Thursday 27 October 2016

If how you look on the internet is no one's business then stop posting pictures

Loey Lane has hit back at people who say fat women in bikinis are implicitly promoting obesity, by saying that large women are not asking for feedback.

Who the hell is Loey Lane, you ask.

Well, she's a 22-year-old 'vlogger' - that's a made-up term for someone who puts videos on YouTube in the (usually forlorn) hope they can make a living out of it. She is also a larger woman. Who has posted several pictures and videos of herself wearing not a lot. Hence her angry response to some of the comments she received.

All of this would be happily ignorable if it weren't for Loey so beautifully exemplifying the bizarre relationship many people now have with social media. She seems to believe Instagram and Twitter and YouTube are public spaces, like beaches or parks. They aren't.

If someone comes up to you on a beach and says "Excuse me, you are quite rotund and I think your clothing choice will normalise obesity and encourage others to become similarly rotund" then you have every right to be aggrieved (and possibly to beat the person to death with their own shoes.)

But if you post pictures of yourself to social media sites you are requesting comment.

You're not even doing it implicitly - there's a little box with 'Comments' at the top of it. You are explicitly saying: 'Hey, here's a picture of me in my pants, whaddaya think of that?'

Now, Loey may be absolutely right that the responses she has received are rude and hurtful.

She may be correct that it is no one else's business what someone wears to the beach. But the blurring of the lines in her head between the real world and public social media represents a bizarre new norm. It's like standing on a street corner holding a suggestion box, then being annoyed when people make suggestions.

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