Dating and Dickpics: Episode 13

13. Unlucky for some. But as someone with seemingly endless bad luck, I like to think 13 can signify some sort of change.

Well, unfortunately, there’s no change here. I was recently at work on a Wednesday morning, quite happily tapping away on my keyboard and coding paperwork, minding my own business and listening to Drake (obviously) when my phone vibrated against the cool, hard wooden desk I’d placed it on. I figured it was one of my friends trying to arrange plans for the weekend so I didn’t hesitate to open it.

It was an anonymous dickpic.

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Scarred for life

I’m not entirely sure what’s worse: a dickpic from a man you know or a dickpic from a complete stranger. Both are intolerable in my eyes and both are embarrassing but perhaps more so from the stranger because they are under the false illusion that somehow, their penis is so magnificent and aesthetically pleasing that you will jump on the next tube to their place naked.

I told the dick in question that his actions were repulsive and that I was not interested. I told him the sight of his ghastly manhood made me want to vomit. He proceeded to call me a whore. Right, I’m the whore. You’re the one who sent a picture of your genitals to a stranger, but I’m the whore. I preceded to destroy his logic by telling him that clearly he’s the whore out of the two of us because he’s so desperate for sex that he’s flashing his penis to an anonymous person. He then used some colourful language and after telling him to have a quick one-two pump in his hand because that’s all he could manage, I blocked him.

Lesson? I will always call you out on your bullshit and I will always have the last word if you dare disrespect me.

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Queen of Effortless Clapbacks aka me

There was another guy who decided to stumble his fuckboy-ways back into my life. He texted me after months and months of silence. His excuse? He’s ‘choleric’. In case you wondered, he’s talking about one of the Four Temperaments which have been wholeheartedly disproved. This was his oldy-worldy way of saying ‘I’m a fuckboy and I’m only messaging you because I want sex and for some reason, I think that I’m so special you’ll break two and a half years of celibacy for me’.

Any guesses on how I dealt with that?

Did I:

  • A: Express my wonder at him texting me again and partake in some polite conversation?
  • B: Make it crystal clear that I am looking for something serious, not a party in my pants?
  • C: Explain how much of a fuckboy he is, only for him to beg for another chance?
  • D: C, but sass him down and block his sorry ass?

The answer is D, because I don’t suffer fools gladly. I was a little shocked that he had bothered to text me but then again, if a fuckboy wants sex, they will magically remember the number of anyone they ever met with a pulse. I don’t think he actually remembered me. He did vaguely describe the night I met him but I really could’ve been any girl he met in any bar in London. He was horny and desperate. I am neither of the two and I have exacting standards.

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I’ll call you out if you’re a fuckboy

Remember how earlier on I was talking about how 13 is unlucky for some? It seems that this installment of D&D shows a change in luck, for I was recently with someone who met my exacting standards. We spent some time together and it was absolutely magical. It was, quite simply, the best weekend of my life (and I’m happy to say he also enjoyed it). He’s a good friend of mine and someone I feel extremely comfortable with. I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. I don’t have to be perfect. My imperfections aren’t a big deal to him. He makes me smile uncontrollably and laugh like a complete goofball. The best bit? I managed to successfully introduce him to my real, true love, Grey’s Anatomy. It’s all very early days but I’m excited and for once, I’m happy. Long may it continue. And although I love all of my readers dearly, I hope this is the last Dating & Dickpics I have to write in a very, very long time.

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It wasn’t as cheesy as this but considering I’m a 20-something Bridget Jones, this picture seemed appropriate (note: I am cheesy)

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This post is inspired by Buzzfeed’s Body Positivity Week; more specifically, this post by Dan Dalton.

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1.

I’m out shopping with my parents because they’ve booked a summer holiday. We’re in Primark. I’m 10, the youngest in my class. I’m excited for summer because it means a break away from school and I’m dreading starting secondary school in September. We’re trawling through the aisles of the shop and I become conscious of it for the first time because we walk straight past the children’s section and into the women’s section. Mum frames it as ‘well you’re all grown up now! So now you can wear proper clothes like mummy’ with her sweet smile. Later, at home, dad retorts ‘she’s bloody obese, she needs to diet. She’s so fat!’ I drag myself up the stairs into my room and cry.

2.

‘Can we keep it a secret?’ I’m 12 now and I have a boyfriend. It’s silly really. We sat next to each other in Maths and we discovered we had a lot in common. Whatever it is, I feel butterflies for the first time because someone likes me back. I agree to keeping it a secret and we sneak off here and there after school for a hug and a kiss. We spend all our time talking to each other. One day, all hell breaks loose and everyone in class finds out. He tries denying it until he’s red in the face. He simply says, ‘I’d have to be blind to go out with her, she’s a fat pig’.

3.

My depression was diagnosed at 14. I was tormented every day at school and it took its toll on my mental health. I started going to the gym and slimmed down a dress size. I looked better. I felt better. But I was still called fat. So I exercised more. I was 15 when I picked up a knee injury but I knew I had to keep losing weight because otherwise, the bullying would never stop. So I restricted what I ate. I did my Drama GCSE and my best friend lashed out at one of the perpetrators, saying that I was a size 8 now and I was smaller than the girl who was bullying me. She said, ‘fine then…she’s an anorexic rat’.

4.

I’ve started a new school for sixth form. It’s only across the road from my previous school, but it may as well be a million miles away. Everyone is so friendly. By now, I’m in the throes of anorexia. I’m deadly thin but whenever I catch my reflection and can bare to look at it before wanting to cry, I just see a beached whale. My thighs are huge. My tummy is still there, protruding as ever. The doctor diagnoses me with body dysmorphic disorder. I go shopping for a school skirt and the size 6 slips off my hips. I ask for a size 4 — a size zero — and the shop assistant looks mortified but politely informs me that I need to go to a specialist shop for that.

5.

I’m excelling at school. I’ve just sat my AS Levels and I’ve told myself I’ll beat the anorexia. I’m not stressed out and I’m in a better place, mentally. So I start eating, with the support of my mum. Then, tragedy strikes and I get the refeeding syndrome, so they hospitalise me, threatening to section me if I don’t go ‘willingly’. They don’t let me walk. I’m put in a wheelchair so that I don’t use up any energy. My weight plummets to 5 stone. I look like I’m about to die. Sure enough, the doctors say that the anorexia has eaten away everything in my body and that I only have two weeks before my heart fails.

6.

I’m not a quitter. Despite the death sentence, I make a full recovery. By the beginning of the next year, I reach a BMI of 18.5 and I’m officially discharged and cleared of anorexia. I start living life like the next teenager. There’s a glimmer of hope. I’m not at ease with this body that I call home just yet…but perhaps I will be.

7.

Years pass. I go to university and graduate. I make some terrible choices in my love life. I go on holiday, out with friends and see a bit more of the world. Before I know it, it’s been five years since I recovered from anorexia and 13 since my dad called me fat. It’s all still very real. It happened to me. I know it did. I can’t ever erase that. But I’m past it now. I adorn my body with metal and ink, expressing myself outwardly. I’m no longer ashamed. I’m no longer at war with my body. The skin I wear is all I have in this life. Nothing else is guaranteed. I don’t know what will happen to me in the future, but I’m at one with my body. After all, it’s the only home I’ll ever know.

My Anaconda Don’t Want None…of that Body Shaming, Hun.

“Because he don’t like ’em boney, he want something he can grab/Oh my gosh, look at her butt”

The above lines are from the recent hit single ‘Anaconda’ by Nicki Minaj. Personally, I love and approve of celebrating bodies of all shape and size and have been an advocate for body-positivity for years; just not at the expense of other body types.

Fat-shaming has been an epidemic over the past decade, possibly longer. Even walking down the street, we are bombarded by airbrushed and photoshopped billboards depicting oversexualised women, usually digitally altered to appear thinner than in real life. We are constantly fed articles in magazines and the tabloids about the perfect body size and shape, how to lose a ridiculous amount of weight and how we should all be dieting depending on what season or holiday is around the corner. However, we now face a new menace: songs with skinny-shaming lyrics.

Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’ may seem fairly innocent (except for the sexualised overtones), but the lyrics are damaging. Her lyrics promote skinny-shaming and feed on the vulnerability of people with BDD and eating disorders. Having been anorexic for two years, I can tell you that these lyrics are triggering and damaging. Anyone with severely low self-esteem and an eating disorder may find these a trigger to harm themselves in some way. The line ‘he can tell I ain’t missin no meals’ is particularly triggering and could initiate some sufferers into a spiral of further self-loathing.

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Minaj is not the only one to come out with a song containing derogatory remarks towards thin women. Meghan Trainor’s song ‘All About That Bass’ contains the following lyrics:

“Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size/She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”/You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll”

She also labels thin women as ‘skinny bitches’. Although plus-sized ladies may find both of these songs empowering, they hide a sinister side. They are celebrating one body shape through the hatred of another. We should be celebrating all body shapes and sizes without slandering body shapes different to ours. We should be united in celebrating all bodies and build bridges despite our differences. We should be united in celebrating beauty in all forms, not trying to turn women against each other.

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Despite people labelling these lyrics as feminist, I must disagree. In fact, the ‘celebration’ of the curvy girls that Minaj and Trainor sing about is patriarchy in disguise. Both songs focus on loving having a fuller figure because it gains the approval of men, not because these women are happy in their own skins and happy in themselves. The lyrics are a celebration of curvy bodies because with them, one can attain male attention. The message is that women with fuller figures should be happy because men like that and women, after all, are only there to satisfy the male gaze. The lyrics suggest that a woman shouldn’t bother being happy about her figure because she is genuinely proud of the way she looks; it is implied that she can only have true validation of her good looks if men approve of how she looks.

Although there is a seemingly apparent theme of celebrating plus-size and fuller figures, this is not entirely true. Both Minaj and Trainor focus only on a woman having a big bum and celebrating that fact. As many curvy women can testify, having a naturally ‘big booty’ comes with other big body parts, which are not celebrated or embraced in either song. It seems as though both singers believe that the only type of fuller figure that can be praised is one with a big bum, not any other big body parts. Minaj herself cannot be classified as plus-size – her body is toned and thin apart from her behind, which is speculated to have been altered by plastic surgery. This is not the message we should be sending out to anyone – that it is only acceptable to be a bigger lady if you’re only big because of your backside.

On the whole, both of these songs are extremely damaging. They hide behind the façade of trying to be body-positive and, judging by the sales of both songs, this marketing technique is working. However, it is not hard to see how insulting and degrading they are. Skinny women are to be hated for being skinny, although there may be an array of medical conditions behind someone’s weight, or they may just naturally be that figure. Curvy girls can only be praised if they have a big bum and if they therefore gain male attention and approval. The notion of sisterhood is being smashed apart with both songs. We should support and embrace our own figures and each other’s, not despise one another for being a different size.