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KENDALL Jenner has been freeing the nipple in see-through clothes on the runway and red carpet for years.
But a fashion psychologist said that while Kendall, 27, clearly feels comfortable showing off her body, the svelte reality star's braless outfits can seem "contrived" and not always glamorous.
Kendall Jenner hit a Met Gala after-party in New York City on May 1 alongside her new beau, singer Bad Bunny.
Her outfit consisted of a see-through sequined bodysuit by Chanel, over which she layered a black thong and a black crop top that didn't cover her chest, leaving her nipples exposed under the sequins.
It wasn't her only breast-baring look in the span of a few days: Two nights ahead of the Met Gala, Kendall enjoyed a date with her Puerto Rican boyfriend, kicking off her weekend’s braless looks.
Heading into hotspot Carbone on April 29, she was photographed wearing a see-through brown crop top with a shearling-trimmed miniskirt.
Though nipple-baring outfits can be high fashion, Professor Carolyn Mair, Ph.D., author of The Psychology of Fashion, indicated to The U.S. Sun that in some cases, it may just be more about a desire to show skin than to look chic.
"I do wonder about her Met Gala after-party outfit, as it couldn’t be described as glamorous. So to me, this does look rather contrived," she said.
"It looks contrived to me because the shorts outfit looks like any ordinary shorts outfit, but made in see-through fabric.
"Maybe it looks better in real life.
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“If other celebrities in her genre are being snapped wearing see-through clothing and getting lots of publicity as a result, it makes sense for her to be part of this trend to stay in the public eye.
“Kendall is a beautiful young woman, but whether she gets the look right or wrong very much depends on the clothing she wears as well.
“I think she gets it right when wearing a glamorous see-through dress, or when she wears a top that is draped or embellished meticulously by craftspeople.
“But maybe it’s unnecessary, although not necessarily wrong when wearing a seemingly ordinary item that’s made in see-through fabric.
“For me, it is about glamour as much as about being sexy.
“A beautifully draped or embellished see-through dress or top can be a work of art, and when it’s worn, it can look both glamorous and sexy as well as luxurious."
Her nipple-freeing parade certainly set her apart from her sisters, Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, who rocked up at the Met sporting different styles.
Accentuating her curves, Kim wore a sculpted Schiaparelli Haute Couture dress with a satin corset and pearls.
Kylie, meanwhile, pushed out her butt on the red carpet while covering her boobs and body in a heavy red Haider Ackermann for Jean Paul Gaultier gown.
But even though Kendall's sisters tend to be big on flaunting their backsides, Professor Mair said that she doesn't think Kendall's nips-out streak is about being unique.
“I'm not sure if Kendall's trying to find another way to set herself apart from her sisters," she said.
“I doubt also that she is self-conscious or trying to do something her sisters can’t do.
“In families, there can be some sort of comparison which can lead to feelings of jealousy, inadequacy, or competition.
“This can happen if the siblings are close in age and have similar interests or talents, Or if one is perceived as the favorite, more successful, attractive, or popular than the others.
"I'm not saying this is what's happening with the Kardashians as they all seem to have carved out their own niche.
"In a sense, anyone can wear see-through clothes. The question is, can anyone carry it off?
“Kendall shows her body off often so I would doubt she has any reservations about it at all.
“Kim could probably carry this same look off and has done so in the past.
“Kim has carved out her niche in terms of promoting a particular body shape so maybe she prefers to keep it that way now.
“I see no reason why Kim wouldn’t wear something see-through now. She’s still a confident woman with a huge following."
What’s termed freeing the nipple has become a rising trend in celeb circles over the past few years. Kendall Jenner isn't the first.
In January, actress Florence Pugh’s free-the-nipple moment caused a commotion with the actress later addressing her style choice in a Vogue interview.
She told the magazine: “I’ve never been scared of what’s underneath the fabric.
"If I’m happy in it, then I’m gonna wear it. Of course, I don’t want to offend people, but I think my point is: How can my nipples offend you that much?”
In fact, Kendall jumped on the nipple-freeing bandwagon in 2014.
At the time, the budding catwalk star had walked her first high-fashion runway for Marc Jacobs dressed in a sheer, nipple-baring sweater.
Talking to Vogue, she said: “I remember getting a call from my agent saying that Marc and Katie Grand, the show’s stylist wanted to put me in this kind of sheer top, and I was like, ‘I’m game. I don’t mind.”
She added: “I’m all good with the nipple.”
“There has been a trend for see-through tops and dresses that show full breasts underneath,” added Professor Mair.
“This trend has been seen on fashion runways, in celebrity outfits, and in everyday streetwear.
“It could have been strengthened because of the influence of social media and celebrity culture.
“People might also choose to wear see-through clothing as a way to express their sexuality or to challenge societal norms around bodies and clothing choices.
“Sheer fabrics have existed for a long time and even in ancient civilizations.
“Back then they were often associated with wealth, luxury, and elegance.
“It seems that Kendall Jenner is among many celebrities and social media influencers who have boosted the visibility of this trend.
“She and others post images of outfits that feature see-through tops and dresses.
“This increased visibility on social media has made the trend more mainstream and accessible to a wider audience.
“I don't think anyone could pull it off, though.
“This look takes a super-confident person who doesn’t care at all about what other people think to wear it.
“Context also matters.
"Most of us never attend events where much of the purpose of attending is to be seen arriving and leaving, and ultimately, to have your photo in the press.”
Over the years, Kendall’s svelte shape and her choice of style have seen her rise to become one of the world's highest-paid models.
After signing with Wilhelmina Models in 2009, she booked her first gig modeling for Forever 21. Her debut cover shoot was with American Cheerleader magazine in 2012.
By 2013, Kendall had transferred into high fashion, appearing on the covers of Miss Vogue Australia and Harper's Bazaar Arabia.
Walking for Chanel, Balmain, and Tommy Hilfiger came next. In 2018, Forbes released an article saying Kendall had earned $22.5million that year.
While Kendall and other stars are regularly freeing the nipple these days, Professor Mair said there may be a downside.
“What I do find incredibly disturbing is that certain body parts can be considered to be in or out of fashion.
“This kind of thinking can lead to body dissatisfaction, unhealthy eating behaviors, and even eating disorders.
“It encourages us to compare our bodies to an unrealistic and unachievable aesthetic."
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