Despite the wrath of Kardashians scorned, Amber Rose continues to speak openly about her feud with Khloe, her thoughts on Tyga's relationship with Kylie and her relationship with Kanye West. My perception of Amber Rose has always been akin to "I could care less" up until now, but in the face of her divorce from Wiz Khalifa, who allegedly cheated on her, and her former boyfriend of 2-years, Kanye West, acting like he doesn't even know her now, I've come to appreciate Amber Rose. As a strong woman. As a person who is unafraid of her past. And, perhaps most winningly, as a person named Amber Rose who has decided to host a slut walk called "The Amber Rose Slut Walk." This is an appreciation of Amber Rose.
It seems safe to say that the phenomenon of Amber Rose first entered our public consciousness when she started dating Kanye West in 2008. Unfortunately, like many nebulously "famous" women, our attention only gets diverted to them once they are seen in connection to an ostensibly more important man. Like Kim who came after her, Rose was given the label of Kanye's muse. In various corners of the internet, dedicated to celebrity and Kanye obsessives, there are mini requiems to "Kanye Era Amber Rose," marking the distinction between what she was -- is -- and what Kanye briefly turned her into. Additionally disturbing is an old VH1 bio (lol, VH1) that calls Amber Rose the "quintessential American Dream story." Beyond "rags to riches" -- of course, Amber Rose fought her way out of poverty and abuse -- I can't help but think that there's another "American Dream" story that they're referring to. The narrative that starts with a woman utilizing her body, one of the few meager means she has been afforded, and ends with some rich dickhead "saving" her or, less drastically, elevating her. The classic white knight at a strip club, metaphorically or not.
Once Amber Rose started dating Kanye West, she was born, in a sense. Once she was seen on Kanye's arm the "Who is Amber Rose?" primers started popping up. Yet none of them really answered the question. A profile on Rose from 2009 in Elle magazine, Rose was simply reduced to her body. Wearing a catsuit, she explained, like it was an important or particularly juicy bit of gossip: "My hips are a 38 and my waist is a 24." She then went on to discuss Kanye, his opinions of what she wears, all under the banner that this was crucial information. Which, I guess, it was in 2009. In 2009 she was Kanye's new muse and therefore a fashion dilettante worth recognizing. Fast forward to 2015 and the same media song and dance surrounds Kim, too. You might remember that Rose, like Kim in this very magazine, was also styled as an homage to Jean Paul Goude's work at her peak "It Girl."
With Amber Rose's history in mind, her tweets after Kanye's infamous Breakfast Club interview, in which he denounced Rose for firing back at Khloe and involving his wife, Kim Kardashian (and her sex tape) in the great Kylie/Tyga debate of 2015, seem less petty, although still petty, and more... of something else. It's like she saw herself in Kim, in the "game recognize game" way. In the way that women can see each other.
She went on to clarify her comment in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, "I never ever hated on [Kim's sex tape]. I'm all for a woman making something out of nothing. You know what I mean? If you can do something and bring your entire family on and make millions of dollars, that's dope to me. I love that."
So now it's 2015 and Kanye is with Kim, but, miraculously, Amber Rose still exists despite Kanye's best efforts to erase her with 30 showers. When Kanye West appeared on Power 105's Breakfast Club, he said something that could be considered true: "If Kim had dated me when I first wanted to be with her, there wouldn't be an Amber Rose, you know what I'm saying." Afterall, what is a muse without an artist? Possibly, Kanye would have you believe that a muse is nothing more than a body you can cast in your own image, beholden to the artist's various whims. But Amber Rose is still here. She didn't go away when Kanye broke up with her and she didn't go away after he blasted her on the radio or showered. At 31, Rose has been through a divorce, had a child, stayed boldly bald, and will not stand for any of your shit. That's not a muse, that's a survivor. And now Rose is on to her latest venture: she will walk. She will walk for those 30 showers. She will walk because she no longer wants to be reduced to her body or shamed because of it. "I'm sick of it," she told ET. "I'm here for my girls and we're gonna do the Amber Rose Slut Walk this summer and it's gonna be awesome." With Amber Rose in the lead -- whose Twitter bio unapologetically reads, "MUVA, BALD HEAD SCALLYWAG, MILF, SWEETHEART, BADASS, FEMINIST & ADVOCATE for WOMEN EMPOWERMENT 4 ALL" -- I'm sure it will be.