How Being on Instagram Has Cemented My Feminist Viewpoints

Blog news: I don’t know if I’ll be able to do any reviews with images this week. I haven’t been feeling well for a little bit and I’m not really up to posing in my undies (I’ve had tummy troubles and have been super bloated). I promise I’ll come back to the reviews soon. I’ll probably take some pictures soon when the bloating lets up and have the reviews ready for next week even though I’ll be working.

This post may be a little bit of a departure from what I usually write about, but as my blog is still on the new side I want to write a variety of posts to feel out what I’m most comfortable writing about. Although it isn’t directly about body positivity, I feel as if the modern feminist movement and the body positive movement share a large quantity of members. I’m not putting any images in this post to discourage creeps from reading this post just for the pictures.

As most of you know, this blog has it’s roots on my humble Instagram page of around 600 followers. I started posting pictures of myself in bras and writing tiny little reviews about how I liked them.  My reasoning for doing this was because I was inspired by a slew of other plus sized lingerie bloggers, but I didn’t really see many active blogs from women who looked more like me. I wanted to stress that you don’t have to have the “perfect hourglass” plus sized figure to love your body. I didn’t want to jump right into a blog because I didn’t know if anyone would actually read it. While I would get lots of women per day messaging me asking me for sizing information, clothing advice, and other things, these were not the majority of the interactions I had on Instagram.

“show me ur tits”

“wanna see my cock?”

“lets fuck”

“ur a disgusting fat whore”

“You’re a beautiful and wonderful lady. May I please see your beautiful breasts without a bra?”

“36K? Lol that’s bullshit. Why don’t you prove it to me?”

“put ur clothes back on. nobody wants to see that”

“my girlfriend has big titties like you. why don’t you come play with us?”

These are just a few examples of the types of messages I’d get on a daily basis. For the first few weeks, I felt extremely discouraged that the majority of my followers and people responding to my Instagram were men that just wanted to jerk off, but after a while it stopped upsetting me as much. I guess I just became numb to it. Even though they were misusing my page and misinterpreting the reason behind it, the silver lining for me was that they were seeing proper bra fitting information along the way. Maybe they’d treat other busty women better if they could see what actual 36Ks looked like, or if they understood how hard it was to have large breasts at times. (This is really far fetched, but I guess I was naïve.)

Because I was still a very new page, I would reply to the majority of men who complimented me because I didn’t want to develop the reputation of a “cold bitch”, that gets thrown around when other bloggers show dissatisfaction in being viewed like a piece of meat. Some guys would back off when I’d turn down their requests for images, some would apologize, but others would treat me like dirt for not taking personal pictures just for them.

“ur just a slut”

“ur fat and ugly anyway. fuk u”

“stop leading dudes on”

“but you gave me a boner. help me with it”

“u asked for this by posting pics like that”

“why else do you have this page up?”

“Lol, because seeing some fat chick in bras is really supposed to help other girls? yeah right. Just show me those tits”

The prevailing message I’m getting here is that no self respecting woman would pose in a bra and underwear unless she was trying to attract men. It also seems to me like they feel entitled to see a naked woman just because that same woman was scantily clad. They also engage in the tactic known as “negging”, in which you insult the woman you’re flirting with in hopes that she feels insecure enough to fall for it. Because I didn’t want to get a bad reputation, I would just apologize for not giving them what they want, ignore them, and move on with my day. It would make me feel bad to be treated that way, but I figured it was better for me to feel bad than for people to spread rumors about me being a “bitch”.

I persisted like this until last night. A guy messaged and got progressively more rude as time went on because I refused to send him pictures of my naked breasts. He told me that I should feel flattered that someone loved my tits so much, and that it was my fault for giving him a boner. He said that if I didn’t want to have men ask me for tit pics, I should just put my clothes back on and stop posting on Instagram. This entire exchange made me feel uncomfortable. So I’m obligated to perform sexual favors for him just because I aroused him? It reeked of sexism and narcissism.

This train of thought that I’ve been seeing for the first few months is the same train of thought behind rape culture and victim blaming (she was asking for it by wearing that skirt), body shaming (girls with big boobs are inherently slutty), and sexism (women exist for my pleasure, women that don’t give me pleasure are ugly bitches and hoes). So you know what I started doing? If a guy messaged me “sup baby”, I’d just decline his message and block him. If a guy commented something lewd, I’d delete the comment and block him. If a guy sent me an extremely disgusting message, I’d call him out on it and then block him. If I was feeling particularly irritated that day, I’d send them a picture of my boyfriend wearing one of my bras. I refuse to let my Instagram page become a place for men to tell me how hot they think I am. The page and this blog is not for them. It’s for the ladies that I’m writing to.

Another thing about Instagram that cemented my feminist viewpoints is the fact that people don’t think underrepresentation is a problem. Tess Holliday posted something about how it wasn’t fair that plus sized women have little representation in the media, especially from lingerie companies, and a fair amount of the comments were just telling her that she had no right to complain because Lane Bryant exists. I replied to someone saying that this was the same logic that kept racism alive, and compared the dismissal with the fact that black women are always hushed and told to watch BET when they show dissatisfaction with Hollywood’s lack of black leading ladies, and that all women should stick together and help one another instead of bringing each other down. It turned into a big shouting match, and I received dozens of PMs calling me a “racist white bitch” and insulting me because they misrepresented what I was trying to say. They accused me and made fun of me for “saying it was harder to be fat than black”, even though I never said or implied that, and I was actually insinuating that women need to stick together and help one another.

In a world where women are closer and closer to equality, while more and more people rise out of the woodworks to bring them down you’d think women would help one another regardless of their differences. Instead, you see a lot of fighting. Thin vs fat, curvy vs slender, black vs white, busty vs small busted, and more than can be listed. Women are becoming increasingly hostile towards one another, instantly resorting to cursing and insults instead of educated and civil debates. Just go on Amber Rose’s Instagram page and read the comments. So many women congregate in those comment threads to call her a plethora of names. “Hoe”. “Ratchet”. “Ugly”. “Gold digger”. “Fat”. “Disgusting”. She posted something comparing herself to Channing Tatum (both were strippers as teens, only she gets a bad reputation for it) and half of the comments were only proving her point. As a member of the body positive/feminist movement, I would never go onto another person’s Instagram page for the sole purpose of insulting them. Actually, I would never insult someone like that at all.

I’ve been on the fence about keeping this blog and my Instagram page up because of a fear of backlash and perverts, but it seems like an act of rebellion in a way to keep it up and live unapologetically. I know people make all sorts of insinuations about the type of women that run pages like this, but I’ve just stopped caring about their reactions. I live my life for myself, and I chose to help other woman along the way by giving them an inspiring and beautiful message to live by. I am not a sex toy just because I’m in my underwear. I am not promoting obesity, or shaming other women’s bodies. I’m promoting a message of love and acceptance, and I stress a healthy body image above all. I don’t believe losing weight is a good idea unless you’re in a good mental state. Obsessing over food and your weight is a horrible way to lose weight, and a great way to end up hating yourself and/or developing self destructive behaviors that can do more harm than being fat ever will.

I consider myself a feminist because I stand up for and encourage all women to live to their fullest potential, and I believe that every woman deserves to be happy. I believe that women should be equal to men, and should not live their lives feeling worthless because of sexist beliefs that permeate our culture. I believe that most of the things that Men’s Rights Activists complain about are things that only exist because of how poorly women are viewed in our culture, and that feminism benefits men just as much as it benefits women. I never would have thought that being on Instagram would prove to me just how much feminism and the body positive movement are needed, but I’m glad that it did because it gave me the push to stay motivated and keep adding to this blog and hoping that a woman somewhere reads this blog and realizes how beautiful she really is.

-Danielle

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