Friday, August 6, 2010

An Open Letter to James, Who Lives In Christchurch

James, first things first, I want to say that I'm not writing to reminisce about all of the hormonal and opportunistic sex we had in the summer of 2007, or the sex in 2006, or the sex in the more desperate university holidays in 2008. I don't really want to talk about it, mainly because you never made me come and you also kept a cum towel by your bed, which you would hand to me after you were finished with it. I am now concerned about whether or not it was the same towel over a three year period and also about the spelling duo of cum and come, and I can't seem to bring myself to write the word 'cum' for orgasm, because it seems obscene and also ugly and it always reminds me of jizz, which I don't have any of, and I hope that this isn't because of some kind of deep seated sexual issue. I also hope you have washed the towel.

What I am writing to talk to you about is a group that you joined quite recently on Facebook. I don't know if you've noticed, but I like to over-analyse what other people do on the internet, mainly because I'm fascinated by this global and public and intending-to-be-social forum as well as liking the fact that it gives me hard evidence to copy and paste into my blog, rather than just having to recount offensive conversations I have with people in the real word. You mightn't have noticed because although we're friends with each other on Facebook we never really talk, not because things are awkward or anything but mostly just because we never really had anything to talk about in the first place. The sex we would have, usually at your flat because I was home for the holidays and my family is liberal but not that liberal, it was just mostly based upon convenience and inebriation and low self esteem and a similar sexual appetite, so I think it's pretty normal for us not to talk anymore, especially now that it's 2010 and I have a girlfriend and you have a jet-ski. But the page that you liked recently, I guess I found it kind of offensive. If you don't know what one I mean, I have helpfully labelled it for you here, just in case:


You liked Curvy Girls Are Better Than Skinny Girls, along with 1,772,675 other people. And like, that's cool. On the surface, this group seems like it might be trying to be progressive, in some way, like that movie with America Ferrera, because the title is size-positive and it makes a statement about how thin bodies are valued over fat bodies. (Although curvy really is a problematic euphemism for fat, because curvy should just mean having curves on your body, and if the word fat wasn't used as as a death sentence and a humiliation maybe people wouldn't need to clutch onto their curves so tightly). But while this group might technically be size-positive, it isn't body positive. It isn't woman positive. It's still rating women against each other, it's still making bodies a competition, it's still body surveillance culture. (Consequently, there seems to be a whole lot of surveying going on on that website.) Fat acceptance isn't saying that fat bodies are better. Fat acceptance isn't saying that everybody should be fat. It's about accepting bodies because they are bodies and they are attached to people with thoughts and feelings and it's about self esteem and it's about how everybody deserves respect, no matter what they look like. Fat acceptance is not body snarking on thin women, and it is not saying that real women have curves. A hip to waist ratio does not make anyone any more 'real' than anyone else. Curves do not a woman make. Criticizing thin bodies is actually just validating sizeism. Celebrating one thing by tearing down something else isn't really very celebratory at all.

And James, if you really want to publicly announce your sexual preferences, there are heaps of groups that you could join to proclaim your love of T&A, without hating on any other kind of body type. Not any of these ones though, because then I would probably have to write another blog post about you. You could just become a fan of Curvy Girls or of Boobs or of Tits and Ass or even the misspelled, but straight to the point, I Love Curvey Woman. (I noticed you are friends with your dad on Facebook though, I hope he's into it). Although really, it still is kind of problematic to reduce what you like about women to their body parts.

I think that part of the reason I felt so uncomfortable with the group you joined, is because I have fucked you. Multiple times. With my curvy body. Should I be pleased that I fit into this so easily definable category of women that you like? Is the Facebook page some kind of compliment? Do I even get to say anything about the way that these Facebook groups turn women into commodities, when I just had sex with you because I was 19 and drunk and horny? Am I allowed to complain when I have sent you a pxt of my tits? Am I allowed to complain when I knew that you would probably show it to your friends and that I didn't mind? Do I have an argument against objectification when I showed all my cellphone pictures of your cock to the other waitresses I worked with at the time, to make a long shift go faster and to show off that I was getting some? In the words of the Shortland Street theme song, is it you or is it me? Do I get to complain about raunch culture, when sometimes I like the raunch? It's confusing, when you start thinking about it. Let me know what you think.

Kind, and now somewhat confused, regards,

Ally Garrett.


  1. (my e button is fuckt so if words come out wrong is my keyboards fault) i'm not really sure how to say this without coming off a a fuck tard- but i think that judging people on thir appearance is an important part of being a human.
    i dont think that you should be offended personally by the group that james joined.
    i think that you can be offended as a women bcause it does objectify women but... putting people into boxes is just part of the human condition.

    although important- fat activism gets on my nerves and i cant really explain why- so i presume it is lodged in my biggot sector in my brain(that we all have) - but as i said, as humans we automaticly put people into boxes and judge on appearance- especially when it comes to attraction.

    i am not attracted to asian women- doees that mean that i am racist? i dont think that it does. i hope not. it is just my sexual prefernce.

    im not sure what my argument really is, but i dont think that you should be too quick to judge those that judge others.

  2. 'someone else' you should look at the actual content of the group. It is incredibly degrading and more than just a statement of sexual preference. The group quite obviously ranks women against each other. And yes, people do put people into boxes but as Ally as said, it is not an issue of having a preference, because everyone has a preference. It is an issue of ranking people as better or worse because for the sake of an adjective. It being a part of the 'human condition' doesn't make it any more appropriate and I don't really understand how you believe this is an 'important part of being human'. Just because this may be the status quo for many, does not mean it is acceptable.

  3. Well, "someone else", there is actually a whole argument that saying you are "not attracted to Asian girls" is pretty racist, because you are lumping a whole heap of nationalities together, and othering them, and assuming that every Asian person looks totally the same. The media also has some pretty shitty representations of Asian women, this Jezebel article here does quite a good job of looking at some recent Christian Dior pictures:

    Also, I think that what I said was that I wasn't offended by James's sexual preference, (partly because his sexual preference has been me),I too often think that a lot of "curvy" girls I meet are banging, but I said that I had a problem with him saying they were "better" than skinny girls. Like it would have been better if he could have just joined a group that said "Curvy Girls Are Really Awesome" rather than criticizing the appearance of other people.

    And that is cool that fat activism gets on your nerves, but for me it boils down to everybody needs to be treated with respect, no matter what they look like. Have you read this article by Natalie Perkins? I found it to be really helpful when I was first reading about the movement. She likes to call it fat acceptance, and I am tossing between fat activism and fat acceptance, because the words still feel a bit clumsy to me.

    And while judging people might be human, I think it is also really important for people to be able to analyse this and look at WHY people might think this way. Like maybe after a year of you living in Tokyo and Bangkok your sexual preferences towards Asian women might be different because, basically, you might have seen way more of them. Because I think a big part of being sexual is what is going on mentally as well, like in Victorian times men would faint when they saw a ladies ankles because it was so taboo. I am assuming you do not faint when you see women's ankles.

    Natalie Perkins on fat acceptance:

    Marian Kirby on fat acceptance, who is also awesome. Her article is called "Fat Acceptance is for everyone" and I think that is cool:

    Anyway, thanks heaps for commenting, because basically the best compliment I can get about my writing is that it makes people think.

  4. Hi Ally, I hope James doesn't take your advice to like the 'Boobs' Facebook page, as the administrator posts things like "Women say I only think with my dick, I say it doesn't matter which head I think with because there both smarter than any woman I've ever met," and "Who doesn't wish women had less personality and more boobs!"

  5. Anna, your observations are smooth. This might be the kind of thing that appeals to James though, from the look of the company he thinks. Bob Arsenault on 'Curvy Girls Are Better Than Skinny Girls' has said 'I love chocolate.The darker the better...And I don't mean candy...Yeah !!!' and the administrator asks members what their opinion of 'Fat girls who think they're curvy'.

    All in all, Facey, you are gross.

  6. I went out with TWO guys who admitted they liked large girls. I proceeded to dump both of them.

  7. Hi, I read your essay on Jezebel. I can see both sides of your argument. I know what you're saying. Most people I know have likes and dislikes. You are attractive to who you're attractive to. I could never understand black women getting upset because a black man dates white women. I am a black women I feel it's no one business who you date. This doesn't probably make sense.