Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Body Shaming seems to have hit a new Low (trigger warning)

A few weeks back I had a photo shoot with Graeme Owens Photography, he was very fun and easy to work with and was very professional. I am delighted with the pictures and all in all very happy with how the shoot went.

I get that not everybody likes the outfit, I’m fine with that, the world would be boring if we all liked the same thing. I get that not everybody likes my body, I get that, some people hate plus sizes, I got over it.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the email that was sent to me last week that gave tips on how I would look “so much better” if I lost weight and featured a poorly airbrushed version of one of the photos from my shoot, edited without Graeme’s permission.

edited version on the left, original on the right.

I was pretty gobsmacked that someone thought that it was appropriate and helpful to do something like this.
At first when I thought this was just one person I was genuinely worried that maybe this person had some issues with someone perhaps body policing them and they chose to take it out on me, and in ways that is still a concern for me, and I do see how that can happen we’re fed a diet of shame culture every day by the media. If we don’t fit some impossible standard we’re supposed to starve ourselves of the things we enjoy, exercise until our muscles start to devour themselves  and spend all our money on surgery to please other people’s eyes so it must be a bit of a shock to encounter someone who doesn't want to play ball and is quite happy how they are.

Then I discovered that actually this was just one of many manipulations from a photoshop thread on 4chan where I was described as “Hard Mode” (thread archive link ).

Now let me straighten something out, I have absolutely no issue with people practicing with photoshop, photoshop is a wonderful tool. I also have no issue with people who photoshop their own images or ask someone else to alter their images, but a line is crossed when someone’s photo is taken and altered without their consent, and all but a handful of the photos in this thread appear to have been used without the consent of the person in the picture or the photographer.

“Chose something random off”
”I have no idea how to fix that crotch.”
”someone photoshop this to something fappable”
a few quotes from the thread

People do not exist to please your eyes or your genitals, attempting to force someone to become your wank bank material is disgusting. You have a problem with fat people, ugly people, people with skin that is darker than yours and your response is not to get over your prejudices but to digitally alter people’s faces and bodies than you are a far more disgusting person than I am.

The point of this post isn't to baww that bad people on the internet did bad things to me, yes it did upset me that my photo was used in this way, but the reason I wrote this is to expose that it’s not just me that this has happened to, (if you use the text search at the top of the archive page there are hundreds of threads like this), and my point is to say that this is not ok and we shouldn't let this culture of policing each other’s looks go any further.

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