Tuesday, July 13, 2010

nope. can't do that.

Someone submitted this (very cool) photo from adipositivity to poorlydressed.com, one of the user-submitted sites under the failblog umbrella. Before I get to the obvious comment that needs to be made here, a note about photo reappropriation.

I have blogged about this before, but on principle I really dislike when people grab images with an agenda in mind. I don't think photos are delicate creatures that can't live out of a curated habitat, but I don't like when a photograph that is meant to speak for itself, raise questions, is slapped with a caption telling us what to think, which is in effect what happens when a beautifully shot photo like this ends up on a site like that. Not to mention flagrant copyright abuse--when every pixel roaming the internet is free for kidnapping--pisses me off. (FYI poorlydressed.com...you're doing that. Bad karma, bad business.)

So now: Is she poorly dressed, since humans seek protection from the elements with our clothing? Debatable, given that it's a rainstorm in NYC; although, really, a bathing suit is rather sensible from that point of view. The real point here is that only difference between this image and a thousand other daring images of underclad women in New York is that the body shown is fat. And the "poorly dressed" is because she's not hiding it.

There is something fascist about sites like this. They tell you what you're supposed to think, confirm what's right or wrong. Keep the other the other. Which is exactly what this image doesn't do.