Every once in a while something pushes my buttons on the internet - maybe it's a continuous pushing of these buttons or one simple push that ignites one of my ever-so sporadic blog posts discussing it. This post has been swooshing around my mind for quite some time and only on the Tube yesterday did I begin to put pieces together in my mind for this post in particular.
Many of you know that I've always had a huge interest in Old Hollywood since my young teens; through this interest, I became infatuated with retro pin-ups and the culture surrounding it. The likes of Bettie Page and today's Dita Von Teese have always astounded me. Beautiful lingerie, tasteful nudity and sensuality through film and images has always captured my attention because quite frankly, I think it's interesting and gorgeous to look at it. Over the years, it has influenced me greatly; whether it be through my clothes or outlook on life. I have a massive collection of black PVC, leather, faux-leather, pleather and lace garments - whether it be dresses, bodysuits, corsets, stockings or underwear. I love it!
I started wearing hold-up stockings when I was around 16, under my battered Levi shorts. I remember Henry Holland's famous garter-tights came out a year or so afterwards, so I wasn't looked at so strangely after that. I started buying bustiers and wearing them under my oversized band t-shirts made me feel that extra bit sexier. I guess I started to embrace sexuality and dressing in such a way - discretely - quite young. If you follow my Tumblr, I'm sure you're quite used to seeing pictures of rockabilly models wearing latex bodysuits or 1940's bondage shoots.
Growing up with a facial disfigurement couldn't have made me feel uglier and the furthest thing from sexy to exist. Buying and wearing all of these things however, gave me my own sense of subconscious confidence and sexiness, even though I was never one to flaunt it. I had my jaw surgery in March, I'm now 6 months+ over it and my confidence has soared. I'm not going to sit here and say I'm now happy with who I am or the way I look, because I'm not (and probably never will be) but I am happier. Over the last few months, I've shot more outfit photos than ever before - some being quite revealing and daring. I've posted "selfies" that some may say are "too sexy" or show too much. The majority of people tell me that it's nice to see my obvious newfound confidence shine through photos, fellow women applaud me for not caring about what others think and for embracing my sexuality but of course, some people criticise me for showing myself in such a way to younger readers and for being a "slut".
I never started blogging or building up my "online persona" to become peoples' role model. I'll never let myself get into a situation where others can control what I do or don't do. You can be a business woman AND a sex kitten at the same time, believe it or not. If I want to reblog photos of Sasha Grey on Tumblr, I'll do so. Don't get me wrong, I hold my tongue and keep things to myself for the likes of Twitter, Youtube etc but Tumblr has always been my personal website where I feel people can get to know ME better. It allows me to express my thoughts, share my interests with the world and engage with others who hold the same interests. My love for Old Hollywood wouldn't be half as big if it wasn't for Tumblr!
I remember posting a photo of myself wearing a ringed choker recently and I received a Tumblr message from a girl around my age. It said "You're such a slut, what would your family say?" Before I even replied, I went on to her blog. Apparently Marilyn Monroe was her idol - I chuckled to myself. Marilyn Monroe started her career in the 1940's by posing completely nude for pin-up artists - funny how her "idol" did this, yet I get stick for posting a shot of me wearing a sexual piece of jewellery? Of course, this doesn't make Marilyn any less of an astounding actress or character. Celebrities have been posing for such pictures for decades and there's simply nothing wrong with that. It's just a perfect example of someone with a closed mind and double standards. It isn't fair.
What I don't get is - we have the likes of Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry etc uploading photos, starring in videos and performing in next to nothing and nobody bats an eyelid. How come Miley can swing on a wrecking ball in the nip but I get hounded for showing off my bra? When did it become acceptable for celebrities to do something, but not your average person? If Katy Perry can pose topless on a beach with just fishnet stockings on, I can too (not that I would, ew at sand everywhere). Cara Delevingne and most models have to strut down runways with their bits and bobs flying everywhere and pose for shoots revealing all, again, that's "normal" because it's deemed as "fashion". If Cara shows her boobs, Sarah and Lucy down the road surely can as well. Women are equal; celebrity status, physical features, weight, size, wealth - the list goes on - isn't a factor. We are EQUAL.
Another contradictory mindset people have, especially on Instagram, comes from bikini and underwear shots. For some reason, girls posting photos in bikinis is regarded as the norm and nobody looks twice at it. If a girl posts a photo in underwear though, covering/ revealing the same amount of flesh as a bikini, all hell breaks loose!? What is the difference? Both are revealing, both cover up the same areas and both are normal and OKAY to wear and post photos of.
It's sad that still to this day, males can post almost nude photos and receive practically no abuse or criticism. If a woman does the same, she gets at least ten times more of a negative response than a man. I've always felt strongly and fought for women's rights and I constantly stand up for us on this, as you'd know from previous blog posts. Sexism and misogyny is alive and well today, it beams through the internet daily. A man's body equates a woman's, neither is shameful or less/ more beautiful than the other. Every human. regardless of gender, has the right to make their own life choices.
A lot of men (and women for that matter) need to realise that not everything us women do is to impress the opposite sex (or whichever sex you're attracted to). Believe it or not, most women buy underwear for themselves; it makes us feel sexy, confident and glamourous. No man is in any position to dictate or comment on what a woman can or can't do - especially when it comes to expressing sexuality or what we wear. YOU are YOUR own boss.
I yearn for the day women stop battling with each other; we consistently complain about bitches and drama, yet we ourselves are the ones who mostly cause it. Instead of sending that girl who posted a nude photo on Tumblr abuse, maybe think to yourself "Okay, I may not agree with that/ I wouldn't do it myself but good for her if she has the confidence to do so." It's 2013 - we're fully capable of making our own decisions in life and expressing ourselves in whatever way we want. Don't get me wrong, posting nudes and the likes may affect employment, or cause family drama - but you can simply privatise your websites and posts. If you're over 18, you're capable and allowed to make your own decisions.
What you to choose to show or not show, doesn't define you as a person. It doesn't define your sexual activity, your intelligence, your career or you as a person. Feminism is defined and expressed differently for each person; but for me it means EQUALITY and FREEDOM. Congratulate, encourage and be nice to fellow women. Even if you disagree with what they do or say, remember it's their mind and their choice. We were all born naked and the human body is astounding and beautiful. Start looking at it like it's a piece or art, rather than something to be ashamed of or criticise. It's pretty simple; you can still be classy, successful and admired even if you prance around in sexy lingerie. Mindblowing, right?