237130 | A2 | W4 | 4C Visual Analysis of Selected Images

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 5.02.50 PMKim Kardashian’s naked mirror selfie posted to photo sharing app, Instagram, was posted five weeks ago. It was made by Kardashian to be shared to her 66.8 million instagram followers. At face value, it’s production depends on a camera phone and a mirror. However, deeper analyis reveals that this exact image would not be possible without hair and makeup, a strict diet and exercise plan and questionable good lighting. There is a suspicious discrepancy in the lighting half way along the bathroom floor which could reveal an additional lighting set up put in place for the selfie. All of this production leads us to believe that this selfie was spur of the moment and instantaneous. It is an illusion. It’s transmission depends on access to the app, instagram through devices such as smart phones and tablets.

The mirror selfie features Kim Kardashian, naked in a luxurious looking bathroom. Solid black rectangles censor the image in order to conform to Instagram’s nudity rules. Kardashian is framed on the right side of the image by a gilded frame which is part of the mirror. The selfie was captioned: ‘When you’re like I have nothing to wear LOL’. While not part of a traditional ‘series’ a similar topless selfie also featuring model and actress was posted a month later captioned: ‘When we’re like…we both have nothing to wear LOL @emrata’. In both images the viewers eye is drawn to the figure or figures present. The vantage point of the image is as if you are looking into the mirror.

The different components of the image, the figure, the marble floor, the gilded frame, the bath, the fresh towels and what is potentially a tv screen on the wall are all status symbols. They depict wealth and power. Essentially they are all contributing factors to the image and identity that Kardashian and most likely her PR team want to display.

Many selfies taken in private and then shared have a voyeuristic quality as they are a glimpse into a private moment. This selfie particularly so due to the nudity of the figure as well as the location of a bathroom, a private environment. This is a way of growing interest in Kardashian and attracting attention. In viewing this private moment, the audience feels somewhat more familiar with Kardashian. It makes her seem more ‘real’. This can make an audience engage more actively with the image through ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ on her instagram. This is a tactical way of growing her following. In doing so she increases her financial worth, an underlying motive and purpose of creation of the selfie.

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