I wasn’t shocked at the reaction I received from my t-shirt. I’m used to being told by society that I must regulate my body to fit the norm. I’m used to the fact that images of unaltered women are seen as unacceptable. I’ve taught myself to ignore it (as much as I can) and through the Internet (via sites like ROOKIE) and social media platforms (like Instagram and Facebook) I’ve been able to freely share images and start discussions about these issues. Recently, I had my Instagram account deleted.
I’m used to seeing female bodies perfected and aspects concealed in the media (i.e., in hair removal ads for women, hair is NEVER shown). I wasn’t surprised when TMZ requested to interview me about my t-shirt, but then cancelled because the image was “too explicit for television” — whereas during Rihanna’s abuse scandal, her beaten face was broadcasted hundreds of times. I’m used to seeing women being degraded, slut shamed, harassed for what they look like.
Even the most powerful women in the world are measured by their appearance and constantly ridiculed for it. I’m used to one of the biggest media outlets calling a 9-year old girl a “cunt” (with the intention of being “satirical”). I’m used to hearing the top played songs on the radio tell me “I know you want it — just let me liberate you,” “You don’t know you’re beautiful, that’s what makes you beautiful,” “Put molly all in her champagne/ She ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that/ She ain’t even know it.” I’m used to seeing blockbuster movies get a rating of NC-17 because a woman is shown receiving pleasure — while movies that feature men receiving pleasure get ratings as low as PG.