Paper magazine and Kim Kardashian set out to #breaktheinternet, but they literally failed. Sure, there has been some heavy butt saturation online, but you are reading this on a website right now, so, again, they failed.
While an oiled up, ample posterior will forever be linked to the oft-photographed reality TV star, there are no planes falling from the sky (yet). No state of emergency has been called and families aren’t fleeing to nearby fallout shelters. But what kind of buttpocalypse was expected when Paper wrote its cover line? Could they have imagined the hilarious parodies that would litter every timeline in every city, province, county, borough and, um, hamlet?
There’s reason to suspect that #breaktheinternet was never a mission to stall, halt or kill the world wide web (phew). If we look back on the events that followed the now-infamous cover, it would give way to a conclusion that nothing was ever meant to break. The world’s most talked about
couple butt didn’t break the Internet, it consumed it. Is that what they meant by ‘break’? Is getting the digital world to focus intently on one thing ad nauseam (someone’s behind) a form of dismantling or destroying a tech savvy, multi-track mind?
Like all art, the viewer’s eye dictates the conversation and reads into it what it may. This is why we see Lorde calling the cover star “mom” as a term of endearment, while Glee’s Naya Rivera left a judgmental Instagram comment.
While some chose to take the nudity quite seriously, some decided to pay homage rather quickly and with humour–in sexy, illustrated form!
In a world where nothing shocks us for very long—or at all—anymore, the cover of Paper and its subsequent editorial images swiftly became the kind of pop cultural ephemera that comes around once every 24-hour news cycle.
And, hey, it was slick. But was it as slick as these covers?