I have a right to.
And you have a right not to. And vice versa.
And that doesn’t mean either of us can judge the other.
So, you know, therealkatiewest. Or maybe you don’t.
I just followed her after seeing a post/quote of hers on another tumblr. This is it, in full:
Sometimes I struggle with wanting to create images that show how much I love my body and how amazing it is and the longing I have to repel men who think I do that for them. I’m not being vulnerable or brave by posting my body on the internet: I’m being a boss. When I spend two hours getting ready, I’m not doing it so some dude will think I’m hot and send me messages that tell me so: I’m showing dudes that I already spent the time I had for them today on something much more satisfying and rewarding.
Her tumblr is full of images of her body. And, of course, much more than that. This isn’t the first time I’ve read something where a woman is trying to explain “the way I look is not FOR YOU”, but this time, something clicked into place.
I explored a lot of my sexuality through exhibitionism. Photos and videos, taken of me and by me, either kept for myself or shared through multiple channels. People who knew what I did would ask why I did it, and I’d struggle for an answer. Not because I didn’t have one, but because it never felt like quite enough. It never felt like quite enough to say “I do it for me.” THat never felt acceptable. Believable.
The truth is, it’s always been for me. I was learning about the shapes my body could make, in different light and times of day and states of being. I wanted to see what I could do with what I had. Yes, many of the pieces I put together were shared with a male audience. An audience of my choice. I felt powerful, beautiful. I felt like an artist.
The other side of that truth is, media that depicts a naked woman is not always accepted as art. It’s used against women, to make them feel less than. Less than the people who, in their supposed superiority, have nothing to hide. And of course, that’s never the case. But the funny part is, those people are taking their moral code and affixing it to the person they’re pointing fingers at. It’s like saying “What you’re doing makes me uncomfortable and I want you to feel bad about it!” Now, who’s the one with issues?
When we take it into our own hands to work with our bodies, we become powerful. And that power transcends the moment of the pose. It walks with you all day and pulls your lover down in bed with you. Once you know yourself from all angles, there are no limits.
So I do understand that power, in posting your body for all to see. Or for whoever you choose to view it. I understand it all, down to the tedious work of camera placement, lip color, and angling your hips all crazy to make the shot look just right. But even in those moments, when I was putting it all together, I was pleasing just one person.
“There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns. If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself. What we call chaos is just patterns we haven’t recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can’t decipher. what we can’t understand we call nonsense. What we can’t read we call gibberish. There is no free will. There are no variables.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor
Does life stop for death? Should it?