26 votes

Emily Ratajkowski - Owning my image

9 comments

  1. ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    That is exceptionally creepy. Stalking a young woman with cameras just to be able to snap a picture of her? Which is a big fuckin' no-no to someone who isn't being paid to do so normal somehow if...
    • Exemplary

    Since 2013, when I appeared in a viral music video, paparazzi have lurked outside my front door. I’ve become accustomed to large men appearing suddenly between cars or jumping out from behind corners

    That is exceptionally creepy. Stalking a young woman with cameras just to be able to snap a picture of her? Which is a big fuckin' no-no to someone who isn't being paid to do so normal somehow if it's done by a "professional"? How the fuck is this even legal?

    And then you can't even use a photo of yourself because... fuckin' why??

    “U told me the truth. U lost the [anchor emoji]. No hurt. No upset. All energy bunny now that it’s sunny,” it reads. I liked the comment he left on this one far better than his comment on the black-and-white study, where he asks, “Were you built in a science lab by teenage boys?”

    ...

    We went back and forth via email until he told me I needed to pay him $10,000 for the study, a price he’d arrived at from his “knowledge of the market.”

    “But it was a gift to me!” I wrote.

    So far, it reads like a study in objectification: not the kind you hear everyone shout about when men vocally appreciate a woman's breasts or butt, but the kind you don't talk about but do all the time.

    I think it's okay, if a little on the vulgar side, to express your appreciation of a part of someone's body as a proxy for appreciating their sexuality. When done with class, it's sexy and appealing.

    This reads ways away from that. This reads like pet ownership in human form; like a more vicious form of sexism.

    This also reads like people on the other side – the paparazzi, the "artists", the less-than-honorable boyfriends and girlfriends – think it's perfectly legitimate to cross boundries and maintain no respect for someone who is a very real person. Public eye or not, there cannot possibly be a good justification to be less diligent and less mannerful with the person because society took it upon itself to idolize them.

    Tim Ferriss' piece of losing anonymity reads like a horror story to me. That someone would tolerate – or even accept – professional stalking and a loss over one's personage to the public domain does not sit well with me. The fact that it's happening to so many people, just because someone else thinks they know them... I can't even begin to describe how it makes me feel.

    A post on 4chan had compiled a list of actresses and models whose nudes would be published, and my name was on it. <...> There [my name] was, in plain text, the way I’d seen it listed before on class roll calls: so simple, like it meant nothing.

    Because it does. To the mob, it's just another free meal: a free insight into the lives of second-order idols. If it's by way of sexuality, to the lonely male side of this whole shitfest, so is the better. Seeing boobies of someone whose name features on a poster in the nearby cinema? Hoo boy. Makes you feel special, doesn't it? Like you belong with that famous woman now.

    Porn is a way to alleviate loneliness and a lack of intimacy. As someone who writes porn stories from time to time, I know that much well enough.

    To that lonely male online, you're nothing but a set of sexual characteristics. It sickens me to think about this: about being reduced to an aspect of oneself so vulgarly, so primitively, and yet so obsessively by someone of whose existence you don't even suspect.

    There's a certain sociopathy seeping through.

    Beyond that... No matter how much I want to shout about how utterly inhuman and abnormal and yet somehow accepted despite it being the definition of wrong, I have nothing intelligent to add. The absolute fucking horror she must've felt for years because of a rich douchebag feeling himself in the right to "own" images of her so freely he's perfectly eager to dismiss her...

    I have nothing to add because the part of me that's abhorred and distressed has not yet reached the part of me that seeks to verbalize. I could use words like "sickening" that's so steeped in cliché my opinion could not be taken seriously afterwards, but even if you take that word for what it's supposed to mean, it's not enough to express how I feel.

    I know Emily as a model. I've seen her around collections of other naked women, praised for having an outstanding body. I've never thought of, or even bothered to consider, what she could be feeling as I'd look at her naked body online, in the emptiness of my apartment. This is eye-opening to a degree I'm not comfortable with, which means it's good I'd read that.

    I've seen ordinary women being casually abused and taken for subservients, for someone lower on the social ladder, simpy because the man'd never considered them to be anything else. It's refreshing and unsettling to know what that must look like from the woman's point of view.

    13 votes
  2. [3]
    Greg
    Link
    That was an incredibly illuminating, sad, and authentic read. I have very little to add, but I'm glad you posted it and I'm glad I read it, even if it didn't leave me feeling especially good about...

    That was an incredibly illuminating, sad, and authentic read. I have very little to add, but I'm glad you posted it and I'm glad I read it, even if it didn't leave me feeling especially good about the world.

    11 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      You said it well. I don't have much to add either, which is itself its own type of commentary. The impact of the article is that it produces such speechlessness.

      You said it well. I don't have much to add either, which is itself its own type of commentary. The impact of the article is that it produces such speechlessness.

      5 votes
    2. aphoenix
      Link Parent
      I didn't have much to add to it either, but if you missed it @ThatFanficGuy's great response above is a great read.

      I didn't have much to add to it either, but if you missed it @ThatFanficGuy's great response above is a great read.

      2 votes
  3. [4]
    tempestoftruth
    Link
    This is far from the most upsetting thing Emily's written in this piece, but it's such a shame that this man's Instagram comments on other people's posts is considered art. I'm far from the only...

    The gallerist said we might want to take a look at its upcoming show of Richard Prince’s “Instagram Paintings.” The “paintings” were actually just images of Instagram posts, on which the artist had commented from his account, printed on oversize canvases. There was one of me in black-and-white: a nude photograph of my body in profile, seated with my head in my hands, my eyes narrowed and beckoning, an image that was taken for the cover of a magazine.

    This is far from the most upsetting thing Emily's written in this piece, but it's such a shame that this man's Instagram comments on other people's posts is considered art. I'm far from the only person who's talked about this pervasive issue where whatever white men produce is "art" and whatever people of color and women produce is simply not given as much attention, worth less, etc. but in the context of her exploitation by powerful white men, it's hard not to be profoundly disgusted with this, and the rest of it too.

    10 votes
    1. [3]
      elcuello
      Link Parent
      I'm sorry but what has this to do with race? I'm not trying to bait or argue but this seem profoundly irrelevant here especially because it's not mentioned in the piece?

      I'm sorry but what has this to do with race? I'm not trying to bait or argue but this seem profoundly irrelevant here especially because it's not mentioned in the piece?

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        TheJorro
        Link Parent
        There's a ton about this out there and I haven't read enough to begin summarizing it accurately but there is a large movement in the arts communities that has realized that art and art criticism...

        There's a ton about this out there and I haven't read enough to begin summarizing it accurately but there is a large movement in the arts communities that has realized that art and art criticism produced or approved of by white men has been overrepresented to the detriment of other perspectives and viewpoints for a long time, which many women and people of colour have felt the pointed ends of.

        It's a common enough thing that it's been lampooned quite well a few times.

        This isn't a new notion either, one can easily look back at how the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen were received popularly at their time, or read what Mary Wollenstonecraft had to say about how the sexes were treated in regards to art.

        In this case, it's worth reading the material surrounding the quoted part because it shows that Ratajowski feels pressured to accept it as art because of who and what it is even though her initial response is quite different. It's not quite "white man art" of an argument but the sentiments she discusses do trend towards that particular line of thought in how she feels pressured to accept it as art immediately.

        5 votes
        1. elcuello
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          OK I don't know a lot about this particular subject but I could easily see these issues have been a problem for many years. I just think it's VERY far fetched here when it's not mentioned or even...

          OK I don't know a lot about this particular subject but I could easily see these issues have been a problem for many years. I just think it's VERY far fetched here when it's not mentioned or even hinted and because of the climate around this subject is so tense it really doesn't serve any purpose to shoehorn it in because it will shift focus from the real story here IMO.

          It's a common enough thing that it's been lampooned quite well a few times.

          Again where's the race issue here? This wolf crying is starting to annoy me. There might be some sexism here but even that is hard to tell through the sarcasm. Am I missing something here?

  4. patience_limited
    Link
    It seems there's ample precedent for publication of photos without consent, even to the obvious detriment of the subject.

    It seems there's ample precedent for publication of photos without consent, even to the obvious detriment of the subject.

    4 votes