Kim Kardashian Photo Controversy: ‘Paper Magazine’ Cover Has Allegedly Racist Origins

Kim Kardshian is attracting attention for her racy photo on the cover of Paper Magazine’s Winter 2014 issue, and now a new controversy is emerging about the supposedly racist inspiration for one of the photos.

In one of the photos, a clothed Kim Kardahsian is seen opening a bottle of champagne that streams over her head and onto a glass placed on her backside.

As Grio writer Blue Telusma found, the photo appeared to pull inspiration from Saartjie Baartman, a 19th century sideshow attraction from Africa known for her oversized backside.

“Saartjie was a woman whose large buttocks brought her questionable fame and caused her to spend much of her life being poked and prodded as a sexual object in a freak show,” Telusma wrote. “Sound familiar?”

The shot itself was a re-creation of an outwardly racist photo that famed photographer Jean-Paul Goude took of his girlfriend.

As Telusma wrote, the photo, and Goude’s inspiration, is controversial.

“I’m the first to admit that some of the work that Jean-Paul Goude has done over the past 30 years has become iconic, particularly his work with his (then-girlfriend) Grace Jones. But the one he chose to recreate for Paper Magazine is problematic for several reasons.

“The original shot is of a black woman standing in front of a blue wall while she pops champagne into a glass placed on her rear end. And it’s from a book entitled: ‘Jungle Fever.’

“Let that soak in for a second. Jungle. Fever.

Telusma went on to quote a People magazine article from 1979, in which Jean-Paul Goude said, “I had jungle fever.”

He now says, “Blacks are the premise of my work.”

The Kim Kardashian magazine cover has generated plenty of other controversy, including allegations that the naked shots are photoshopped. Mickey Boardman, Paper Magazine editor, later confirmed to Us Weekly that the shots were indeed touched up.

“Every cover of every magazine is airbrushed on some level, but what I will say, is that is her butt. It is not padded. It is not augmented. That is all really her,” Boardman said. “But, yes, there was retouching to clean things up and make things look amazing. That’s what retouching is. It’s not building an a** that isn’t there or taking 50 pounds off the waist.”

Kim Kardashian herself hasn’t addressed the Paper Magazine photo controversy, especially the supposedly racist origins of the shot.

[Image via Instagram]