This past week, I came across an article written by Charles J Orlando entitled “Ladies please stop doing this on Instagram” on the Thought Catalog. These are my personal thoughts, interpretation of the piece, and response to it.
I’ve been taking a lot of self portraits lately… or, rather, selfies. Sometimes, I even upload the ones I like onto my favorite social media platform because I’m #feelingmyself that day. Maybe I have taken more racy pictures of myself, but I personally don’t choose to upload those. But that’s the beauty of it: It’s my choice. When I’m feeling confident in who I am and the skin I’m in, I’m want to share it sometimes and encourage others to embrace themselves in their own way. Maybe I like getting “likes” and comments and reblogs. Maybe that’s why I do it. Maybe that has nothing to do with it. That’s doesn’t matter. You state that the women who choose to upload pictures with a little more skin are not on Instagram for themselves but for other people, and that “If you think that posting these pics is how to be happy with yourself, think again!” I’m just a little confused. Last time I checked, what I choose to feel and how I feel was entirely up to me.
“Models work. What the hell are you doing? I’ll tell you: giving peeks of your naked self away to random lurkers/stalkers/pedophiles, that’s what.”
If someone chooses to make a presence on the internet, the number one rule that that person must come to understand about the internet is that everyone can see it. Yes, there are ways to place obstacles to censor some content but, at the end of the day, everything is game. I understand that you’re worried about other people viewing the pictures that are posted, but that is in the hands of the individual releasing the content. You stated in the beginning of your piece that “This post isn’t about the men who gawk and drool over these women, it’s about the women themselves.” And yet, it sounds to me that you’re making it about these “random lurkers/stalkers/pedophiles.” Which it should be.
“Posing in a lace bra and a G-string on Instagram doesn’t give the perception that you are a “lingerie model,” it makes you look cheap, like the only value you offer is your body. The psychology behind your behavior in taking these nude pics is very straight-forward: you’re suffering from a lack of self-esteem and are looking externally to make yourself feel good about you. But you’re kidding yourself. It’s called self-esteem because it emanates from the self.”
I’m not quite sure where even to begin with this chunk of text.
Objectification is real, and I know this. And you obviously know it too since you show a great example of it in your first sentence. Does my way of having self-confidence and being comfortable about myself make you feel uncomfortable? Does it hurt you and effect your life in a impactful, negative way? Is it hard for you to move on through your routine in your day-to-day life? I don’t think so. But that’s what sexual objectification is capable and does. So, No; The psychology behind this behavior is not so straight-forward because my sense of self is also my sense of my physical self.
“Don’t sell your integrity and self-esteem for the price of an affirmative “click here if you think my pink parts are pretty!” You will only attract the wrong kind of guy that way, and you are selling out women everywhere—including my 15-year-old daughter.”
Even though we weren’t talking about “random lurkers/stalkers/pedophiles,” I didn’t realize that a picture posted by a random female on the internet would give permission for the “wrong kind of guy” everywhere to objectify and sexualize and “sell out women everywhere.” Sounds to me that there’s a bigger problem that needs to be handled if that’s what you’re entailing.
Throughout this whole piece I’m thinking: But where are the men? Where are the guys who post pictures of themselves with a single hand or object hovering over their own pretty parts? Food for thought, no?
There certainly is a strange phenomenon that has happened with the era of the internet and burst of social media platforms in cultivating an obsessive need to be popular online. I can’t deny that (and it’s actually quite fascinating to me), but that applies to everyone who is capable of making a presence on the interwebs, whether it’s in the form of posting a risque picture or a picture of a personal pet. So if you’re really concerned about self-esteem, let’s talk about the social construct surrounding the culture of the internet institution in this generation’s young population.