This is our truth, tell us yours
I am not a fan of I’m a celebrity, it involves too much cruelty to animals for my liking. So I did not know Rebecca Adlington was starring, if that is the right term. She is an outstanding athlete and if the opinion of a random of the internet carries any weight I have always quite fancied her. She has an amazing body and a smile that can light up the world. Sadly Rebecca doesn’t seem to agree, last night she broke down in tears, apparently at the comparison between her and a beauty pageant winner.
It is a place that most women will recognise, looking around them and hating how they look. It starts young with our fairy tales and continues as we grow. An acceptable woman must look a certain way, and that way involves breasts of a certain size, a narrow weight band and facial features that conform in regularity and frankly dullness.
Like so many others I hated my body for the longest time, my breasts were too large, so I hid them in baggy tops, and my weight has always been above the patriarchal accepted standard. This changed though, and one of the ways that change happened was via photographs, both ones taken of me and ones I took myself. Yes, selfies.
Jezahell informs us that selfies are a cry for help. Apparently the author is not only a qualified psychologist, gatekeeper of feminism but able to read minds. The reason Rebecca Adlington feels that her looks are not acceptable is not because twunts on twitter abuse her, or the media feeds her with stepford wife images but because of women choosing for themselves how to present themselves to the world. Excuse me while I go outside and scream loudly.
When you take, and post, a selfie you are actually doing something radical, you are saying I like myself enough to let others see me. Imagine the entire industries that would vanish overnight if women started liking themsves? It would change the nature of advertising, and close the Daily Mail!
At first when pictures of me were posted online I was afraid to look at the comments, after all, I knew what they would say. I have stretch marks for goodness sake! Discovering that other people liked how I looked did not, as the Jezabel writer assumes validate me, it gave me permission to like myself. Instead of comparing myself to unrealistic photoshopped models I saw what others saw, the reality, not the view framed by my years of patriarchal indoctrination.
There is, I believe a link between selfies, readers wives, and the explosion in home-made, amateur porn on sites like red tube. Porn has been democratized by the invention of the webcam, we can see women, and men of all sizes and shapes. This helps women not only accept their desires, but the fact that you do not need to look a certain way to have amazing sex. The selfie is simply an extension of this, “ordinary” looking women are worth photographing and looking at.
Adlington is anything but ordinary, but even from her gold medal winning position she shares the fears, and self hate of so many of us. Perhaps she needs to start taking, and sharing selfies. Once you can reach the point of liking yourself enough to do that, the world is a far less scary, and far more fun place.