape may have been the catalyst for her impending stardom. Make no mistake, she’s worked her a** off since, becoming an icon for women in a male-driven corporate world.

Even with the countless businesses and investments she’s dabbled into, and, in the process, created dozens of stars, she appears to be fascinated with being in the public’s eye. Whether it’s in the form of bathroom selfies or advertisements for husband Kanye West’s Yeezy brand, she frequently gets naked, or near nude, to remain the center of attention. Nipples out, bare backside nude. It’s the kind that has to be censored when shown on blogs.

While there’s nothing wrong with flaunting assets, knowing when and where, and also how, are important things to consider.

Beyoncé’s pictures do emulate a similar willingness to flaunt it, but where the two culturally significant women’s intimate images differ are the stories behind them.

While Kim’s photos serve as a plea for likes and reposts, Beyoncé’s sensual flicks are display a maturation of comfort. The single thong line and exposed backside of Beyoncé startle us because we aren’t used to her overt sexuality. But we grow to appreciate it because we see she isn’t the same, timid young woman who served as the lead of Destiny Child.

When Kim posts another lewd photo, we aren’t surprised because it’s expected. It often coincides with a lack of media coverage, almost as if she telegraphs her sexy flicks.

Beyoncé, without a doubt, is one of the greatest musicians to ever live. She’s been in the game since she was a child, serenading judges, to the tune of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” at talent shows at only seven years old.

 The single thong line and exposed backside of Beyoncé startle us because we aren’t used to her overt sexuality.

Now, at more than 20 years defined by chart-topping music, culturally progressive moments, and an inspirational vein only matched by Oprah, she’s a force to be reckoned with. Proof that hard work and a lifetime commitment push America forward, even when nefarious agents seem to suggest otherwise.

It’s also important to remember that these photos, although circulating like California wildfires across the internet, originated in the book for her tour with JAY-Z. Kim Kardashian’s pictures are posted directly to social media. They both command attention, admittedly, but which one seems to reach more? Tour merch or Instagram? And to what level of taste? No matter what you can say, you’ve never seen Beyoncé’s nipples. A 10-year-old on either Instagram or Twitter has seen plentiful eyefuls of Kim K’s.

Kim Kardashian is often criticized for her free-spirited approach to flaunting her body. Mrs. Knowles-Carter, now that she has exposed more of herself than anybody has seen (save for JAY-Z), is being applauded for doing something similar to Mrs. Kardashian-West.

However, the circumstances surrounding both women’s liberation differ immensely: one uses her body as an extension of artistic creativity, while the other, empty in presentation, merely leverages exposure for a few minutes of attention.