Fortunately, I don’t normally get a lot of trouble on Twitter. But yesterday, one of my friends was talking about how People has this new initiative to get women to share their dress size so that we can all see that beauty comes in every size or some such nonsense.
The thing that struck me about it, though, is that, because it’s about beauty, the women whose pictures are included, by and large, are striking “beautiful” poses while dressed in “attractive” ways while holding up the number that represents their size (because I guess they all have access to more consistent sizing than the rest of America?)
I rolled my eyes, because, of course, we can’t just have “You’re fine at whatever size you are,” because what’s that sell? We have to establish what a “beautiful” body at that size looks like, so even if you make peace with being a size 16, now you can feel anxious that you’re not the right kind of size 16 because you don’t compare to the chicks People has deemed properly representative. And buy the products necessary to relieve your anxiety. That’s the point.
Pit women against each other, set us up to compare ourselves to each other, and then sell shit based on the anxiety that unwinnable competition produces.
But it also struck me that there can’t be any eating disorder specialist who would endorse putting pictures of women up with some number attached so that other women can see how they stack up or if they need to try harder to get to the “right” number or be extra cautious about not “letting” yourself get to that undesirable number.
So, I tweeted at People something to that effect.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. A dude I don’t know @-ed me and some other dude I don’t know. No message. Just drawing other dude’s attention to the fact that I exist and then other dude began hurling insults (though most insultingly, really stupid insults) at me.
A dude sent another dude after me. The first dude, I assume, was monitoring the replies in the People twitter feed to see who had “wrong” opinions and needed to be dealt with.
Can you imagine?
I don’t want to downplay how creepy this is and I do feel a little weird now having come to the attention of a person like this.
But overall, I find this so ludicrous it’s almost delightful. If society is going to have arbiters of what is and isn’t okay to talk about and who can and can’t participate in those conversations, shouldn’t those arbiters be super awesome? Shouldn’t they show great discernment and judgment?
But no! There’s some dude whose set himself up as arbiter and he monitors the People twitter feed.
I will listen to wisdom from my betters, but the dude who monitors the People twitter feed, as evidenced by the fact that he monitors the People twitter feed, is not better than me.