While reader reviews of Kim Kardashian’s Selfish run the gamut from paeans to pans, book critics seem to be on the same page when it comes to the coffee table photo book: Surprisingly, they love it. Don’t believe us? We’ve rounded up some of Kardashian’s glowing praise so you can see for yourself—but we still recommend flipping through Selfish on your own. It’s quite a treat.
“Selfish is an insane project, a document of mind-blowing vanity and deranged perseverance. It’s also riveting. I can’t recommend it enough….
“What makes Selfish so crazily engrossing is the way it breaks down, image by nearly identical image, the precise, self-determined path of Kim Kardashian’s rise from socialite to household name—and the way that over the course of hundreds of consecutive selfies, the evolution of her public and private selves gets fully entangled.”
“It should be dreadful, but it isn’t. Surprisingly, it’s a rather enchanting document of someone having a jetset life (sample caption: ‘I was in Africa in a diamond mine’) and not being overly protective about her image (one page is devoted entirely to photographs of her with sunburn after she fell asleep wearing sunglasses).”
“Kim Kardashian has come not to praise the photography book, but to bury it. Her new book, Selfish, is the ultimate slap in the face for anyone who ever pointed a camera with high hopes of being the new Henri Cartier-Bresson or Don McCullin…. The selfie gives an illusion of intimacy that is priceless in an age that cherishes authenticity and reality. It may well be pornographic and objectifying but because Kardashian herself controls what we see, her art seems both honest and, for her, empowering. So come on in, buy the book and be part of her world. Up close and curvy.”
“At first glance, it seems all too easy to poke fun at Kim Kardashian’s aptly-titled, selfie-filled coffee table book Selfish. As the physical embodiment of our self-obsessed culture, it’s a tome that idolizes her and her unparalleled rise to media ubiquity. But a look through the pages of Selfish reveals that what may seem insipid and overblown initially is actually a far smarter, more calculated window into the life and times of one of our culture’s most relevant public figures through the simple, albeit absurd, art of documenting herself….
“We begin to buy into her ability to make her unrelatable lifestyle seem relatively normal by the familiar way she documents her otherwise otherworldly experiences—the humble selfie. Guess what? It’s a strategy that works.”
“Selfish occupies a place somewhere between a Marina Abramović stunt and your Facebook friend who splices together brief video clips every day for year. The intention is far more like the latter, but flipping through the book may leave you with this philosophical question: Why bother hiding anything?….
“Whether it’s good or bad is frankly irrelevant—one’s own opinion of Kardashian is the ultimate bias here, so the book is a mirror. But I will say this: to spend time with Selfish is to encounter a woman who possesses zero embarrassment.”
The Atlantic, “You Win, Kim Kardashian”
“In the vague manner of Kramer’s coffee table book about coffee tables, Kim’s collection is both of and about selfies: It takes her (in)famous love of her own image to a logical, and also absurdist, extreme. … Selfish is predicated on the idea that deflecting criticism and absorbing it tend to amount to the same thing….
“In all that, you see the work that goes into making Kim Kardashian, the person, into Kim Kardashian, the icon. What Selfish depicts, more than anything else, is the labor that goes into beauty…. And with her candor about who she is and what it takes to make her that way, she might also, against all odds, move us forward.”
Lena Dunham, “#yeahiboughtit”