Kimberly Noel Kardashian is at it again, this time launching a product that is so ridiculous it might just be genius. In the tongue-in-cheek campaign, Kim K begins to address climate change, melting ice caps, and rising sea levels before quickly segueing to more important matters— like her distractingly perky nipples courtesy of the Skims Nipple Bra. She assures us that just because the earth is rapidly warming, it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the finer things in life, like perky tits. She describes this revolutionary design in bra technology as “perfect fullness with a built-in faux nipple for shock factor.”
For me, having a little nipple on display is nothing new or shocking— it seems like our generation has already abandoned bras— but I’ll admit I’m always holding out for a cold breeze to keep the girls at their peak. As the nipple becomes more normalized generally, it was only a matter of time before we started developing dubiously attainable beauty standards for them. It's not as if everyone has teeny, tiny, delicate, and dainty, perfectly perked nipples at all times, but I suppose Madame Kardashian sensed a hole in the market worth filling.
It certainly isn’t lost on me that the same person who once contributed massively to the worldwide sensation that is the BBL is now challenging fashion to walk into the new (melting) Ice Age tits first. Kim Kardashian appears to have literally shed her ass for a newer, fresher position in the body market.
Our bodies have become as subject to the trend cycle as the latest bag or pair of shoes. At times, actual fashion takes a back seat to the body itself, with the priority shifting to show off the hard work of either genetics, plastic surgery, shapewear, or witchcraft. As the BBL has waned in popularity, heroine chic of the 2010s has been slithering into the limelight. While skinny never truly left the mainstream, it is more brazen than the tiptoeing it’s done previously around the body positivity movement.
This legacy of uplifting thinness as the ideal has inspired the trend “Is it fashion or is she just skinny?” wherein plus-size content creators recreate outfits worn by thin fashion influencers. In doing this, they call to attention and into question the skinny body as the ultimate fashion accessory. Is that oversized t-shirt and bike shorts actually #styleinspo-Pinterest-Blokette-chic or are skinny women allowed to (even celebrated for) throwing on low-effort outfits that a larger woman would be crucified for? High-effort presentation is often treated as the tax women must pay for the transgression of being fat, Black, or otherwise “undesirable.” Fashion continues to build our bodies into its fabric. This is nothing new, yet it is something that becomes more ingrained into our everyday lives.
Obviously, Kim Kardashian is not single-handedly responsible for the commodification of women’s bodies nor the concept of using nipples as an accessory. All things considered, perky nipples are probably one of the least sinister of body-related fashion moments. Implications for a greater evil aside, I think the nipple bra is fun. There seems to be no stopping the ever-evolving and tangling world of fashion and bodies, and the Kardashians have never missed out on an economic opportunity. Unlike the icebergs, these new body trends aren’t going anywhere, and what will either of those mean for our future?