The reality TV star is a master of surprise, making a habit of doing what’s least expected. And, for the cover of the September issue of Interview magazine, she certainly pulled out all the stops. Pictured with peroxide blonde hair, bushy and bleached eyebrows, and a head-to-toe denim look complete with jockstrap, Kim Kardashian didn’t do things by halves when it came to embodying her own take on the “American dream.” By (once again) drawing all eyes to her behindthe Skims founder seems to want to convey a message — one that’s not to be taken at face value — and perhaps in relation to the US’s current regression, notably in terms of women’s and gay rights.
So what’s it all about? Non-gendered fashion, an emblem of gay culture, self-affirmation, or shunning an ideal that’s in the process of being shattered? Whatever the reason she chose to wear a jockstrap, Kim K. has once again succeeded in pulling off a PR masterstroke.
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If some people have been wearing a jockstrap for years, others have probably not (yet) had the chance to get acquainted with this underwear item, created way back in the 19th century. And while it is now considered an iconic underwear item of gay culture, it was primarily intended for athletes to help support and protect their genitalia. From rugby to American football, ice hockey, boxing and cycling, the jockstrap is not unknown to professionals and amateurs who play such sports.
More concretely, this typically male piece of underwear features a pouch at the front for housing the wearer’s “tackle,” and is able to accommodate a protective shell. It has a wide waistband, and two elastic side straps, which hold everything up. It’s a very specific style that seemingly emphasizes the genitals, as well as the buttocks, which are left completely free to move. And while Kim Kardashian may not have body parts in that region that are in need of support, or emphasis, it was obvious that these pictures were going to be the subject of great attention.
Non-gendered fashion, more than just a trend
By donning underwear originally reserved for men, Kim Kardashian proves that fashion no longer has any boundaries. Lingerie brands — which many thought would be ultimate bastions of gendered fashion — have recently shattered any remaining gender stereotypes with unisex collections. But the star of the hit TV show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” is now going even further by setting up this particular type of underwear as a new must-have accessory for women’s wardrobes. Whether or not Kim K. set out to praise more inclusive fashion — without gender distinctions — there’s no doubt that her influence will soon propel the jockstrap onto the catwalks of the world’s major fashion shows.
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