Sunday, August 10, 2014

Showing Off With Photos

A lot of us take photos these days and post them on the Internet. It's a way to reach out—share our lives with others. And sometimes it's a way to show off. Brag. We can get attention by posting photos of our lives, and this can feel nice.

Then sometimes people post photos that bring a shitload of attention. And sometimes it's not positive attention. Sometimes photos spark controversy. Commenters have strong opinions, and many of us are left with questions.

Australia had two such photos in the past couple of days.

I learned of one early this afternoon. Rebecca Judd, an Aussie TV person, posted pictures of herself on Instagram. People complained that she was too thin. Whether her thinness is the result of an eating disorder or not, there's the question of whether showing off a body like hers is a good idea.

It's all so complicated. As someone who used to have an eating disorder and got, maybe not as thin as Rebecca, but pretty thin, I don't like seeing her photo. The main thing I'm feeling is, sadly...jealousy. I want to see her body as ugly, but there's a part of me that misses being that thin. 

I think there will always be a part of me that misses it.

And then I wonder if my reaction is that unusual. Probably not. Past eating disorder or not, I think many women are going to see Rebecca Judd's body and wished they had the same.

Is it fair, though, for us to say Hide yourself?

Probably not.

I guess what I'd want to say to people who are that thin and claim not to have an eating disorder: Well, do you mind trying really hard to gain a little weight? You don't need to get fat. You can even stay thin. But can you maybe not be THAT thin?  

And that's kind of mean because there really are people out there who eat and eat, but can't put on the weight. For example, people who have Cystic Fibrosis. It's really hard for them to gain weight.

But I know there are people out there who don't have eating disorders and they're not on diets, but they do watch themselves, and they do make an effort to stay underweight.  If they're in the public eye, their bodies are influencing other people's body image. So if it's possible for them not to be super skinny, maybe they could change that about themselves.  

Rebecca Judd's photo, though, is kind of a picnic compared to the other photo. This one is of a seven-year-old Sydneysider Jihadist holding a severed head. The one positive thing, in this horror, is that in the two news articles I saw about it, they do not actually show the head.

The original picture was posted on Twitter by the child's father, and I think the head was actually visible. And he was proud of his son.

Now that I think of it, I've seen too many dead bodies on Twitter lately. Maybe that's why I've reduced my time there. 

Of course the photo is going to cause anti-Muslim comments and feelings. But how far are people going to go?  Some will say All Muslims are bad. Send them away. Other will say, Some Muslims are okay, but not the fanatics. And others will say, Please don't hate the Muslims just because there's a few crazies

I'm hoping that it's not common for Muslim parents to be proud of their child for holding a dismembered head. I doubt it is. But I'm not sure that the fanatic feelings that lead to severed heads is uncommon in that culture. 

It's really hard to tell because the media goes after what's sensational. We might hear more from the fanatics than we do from the nice, sweet Muslims.

It's like with the Palestine thing. I heard numerous stories about Jews singing a cruel jingle about there being no school in Gaza because the children are dead. I don't doubt it's true. I know there are very bad Jews out there, just as there are very bad people in all cultural groups. But I would hope the majority of Jews are troubled by the death of children, not happy about it. 

And I hope the majority of Muslims are terrified and disgusted about the seven-year-old Jihadist. I hope they're not pleased with it. Those who are....well, it would be very nice if somehow they got locked up in a very smelly dungeon with the Jews who were amused over the death of Palestinian children.

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