Not Worth Reading

JarethIsAnnoyed

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet here lately. I’ve taken some time to decide what to do with this blog and how best to proceed with it.

I’m writing this ongoing work for curvy women who have endured various forms of attention and abuse based on their figures, have difficulty locating clothing like I do, or have difficulty sourcing bras that fit. I am writing this for those attempting understand what it’s like to be one of us. I am writing this for clothing companies who need to know what to make to serve this portion of the population. I am writing this for those who want to grow, discuss, and learn.

There’s a contingent of ‘readers’ who are not in my intended audience. They come here and post on other sites about me (along with thousands of other women). They come here, apparently, for the photos. That’s cool, and it happens. Not fussed about that. Whatever floats your boat. But I do see those sites, and I do see what is said.

When a recent poster who shared my photos declared my blog ‘not worth reading‘, I felt a mixture of both rage and pride: Rage that a woman is still not thought of as a whole person, but is reduced to an image from which all that is truly interesting about her is subtracted; Pride that I, with my outspokenness, had induced this response, and that someone is disturbed enough by my words that they want desperately for me to shut up.

That particular thread, and others like it, are intriguing from a sociological perspective and will definitely be discussed in my book. This happens to women often, and I’d like to analyze it here as well.

You know what goes into analysis posts? Words. Not photos. Yep! More stuff that’s not worth reading! Huzzah!

This still begs the question of why readers like that come here at all, which has already been answered: photographs which they find interesting for whatever reason. This brings me to my response: No more photos of my person, at least not ones which are not heavily edited. Yay for severe cropping and blurring of cleavage! Full skirts all the way! Lingerie which is photographed flat! The more revealing dresses treated the same! Reviews will be fewer as well! BONUS! Most of the reviews I had on deck will not be posted and instead different content will be generated!

In short, I look forward to writing many more posts that are not worth reading. I may wax poetic about the corset I saw this weekend in TARDIS and Circular Gallifreyan fabric, go on a feminist rant, call out companies for unethical practices, epically nerd about Star Trek vs. Star Wars vs. Battlestar Galactica, talk about how men are left out of the body positivity movement, or discuss why fat loss is not for everyone. If that’s the sort of thing you like, please feel free to stay.

 

For this post only, I am allowing comments so that the ladies who read me may make their opinions on this subject known. I may, at my discretion, disable comments again if things get ugly.

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I am not your property. Photos of me are not either.

I am not your property. Photos of me are not either.

I continue to learn about humanity, and I am continually appalled at what humans will do when no one is looking, when they think they won’t get caught, or when they get congratulations for their actions from their peers.

I’m not stupid. I know people look at me. I know people can see my boobs. They’re fucking huge. They have their own gravitational pull. There’s a singularity of vision-suck, and it’s located in my sternum between two huge mammary glands. I. Get. It.

Yes, I catch people staring. Yes, people make comments. Yes, people look at photos of me, and some folks even LIKE to look at photos of me instead of poking fun. Yes, I already knew that some people handle their physical persons in a sexual fashion while looking at photos of me, there’s no need to inform me if you have, or that people do.  Masturbate away, ye underfucked ginormaboob-lovers everywhere. That doesn’t bother me. I could not give fewer fucks that you think of me during the act of self-pleasure. We all do that thinking of someone, and that someone is often unaware that we find them attractive. This does not bother me.

That said, there is a recurring issue which must be addressed.

My body is not your property. Neither are photos of my body or body parts.

My body is mine. I sublet ownership to one other person, and that’s my husband’s name you’d read on the lease. I have ultimate say, but he has a voice, too.

You, however, have no say. You have no ownership. So when you take my photos, label them with your name in a declaration of possession, and post them elsewhere out of my reach, I get really fucking pissed.

I am mine. I am not yours. No, putting myself out there reviewing clothing does not mean that I have made myself fair game. No, putting photos on the web does not mean they are yours to take. No, seeing myself among hundreds of other girls you’ve done the same to does not make me feel better, it makes me feel worse. No, it is not respectful, and the fact you think it is respectful is repellent. To curate a collection of females and expect them to be pleased about it is an action which is beyond vile.

Do you understand what you do when you do this? Do you understand the nausea, especially for anyone who is a survivor of sexual assault?

Do you understand that it might make a woman rush to eat a bag of cookies to rebuild fat content in the hope that if she were just a bit fatter, no one would look at her any more?

Do you understand that it might make a woman starve herself so that she becomes what she assumes is a more pleasing way to look, because now she feels under scrutiny?

Do you understand that you might make a woman might do both in the same day?

Do you understand that a woman might go through all of your albums in response, and count the women prettier than her so that she can feel less stared at? Obviously, those women would be looked at first! Can you fathom how a woman might be then disgusted with herself for shoving other targets in front of herself?

Do you understand that, if you already have willing participants sending you photos that you have plenty, and taking more without permission is unnecessary?

Do you understand the quandary that woman is put in when she sees someone she knows in that list of photos? To tell the other victim or not to tell? How do you even begin to compose that conversation?

Do you have any comprehension that “Hey, I made a photo album of you, you’re hot!” is only going to make a woman frantic wondering what other albums she doesn’t know about?

Do you know how sick it might make a woman seeing your label across her photo like some kind of brand on a cow?

Do you fathom that this woman might be climbing up a steep slope towards body positive self-image, and you just knocked her back down again?

Did it ever occur to you that it might be more respectful to just link to the goddamn page she’s on with a caption of “Hey, I think this woman is really beautiful!”

Did you ever think of asking first?

Did you ever, and I know this is a mindblowing thought, perhaps think that the woman you’re looking at is so much more than just a set of boobs? And no, I’m not talking about other body parts, either.

I’m talking about things the woman has actually worked on to develop, her accomplishments, her achievements, and her personality. For fuck’s sake, I wonder what it would be like to be ogled for my vocabulary? Or to dance without being thought of as a semen target? For someone to appreciate my singing voice without drooling into my bosom as my lungs contract and expand with extended breath support? For fuck’s sake, I long to be seen as the soul who owns this body and not a body entrapping a soul, both to be exploited. It’s happened a very few times – those are people whom I call friends.

Don’t tell me I should be pleased with the attention. Don’t tell me to stop whining about someone thinking I’m beautiful. If someone whom you felt uncomfortable with did this to you, then you would be upset, too.

For the last fucking time, I am not an object. I am not your object. I am not an item to be possessed. If you don’t like that, that’s too fucking bad. I guarantee that you gave me more grief than you got pleasure, and at least you gave yourself a choice. You didn’t give me one. For that, you are not forgiven.

You could still at least apologize.

Definitely don’t fucking do it again, to me or to anyone else.

EDITED TO ADD:

Wow, this post got popular quickly! Can’t help but feel I’ve struck a chord here. I had another thought about this, which ended up on my FB page:

Depriving me of my voice and identity really is just another insult in addition to the many I’ve already endured.

That’s really where the issue lies. I would like to reiterate that I do not mind my photos being shared, preferably via retweet, reblog, or ‘share’ button, and I need to know where they’re being shared. Someone adding their own watermarks is too much.

Edited to fix typo (argh!)