On Friday I thought my day had ended with some XL size fittings with Anna at Paolita (inadvertently made extra ridiculous because I was wearing 1890's reproduction boots that take so long to remove I kept them on, even with Mexican/Tropical strappy bikinis. Worked well with the monochrome suit though!).
But then I got home and saw the new that Leonard Nimoy was dead. I grew up with Star Trek - the only things I watched religiously as a teenager were Star Trek (Next Gen), Babylon 5 and Blossom. I hold a special place in my heart for Spock and was terribly disappointed when my partner a few years back didn't spot his voice, and indeed Tremendously Significant Phrase, in the Transformers Dark Of The Moon (a film with very little else to recommend it). Clearly, we were doomed.
Possibly because I'd just spent the afternoon being the only XL person to hand, which happens to me quite often in a work context, possibly Amanda reminding me, I posted about one of the huge list of awesome things that Leonard Nimoy did that were great for women rather than great for sci-fi. Specifically, large women. He was a photographer his whole life and one of his series is the Full Body Project, pictures that were of women way beyond standard US fashion model size.
I posted this link, which I later screen shot and obscured the apparently extremely dangerous nipples. As we know, women's nipples are the thing that will pitch the world screaming into darkness. That's how powerful we are.
And then everything EXPLODED.
First off, nudity.
In retrospect, I should have known that anything nude would cause problems, but a few things:
a) Naked bodies are not quite so taboo here in Europe as in the USA
b) Being naked doesn't make something sexual or pornographic. Naked people alone are not inappropriate for children to see, there's no evidence at all that naked people cause damage to under 16's. And YES I can say that because unlike most folk, I spent 8 years working in a statutory regulatory framework designed to protect children, so lord only knows I can argue the toss for hours about, for example, the ridiculous rulings on smacking in the UK and so on.
c) I post pictures like this quite regularly:
Strangely even though they are quite clearly more sexual than Nimoy's, no-one has ever reported us nor has facebook ever removed them. You'd have though women being happy in the buff would be less problematic, but apparently not.
Facebook also do a terrible job of clearing full blown penetrative porn posts off our "posts to page", so one of my less glamorous jobs every day is getting some brain bleach and doing it myself. Algorithms. They have problems.
Second off, on being fat.
I'm using the word fat because it's the word the women in the pictures use, because there is a train of thought that it doesn't help to make the word fat taboo.
People argued that pictures of fat people shouldn't be shown because it's unhealthy and because it encourages people to be OK with being fat.
So let's unpick that a bit.
a) In just the same way you can't diagnose an eating disorder off the internet, you can't diagnose anyone's primary health issue from a photograph. I'm a little fat. I'm a lot ill. A little fat is the LEAST of my health issues and is probably protecting against some of them and increasing the risk of developing others. Weight is not health, health is not weight, fat is not the only health issue.
b) There are health risks associated with being fat. There are health risks associated with all sorts of things. Why are we so fixated as a culture with the ones to do with weight? Additionally, those health risks often cross over into the health risks associated with being stigmatised and societally discriminated against. So that could be causing a few issues.
c) There is NO evidence that making someone's body invisible in the media encourages health behaviours. There is no evidence that shaming people makes them choose healthier behaviour. There is in fact evidence entirely to the contrary. Stigmatising and shaming people is bad for their health.
d) Why in the name of all that is pants based are we basing people's value on their health and weight? I do so enjoy people telling me that I shouldn't show pictures of fat people because it's unhealthy. I could barely walk up a flight of stairs last week, shall I just hide myself until I have an effective treatment?
e) How about we stop thinking there's just one way to be attractive or that if someone's aesthetically pleasing then we automatically want to look like them? How about we go for a bit of mutual admiration?
So that was my Friday evening. That and explaining to people that even if you disagree with someone, if they're talking to you, there's a fairly high chance they might listen, but only if you don't resort to calling them a douche.
On Saturday, I and every other admin on the page (it's me that deals with it, but quite a few people have access just in case) found we'd been logged out, and when we logged back in again, we had to go through several pages of dire warnings about facebook nudity issues, requests to check every bit of content we'd ever posted anywhere, and a request that we might delete the page entirely while we went home and stood on the naughty step to think seriously about what we'd done. Naturally, I did none of these things.
Meanwhile, deadlies found themselves unable to repost the original link.
So here's my questions for you:
Just how great was Leonard Nimoy? Like, really great, right?
How many of you are starting to think that some people might have some real serious prejudice about weight?