Sunday, November 22, 2009

Words Can Hurt: An Apology


A friend pointed out to me that using the terms Chesty, and McHelium to describe the blonde, in my eyes, totally male gaze version of Elsa Bloodstone could come across as being an ass about big breasts or more specifically and correctly; being an ass about women with big breasts.

That was not my intention, but intentions and spit are all about what the receiver makes of it if it's blowing into their face.

Seeing the chestier version of Elsa Bloodstone enraged me, seeing it paired with tiny thin legs that actually made me feel disgust and alarm, also enraged me. I don't like looking at women's bodies and feeling caught between deprogramming the instinct to judge, and immediately wondering about their health, which unfortunately can be just a different way of judging.

And boy do I judge the bustier Elsa.

Or rather, I judge how she's drawn and what body parts catch focus and why they catch focus.

- The Tiny Top
- Her Spilling Out Of It
- The Suggestions Of Jigglyness.

It all hit me bang. smack. bam with BIMBONESS. And I didn't stop to analyze past that reaction.

Some women will have large breasts. It's genetics or surgery. And no matter how I feel about surgery to change into what I feel is someone else's definition of beauty (no matter who that someone is, an individual or society via the media); a woman's body is her own. End. Done.

But if I'm paying attention to messages from society via the media, then I need to remember that media created the Bimbo. And media created all the associations to be had with the term and image they decreed to be the BIMBO.

I don't like the blonde, Elsa Bloodstone because she triggers my 'OH SHIT NOT ANOTHER BIMBO' response. She also triggers my ' Why can't she be strong and capable and not look like a porn star?' response.

And the shorthand I chose for that were the mocking nicknames Chesty, McHelium and McBoobies, which focused on a particular body-part and did not reflect the stereotype I meant to point out, which was 'The Bimbo'.

Bimbos have large breasts. Not every woman with large breasts is a bimbo.

This is an occasion where I was not actually trying to be a jerk and I apologise for the offense.

I considered opening up comments, but I don't actually want any telling me how cool it was I apologised, or that I did nothing wrong. Or even that what I did was wrong but wasn't that big a deal. The truth is, I'm still thinking about it and how I would handle another occasion and when and how snark and mockery applies and when it doesn't. And I'd rather not be influenced not to think deeper by pettings.

If you really want to place some input, you know where the email is.