Paper Magazine cover...slightly cropped. (screengrab from Twitter)
Paper Magazine cover … slightly cropped. (screengrab from Twitter)

Let that headline sink in for a second.

On Tuesday night, Paper Magazine tweeted a link to its new cover (pictured above, cropped, because this is a family news organization, thank you very much), which shows a photo of  a naked Kim Kardashian taken from behind. (Here’s the NSFW link to the tweet, in case you have somehow avoided it.) The centerpiece? Her incredibly famous behind, a body part so thoroughly dissected by the pop culture sphere that she actually had an X-ray on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” to prove she didn’t have butt implants.

Anyway, underneath that photo (in which she is inexplicably shiny) the headline simply read: “BREAK THE INTERNET KIM KARDASHIAN.”

Now, that statement is just ridiculous. Kim Kardashian’s butt won’t be the thing to break the Internet because it’s one of the those things that makes the Internet.

Think about it: What would the Internet even be if Kim Kardashian’s butt didn’t exist? It’s the main currency that the Web needs to survive. People’s fascination with its very existence helped make her famous, which made her family famous, which spawned their multimillion-dollar reality show empire and by extension still fuels Web sites and online chatter every day. The Kardashians became the era’s prime example of how to become wildly famous without really doing anything, thanks to the Internet. Hundreds of people have tried to replicate the model with varying degrees of success, and it’s truly what keeps the Web churning along every day.

Paper Magazine addressed this in its explanation on its Web site accompanying the cover: “For our winter issue, we gave ourselves one assignment: Break The Internet,” it reads. “There is no other person that we can think of who is up to the task than one Kim Kardashian West. A pop culture fascination able to generate headlines just by leaving her house, Kim is what makes the web tick.”

The latter statement is true, at least — and as a result, a viral naked photo won’t break anything. What would actually break the Internet? If it didn’t exist at all.

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