the dark side of tumblr
I love Tumblr for many reasons. It has opened me up to new worlds, educated me on concepts I previously had difficulty understanding or not even thought about at all, and introduced me to many new friends. But, like every form of social media, it can have its dark side.
I’m mostly in my little bubble and am not exposed to this dark side all that much. I only really see it from friends talking about it and I realise this is an incredibly privileged position to be in.
I was opened up to it tonight when I scrolled through my tumblr and saw my recent followers list. One — ick, gross, disgusting, insert other synonyms for me trying not to feel like my skin is crawling off my body, and the other — sad. Just sad.
The first was one I’d gotten used to from years on Flickr. The creepy guy. The ones that comment on your pictures with gross single entrendres and save your fully clothed photos next to pictures of naked women for their spank bank. I feel annoyed that I’ve gotten so used to this shit from years upon years of experiencing it, that the most reaction I can summon is a “…” and confusion. I still don’t entirely get why men have to comment or reblog your fully clothed pictures amongst their porn when there is so much porn already out there. Dudes, there are naked chicks aplenty, there are whole sections of the internet devoted to your particular jollies, and I’m sure you’d find consenting ones there too! It’s not that hard (whoops, pun).
I know this is mostly a power trip thing. It likely isn’t completely about a sexual attraction or fetish, rather, it is about making the woman feel uncomfortable in any medium they can. It’s not enough to do it in person, it’s gotta be done on the relatively anonymous internet as well. The woman in question is also expected to find it flattering. She should be grateful she has been reduced to her body parts. Congratulations, you’re a creeper. BLOCK.
The second is the thinspiration blogs. I don’t find myself getting mad at these blogs like I do with the creepy guy blogs/reblogs. They mainly make me sad. For the mentality, for the people running the blogs, for the disease that has a hold of their minds and bodies. At the same time, the concept of taking photographs of fat people and using them as motivators for weight loss without their consent is a pretty gross concept.
I know I can’t 100% control what happens to my photographs when I send them out to the ether. I could password protect or make them private, but I don’t want to and nor should I have to. Myself and those within the fat acceptance community aim to normalise fat bodies and the only way we can do that is to overcome a fear of being photographed and put ourselves out there. Which can be scary – even more so when our photographs are used for ill measures.
However, I will not let this stop me from putting myself out there. I act in defiance of the creepers and a need to understand the thinspo. I control my body and the image I portray and I won’t allow it to be twisted for icky or sad means.