Konstructing Kim

Kim Kardashian


Who needs surgery? Kim Kardashian has made a bid to do something ‘useful’ with her fame, and taught us how to completely remodel our faces without a scalpel in sight. It’s possible that I’m the only person on the planet who didn’t already know about the fabled Highlighting and Contouring trick (or at least didn’t know how far you can take it). But I feel it’s worth a few words anyway.

So, when you’re next going to a red carpet event, this is apparently what you do. Foundation is not, in fact, the… foundation of konstructed beauty, but is several steps down the line after plastering and refitting. By which I mean geometric white and brown paint slathered on the skin to create a trompe l’oeil set of cheekbones and jaw definition. Amazing!

Do you think she does this every day?

I wonder if the kind of men who feel ‘tricked’ when they see women without makeup (WHAT? She doesn’t actually look like Lara Croft?!) consider themselves vindicated by this proof that women are deceptive sirens who hide their hideous human normality under makeup in order to trap innocent men.

It hardly needs saying that the idea of beauty we revere is a construction, a hybrid monster standard comprising paint, porn and performance. But although most of us know this, it is still surprising to see the construction process laid bare gleefully on Instagram. Presumably Kim has gone beyond the notion that beauty should strive to appear natural, and finds some kind of – what? Triumph, revelation, attention-seeking? – in displaying all the tricks that produce her much-peddled pictures.



It is almost as if she considers her public image to be separate from herself, and is inviting us to share the magic of her transformation without being precious over the authenticity of her beauty. For someone who is famous for nothing else, this is kind of impressive. Perhaps it is a rebellion of sorts, challenging our obsession with beauty or highlighting its absurdity. Perhaps Kim Kardashian is a feminist. Then again, perhaps she didn’t think about it at all and posted the pictures because she didn’t have anything else to put on Instagram and Twitter that morning.

A funny thing: whilst vaguely researching this I typed ‘beauty construction makeup’ into Google and the top result was Kardashian Beauty Makeup at feelunique.com.

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