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Old 08-02-2009, 11:23 PM   #1
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Default How Do You Feel About Objectification and Why?

I was just reading an interesting post in another thread where an FA was reflecting a bit on how BBWs might feel about objectification. he mentioned how some BBWs liked being objectified by FAs for the physical appreciation. then there are other BBWs who don't like to be objectified by FAs because they feel that the admiration is too body centered. where do you fall on that continium? what are the reasons that you feel that way. what do you think the results of approaching objectification in that way have been for you and other people?


as far as i'm concerned i'm kinda in the middle. i think its great to be appreciated. it doesn't bother me if BBWs want or need that kind of positive reinforcement. God knows after a lot of stuff a lot of us go through we deserve it. i think its good to have a place to come to to get it whenever you need it. i'm not at all opposed to nudity etc...because i'm into art i've always been very comfortable with that. so showing the body has more than just a sexual connotation for me. i don't mind if it is for other people, but also at some level i'd also like it not to be all about that inside of the community. i know that it isn't but it definitely has that appearance at times. i know there are a lot of people who appreciate more than body parts but it doesn't always come across that way.

when i socialize in the community i always end up feeling that the rules are a bit different from the rest of the world. and in general. but not always, i'm expected to accept things i wouldn't in ordinary life--unless its in watching or dealing with teenagers. some of the attention is expressed in a disrespectful way. and some of it is also recieved in a disrespectful way. its hard because i understand why the community is the way that it is. i understand the mindset and the position. i know that a lot of FAs have never had an opportunity to openly compliment and have that compliment accepted. they have an unquenched thirst to do that. it would be easy to get drunk on it and go a bit too far. and then they have to calibrate what is too far for whom. it must be tough. as we already know BBWs are not monolithic. but at the same time i don't necessarily want to change my own personal rules to accomodate things that i wouldn't accept in the rest of my life. i'm really for sexual, emotional and intellectual freedom. but when it comes to me and how i feel about things i have to be careful not to compromise too much because i already know i wouldn't be happy with the outcome. but at the same time i wouldn't want to be entirely inflexible. and i definitely wouldn't want to brand somebody because they don't react to things in the same way that i do. i think it was easy to do that in the past because i didn't know enough to understand what was really at work.

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Old 08-03-2009, 06:08 AM   #2
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I used to be on the fence...,

After a constant struggle with body image growing up, finding this site and the people on it has given me a window into the objectification topic. I loved the compliments, the strange fantasies guys shared with me, the opinions on what clothes I'd look good in, or what they wished to do to me. It felt good. I felt sexy. But there comes a time when that grows stale. That isn't permanent stuff, that is strictly visual and sexual stimulus. I wanted more.

Slowly the list of guys I talked to outside of this board dwindled down to a scant few. The ones who I still spoke with were the ones who spoke TO me, not just about me. They wanted things in common, to know how I felt about serious topics... the objectification became something I could easily live without.

In the end I find myself annoyed by the objectification. It was hallow, and just an ego stroke. There is no substance, and half the time I wasn't even into the stuff the guys like to spout on about. I could go a lifetime without "belly rubs" or "squashing", I could NOT go a lifetime without "meaningful conversation" and "having things in common outside the visual/sexual realm".

If a guy IMs me now, saying how sexy I look as his hello, or compliments any body part in the first five minutes... I will probably ignore them. Say hi to ME, not my boobs/ass/belly/etc.
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:33 AM   #3
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I am torn about it. On one hand I would love to be wanted for my looks. I have always been the friend and only the lover with my husband. I held other guys I dated at bay because I didn't have the confidence to believe they really wanted ME. I felt I was a joke, an experiment, being used. After all that had been my experience in early adolescence. I was asked out on fake dates, guys danced with 5 dollar bills behind their back to show they were bribed, or to have someone take me off their hands, asked to give blow jobs cause we fat girls like that...etc. As I have grown in my confidence there have been instances here and there and I am pleased about that. I would like to have the ability to use my feminine wiles as I see my thinner friends do. Even though I am a married woman, a women like to know she still has it by having a door opened for her, compliments, being asked to dance and so on.

On the other hand I want to be known at age 46 for the sum of all the things I have accomplished and gotten through. I am not just my looks(in a positive or negative manner). My husband married me fat, saw me get fatter, saw me lose 75lbs, gain it back and loves me for me. I don't have to worry about keeping a certain weight either big or small for him. While perhaps I would like to be seen more as a woman and less in the roles that are defined for me(wife, other, business partner, boss, kohkum) and more as a sexy vibrant woman that men desire, I have come to believe that perhaps some people are not to be seen in that way. Maybe my role is more one of service, rather than getting the passion that others seem to have in their lives. And having real deep love might be of more value than adored for the physical only.
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:34 AM   #4
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I think that some objectification is normal and healthy.

I want someone to look at me and see things about my body that turns them on, of course I don't want it to be what keeps them coming around, but initial attraction? I'm all for it.

I can't complain too much about the objectification of women because I've certainly been guilty of objectifying men at times. You know when you're out with your girlfriends and a really hot guy walks by and one of you makes a lewd comment about what you could do with him if you had a chance? I've done it, I'll probably continue to do it, and I dont think really that there is anything wrong with it.
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:20 AM   #5
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Reminds me of a conversation I overheard when I was a kid between my brother and a friend of his. They were talking about a fat girl that the friend was trying to pick up at a party and arguing the merits of dating one. Terms like "More cushion for the pushin'" were used. At one point my brother's friend said, "If it was a choice between an ugly skinny girl and a pretty fat chick which would you choose?" Quick as a flash I said, "Neither. You're ugly." I was quickly banished from the room as per usual, a snotty trouble maker. Their attitude towards women in general pissed me off though. My brother's friend wasn't 'all that' anyway and in my view was representative of how low quality the males were in the area if he was getting any at all. The future for me seemed bleak in that environment.

But yeah, we all objectify. They did, I did - it's what people do. I don't like objectification from a standpoint of control, as if people in general are sheep to be herded or destroyed according to your superior stance above it all. That makes me angry. But stuff like, "These are the attributes that draw me towards men/women," that tends to take a beating here on the boards seems pretty inert to me. I pretty much assume that people in general are multidimensional enough to appreciate the full aspects of a human being both the physical and mental. Unless of course they demonstrate otherwise, then they're ugly.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:00 PM   #6
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Yeah, I don't particularly like it, at least not in how in many ways it makes us judge women based on how we look. I'm all about appreciating beauty, physical attraction, etc. But our cultural beliefs about women's bodies and how they're internalized, ultimately causing us deep emotional harm, really chaps my (dimpled) ass.

On the Today show today (yeah, I know ) there was an interesting segment on nudity and women and the whole project stemmed from the brouhaha over Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" and the shock and horror that ensued after the fact. It was interesting, listening to the women talk about their bodies, how they felt about their bodies, and one woman discussed seeing a picture of herself and at first only noticed "rolls of fat" over her hips. The photographer and creator of the project talked about how supermodels, arguably the most "beautiful" of women, would say things to him like how their arms were fat, or their cheeks were too fat, telling him to shoot from different angles. The women judged themselves so harshly, by the same stupid cultural biases that we are subject to.

Why do we do this to ourselves?
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:34 PM   #7
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When I was chairperson of the Los Angeles chapter of NAAFA years ago, I was interviewed by the Orange County Register for an soft-news article. They included some casual pictures they had taken of me, including one of me in a two-piece swimsuit relaxing in a hot tub. I was naive to have done that, because in the article they took a contentious position, asking the question, is this an appropriate picture for a political group. The yield was lots of exposure for the group, lots of people joining our chapter, lots of outreach to people who'd never heard of the SA movement.

But that picture ... I didn't even think of it at the time it was taken (I used to do some modeling, and I loved having my picture taken), but in retrospect I was appalled that I had objectified myself like that - how could anyone take me seriously when there I am, for all of So Cal to see - in a quarter-page sized color image of me in a bikini, like some plus-size Playmate - ; at the same time there were those positive results ...

So I learned in a personal way that sex sells (in this case, it helped to "sell" the unsexy, IMO, concept of SA), but it came at a cost to my self esteem. Objectification worked well for me, but I found I felt better about myself when I was regarded for my character and intellect.

Nowadays as an old married lady, I love it when my husband objectifies me ... I like wearing skimpy little dresses, being provocative for him. It's a dynamic that helps our marriage work. Outside of the marriage, I'd much rather be seen these days as "respectable" than a sexy little number.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Risible View Post
Nowadays as an old married lady, I love it when my husband objectifies me ... I like wearing skimpy little dresses, being provocative for him. It's a dynamic that helps our marriage work. Outside of the marriage, I'd much rather be seen these days as "respectable" than a sexy little number.
I'm wondering if I'm using the term 'objectified' differently than many others are. Dee, wouldn't you say that your husband is actually admiring you and the body that he loves? To me, objectification means that the person is disregarded; the only thing that matters is the fat (or the thin, or the boobs, or the penis, or the high-heel clad feet or ... well, you get my point ).

Then again, outside of marriage or any kind of casual relationship, I don't think we can escape being objectified, at least to an extent. It's not like a stranger could possibly know that I have a winning personality I just know how I felt when a complete stranger would be talking at or to my chest, which was not at all flattered. Since I had breast reduction surgery, and subsequent weight loss, I'm very small in the boobage department (some cough my husband cough would say TOO small) but I don't care ... I can still very clearly remember how my breasts would enter a room about an hour before I did, and how much attention I got, and how most of it was of a very, very creepy variety. I don't miss that at all. That experience likely colors how I view the term "objectified", though.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:35 PM   #9
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" To me, objectification means that the person is disregarded; the only thing that matters is the fat (or the thin, or the boobs, or the penis, or the high-heel clad feet or ... well, you get my point ). "

This is also how I interpret "objectification" because to me, that means you are seeing the person as an object, not as a complete human being. Just a body or part of a body that you happen to be strongly attracted to.

On a very casual and superficial level, it's an ego-boost. But beyond that it just makes me feel yucky inside. In relationships, an initial attraction to some physical attribute is usually the norm, but then you take some time to get to know that person on a deeper level. I have met guys who didn't want to get to know me, because they didn't care about anything but the outside, and they already knew all they needed to know about that. And that didn't make me feel good about myself at all.

In a healthy and stable relationship, I don't consider it to be objectification to find your partner extremely attractive. Or to treat them like a sex object from time to time. Because they know they are a lot more to you than a body to get off to. I'd only consider it as such if you placed a disproportionate amount of their value to you on the physical. You're with them _because_ of the way they look, and that is THE ultimate deal maker or breaker in the relationship. That's fine for a one time encounter or casual "fuckbuddy" type relationship, where there are no expectations that you are anything but a body to your partner.

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Old 08-03-2009, 02:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Vickie View Post
On the Today show today (yeah, I know ) there was an interesting segment on nudity and women and the whole project stemmed from the brouhaha over Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" and the shock and horror that ensued after the fact. It was interesting, listening to the women talk about their bodies, how they felt about their bodies, and one woman discussed seeing a picture of herself and at first only noticed "rolls of fat" over her hips. The photographer and creator of the project talked about how supermodels, arguably the most "beautiful" of women, would say things to him like how their arms were fat, or their cheeks were too fat, telling him to shoot from different angles. The women judged themselves so harshly, by the same stupid cultural biases that we are subject to.
I loved this, Vickie. Thanks for posting it. In watching it, and in hearing one woman (who is thin, BTW) talk about her negative feelings when seeing the photo of herself talking about how the more she looked at it the more she thought it was beautiful, reminded me of my own process. When I decided I was sick and tired of hating my fat body and purposefully went about seeing myself differently, one of the things I did was draw myself. Because as an artist interested in the real challenge of drawing the undraped human form, I was used to drawing bodies. But the models we had in class were never truly fat. One of the women was plus-size, but not at all approaching supersize. So in drawing myself (in two different poses), I was having to detach in order to concentrate on accuracy as much as possible. That detachment and then later coloring it in on the computer and looking at it as objectively as I could (one of my 'rules' I made for myself was to look for beauty in regards to my body, and to not deny it if I found it) helped me to see things I hadn't seen before. It is one of the things (that and wanting to conquer my fear and dislike of having my picture taken) that preceded my shoot for the Dimensions print mag issue where I was featured. Without the drawings I did of myself and the beginnings of change in the way I saw myself, I don't believe I could have mustered the confidence to agree to be in the magazine and have hundreds of photos taken of me. So I totally can relate to what she is saying, and I think that if more women could go through that process, it might make a difference.

This of course might seem like something that is feeding into objectification, with the naked photos and/or drawings, etc, but IMO, if one gets something positive from it that they didn't have before, I'm not concerned with what others think about it.

Anyway, crazy day (my son is flying in today and there was a schedule glitch and it was all falling apart for a while there, and I also have lots to do and am kind of anxious and not in my best space for contemplation and written expression of that) and I'm not sure how well I'm getting this across, but wanted to comment on that bit of video Vickie linked, and how I see it as being very valid.
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TraciJo67 View Post
I'm wondering if I'm using the term 'objectified' differently than many others are. Dee, wouldn't you say that your husband is actually admiring you and the body that he loves? To me, objectification means that the person is disregarded; the only thing that matters is the fat (or the thin, or the boobs, or the penis, or the high-heel clad feet or ... well, you get my point ).

Then again, outside of marriage or any kind of casual relationship, I don't think we can escape being objectified, at least to an extent. It's not like a stranger could possibly know that I have a winning personality I just know how I felt when a complete stranger would be talking at or to my chest, which was not at all flattered. Since I had breast reduction surgery, and subsequent weight loss, I'm very small in the boobage department (some cough my husband cough would say TOO small) but I don't care ... I can still very clearly remember how my breasts would enter a room about an hour before I did, and how much attention I got, and how most of it was of a very, very creepy variety. I don't miss that at all. That experience likely colors how I view the term "objectified", though.
With the ups and downs, good times/bad, sickness and health, etc., in marriage, I don't see how he could separate me from my body to the extent of complete objectification. However, I do know that he, as well as the other males I've shared my body with, have all reacted on a much more visceral plane ... that is, it seemed to be a more physical and visual experience for them than me, as in - you show a little skin, you got his undivided attention, regardless of time, space, or dimension. OTOH, it's pretty rare, the times when the man I was with got turned on because I made him laugh, or because he loved the warmth of my company, or because I made him a home-cooked meal (I'm trying to convey the everyday things that my husband does for me - not the cooking. so not the cooking - that keeps me turned on but not including wearing skimpy shorts or tight jeans, not that those are so bad ). I need to be hooked emotionally to respond physically; that's my experience.
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:28 PM   #12
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wow! great discussion keep it coming!
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:34 PM   #13
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With the ups and downs, good times/bad, sickness and health, etc., in marriage, I don't see how he could separate me from my body to the extent of complete objectification. However, I do know that he, as well as the other males I've shared my body with, have all reacted on a much more visceral plane ... that is, it seemed to be a more physical and visual experience for them than me, as in - you show a little skin, you got his undivided attention, regardless of time, space, or dimension. OTOH, it's pretty rare, the times when the man I was with got turned on because I made him laugh, or because he loved the warmth of my company, or because I made him a home-cooked meal (I'm trying to convey the everyday things that my husband does for me - not the cooking. so not the cooking - that keeps me turned on but not including wearing skimpy shorts or tight jeans, not that those are so bad ). I need to be hooked emotionally to respond physically; that's my experience.
I think I'm just defining the word a bit differently, because I can understand why your husband's arousal at your body would be a positive thing, even though he's not focused (at the time ) on what a good cook or wonderful person you are on the inside. But what if it was a stranger -- let's say, a construction worker, who whistled and cat-called and made a spectacle of himself (and you) by focusing on (and announcing) the parts of your body that he appreciates? What I'm trying to understand is if other people find that kind of attention flattering. I don't, but I think it is probably less objectification than it is the fact that I'm very introverted IRL and don't like any kind of attention being drawn to myself. Although, I think that even if I were very outgoing, it would still bother me to an extent. I don't know, coz I only live this experience. Which is why I'm very curious to see other people's viewpoints.
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:55 PM   #14
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On a totally superficial level where I have no intention of really knowing, dating, or entering a relationship with an individual, objectification is okay. For me, it can be a temporary ego booster. However, if I am looking for someone to befriend or date or enter a relationship with then objectification (seeing a single part of a person as the total person...nothing more... for self-gratifying reasons) is a negative. It is negative because my body is a shell and that shell can change because of illness, accident or purposeful decision to change it. I would not want any relationship dependent on keeping myself the very same physically forever because that is impossible and I'd be setting myself up for great sorrow in the long run. Besides, what kind of "relationship" would that be? Very empty, I would guess.
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:43 PM   #15
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I suppose how I feel about it depends on intent and expression. Is the objectification intended to be dehumanizing and is it expressed in a disrespectful way? I personally don't care as long as guys aren't creepy and lewd about how they express it.

After I lost some weight, my boobs stood out a lot more, and I went from years of having my male friends see me as fairly asexual, and just one of the guys to constant staring and outright sexual comments about how huge they thought they were. At first it was exciting, like it gave me a feeling of power to hear those comments from guys who weren't FAs and who would never in a million years date or sleep with anybody my size, but that wore off really quickly and it just pissed me off to the point where I had to tell each of them to just stop, and I was pissed about having to have to say so, especially because these guys had made it clear to me early in our friendships that they weren't interested in dating me, and I know they still weren't even after I lost weight, which made all the sudden boob worship just even more upsetting.

I especially don't want to hear a stranger tell me how hot he thinks my boobs or ass is and then call me a fat bitch because I ignore them and don't say thank you and act grateful for the attention when it's been said it in a really rude way. I figure the guys who resort to name calling are the ones who think fat girls are automatically desperate to hear those kinds of compliments or assume we've never heard them before and act like they are doing us a favor. I do realize not all guys are like that. Just saying I've been on the receiving end of that attitude more than I cared too. "My don't you look pretty today." is not the same as "Hey shorty, nice ass." I wish all men understood this.

I can accept and expect to hear those kinds of comments from a guy I'm sleeping with tho. If he didn't say or show his admiration in some way I'd think something was up, but even so if he showed it in a disrespectful way, it would still piss me off....I think cause of how my father was when I was growing up respect is a sticky point with me. I try to respect other people and a guy who doesn't understand what that is just won't get very far with me....I'm rambling now I think....the point is, how I feel about objectification just depends on the context. It's not all bad, but it's not all good either. Just depends.

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Old 08-03-2009, 09:28 PM   #16
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I suppose how I feel about it depends on intent and expression. Is the objectification intended to be dehumanizing and is it expressed in a disrespectful way? I personally don't care as long as guys aren't creepy and lewd about how they express it.

After I lost some weight, my boobs stood out a lot more, and I went from years of having my male friends see me as fairly asexual, and just one of the guys to constant staring and outright sexual comments about how huge they thought they were. At first it was exciting, like it gave me a feeling of power to hear those comments from guys who weren't FAs and who would never in a million years date or sleep with anybody my size, but that wore off really quickly and it just pissed me off to the point where I had to tell each of them to just stop, and I was pissed about having to have to say so, especially because these guys had made it clear to me early in our friendships that they weren't interested in dating me, and I know they still weren't even after I lost weight, which made all the sudden boob worship just even more upsetting.

I especially don't want to hear a stranger tell me how hot he thinks my boobs or ass is and then call me a fat bitch because I ignore them and don't say thank you and act grateful for the attention when it's been said it in a really rude way. I figure the guys who resort to name calling are the ones who think fat girls are automatically desperate to hear those kinds of compliments or assume we've never heard them before and act like they are doing us a favor. I do realize not all guys are like that. Just saying I've been on the receiving end of that attitude more than I cared too. "My don't you look pretty today." is not the same as "Hey shorty, nice ass." I wish all men understood this.

I can accept and expect to hear those kinds of comments from a guy I'm sleeping with tho. If he didn't say or show his admiration in some way I'd think something was up, but even so if he showed it in a disrespectful way, it would still piss me off....I think cause of how my father was when I was growing up respect is a sticky point with me. I try to respect other people and a guy who doesn't understand what that is just won't get very far with me....I'm rambling now I think....the point is, how I feel about objectification just depends on the context. It's not all bad, but it's not all good either. Just depends.
The times that I became thin; I was objectified as well. I can remember feeling resentful that men were paying attention to me who knew me fat and would not give me the time of day. I remember thinking that I was still the same person whether fat or thin. I didn't feel bett. er about myself for these men paying attention to me, their stamp of approval. Instead, I thought these men were so shallow. I have decided that I am beautiful and I refer to myself as beautiful. I do not give a shit what anyone thinks as I finally can enjoy my own beauty. I am just as capable of appreciating and evaluating beauty as any man. My only regret is that I did not have this self-awareness when I was younger as it would have been a powerful tool in my interactions with men. Since I came to Dims, I have been processing a lot of feelings that have been barriers to my self-acceptance. I am at the point of actualization where I dare to say that I can make love to myself better than any man I have ever known. What a feeling to be free of the approval of men.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:13 PM   #17
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A lot of people have equated objectification with being attracted to someone you see for the first time; I don't really define it that way. In my mind, objectification is when someone takes that initial, looks-based opinion s/he forms and make it the sum total of how s/he perceives and treats the person s/he is looking at, to the point of disregarding everything else.

Semantics aside... I don't want to be objectified. I don't want someone to reduce me to my gender, or my size, or what I choose to wear, or anything else. I want to be seen as a whole being and treated with respect and empathy.

But, I would be lying if I said I don't care what people think about my appearance. Even though my beauty routine falls way below cultural standards for a woman my age, and even though my self-confidence wavers, I always hope that people think I'm attractive. Ironically, I sometimes end up objectifying myself, because I get caught in thinking that my appearance is the most important thing (or even the only important thing).

My experience with Dims has given me a lot to think about in terms of how my body can be desired, and how I desire others' bodies. I've never had a sexual partner who identified as an FA, so when someone I was with told me he thought my body was attractive, I always wondered if he silently added "...even though you're fat." As distasteful as that thought is, I don't see "...because you're fat" as a solution. Unfortunately I'm having some difficulty putting into words what I would consider the ideal reaction to be, because as much as I don't want to be seen just for my fatness, I want that aspect of me to be actively accepted, not just tolerated.

From the FFA standpoint: I like to think that I'm sensitive to the issue of objectification, and that I endeavor to see and know the whole guy, even if my eyes are initially drawn to his pudge (just sayin'). I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I don't have a lot to say on the subject of me being the one doing the gazing-- but I think that's a worthwhile conversation to pursue.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:48 PM   #18
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It all really depends on the circumstance.

It's natural to occasionally objectify a stranger.. we all do it, we see someone attractive and we're like holy shit, he/she's hot. I don't really think there's anything wrong with that. It's not like I can admire someone's personality from across a crowded resturant.

I also think pretend objectification can be kinda hot. This is kinda along the lines of what Risible was saying I think. Sometimes it's nice to have a boyfriend/lover objectify you during the act itself, although they don't in the actual relationship. I mean sometimes I want my boyfriend to make love to me because he cares about me and sometimes I want him to fuck my brains out because he thinks I'm hot.

However, I do think there are situations where objectification is negative. Like MsGreenLatern said, getting countless IMs from guys who want to talk about nothing besides how you look is disgusting and annoying. It'd be like someone coming up to you on the street and going WOW, YOU HAVE A REALLY NICE RACK and then proceeding to discuss exactly how nice your rack is and how he'd love to spill his kids all over it sometime. Or, being with someone who only uses you for sex (assuming you're not okay with that.. nothing against sex-only relationships over here.)

In general, objectification doesn't bother me.. except in said circumstances ^ but I know I have a way more liberal view on it than other people. I mean, I'm a paysite girl.. I'm constantly being objectified. Yeah, I get paid for it but it's still objectification. That doesn't bother me though because it comes with the territory. It'd be silly to expect otherwise.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:56 PM   #19
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I think I'm just defining the word a bit differently, because I can understand why your husband's arousal at your body would be a positive thing, even though he's not focused (at the time ) on what a good cook or wonderful person you are on the inside. But what if it was a stranger -- let's say, a construction worker, who whistled and cat-called and made a spectacle of himself (and you) by focusing on (and announcing) the parts of your body that he appreciates? What I'm trying to understand is if other people find that kind of attention flattering. I don't, but I think it is probably less objectification than it is the fact that I'm very introverted IRL and don't like any kind of attention being drawn to myself. Although, I think that even if I were very outgoing, it would still bother me to an extent. I don't know, coz I only live this experience. Which is why I'm very curious to see other people's viewpoints.
Oh, well, you know how it is with The Rack - you (the general "you with the big rack" ) get a lot of attention from complete strangers (as you mentioned upthread) just for that alone. When I was young and insecure, unsolicited public attention embarrassed - mortified - the eff out of me; a little older and more experienced with social interaction, and I could just shrug it off. If a stranger objectifies me in some verbal way, if I even pause to process it, it doesn't bother me one way or the other. I know who I am. Since working through the hurts and harms of growing up fat, my esteem hasn't been built on the chance remarks of persons of no consequence in my life.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:51 PM   #20
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After I lost some weight, my boobs stood out a lot more, and I went from years of having my male friends see me as fairly asexual, and just one of the guys to constant staring and outright sexual comments about how huge they thought they were.
Isn't it shittily amazing how womens' bodies are pretty much public property? I've heard stories from IRL friends, and from friends on feminist boards, about how they'd be out at the store and people would reach over and feel her beautiful long hair. Or how another would be out shopping and was very pregnant, and some would have no compunction about touching her stomach. And of course, there are the remarks of which you speak, as if womens' bodies are always open to commentary 24/7, by whomever.
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If a stranger objectifies me in some verbal way, if I even pause to process it, it doesn't bother me one way or the other. I know who I am. Since working through the hurts and harms of growing up fat, my esteem hasn't been built on the chance remarks of persons of no consequence in my life.
Here, here, honey. I feel just the same, and it feels MUCH better than when I was younger and all such remarks stung me and stayed with me for a long time. What a relief it is to stop giving a damn what other, and certainly unimportant, people think of my body and looks.

By the same token, positive remarks can be nice, when given respectfully, and they can make my day, for a little while. But again, my self-perception and -esteem doesn't change because of it. I just am who I am, despite public commentary and/or general consensus.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:57 PM   #21
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Forgot to actually answer the question directly.

I think objectification can be natural in some instances and problematic in others.

General objectification of womens' bodies by society has been a detriment, in my mind, because it's turned womens' bodies into public property and said bodies have become currency, thereby removing the actual woman herself from the equation. And yet, we all admire beauty, don't we, whether it's male or female beauty.

I objectify my husband and I hope he objectifies me (I believe he does, but doesn't like to say it in so many words), because I think that in such a relationship, the objectification is all part of the attraction and is a natural part of the chemistry between two people. It is supposed to be, in my mind, just part of the equation, though, and is also outweighed by love, admiration, respect and all that other non-objectification good stuff, so that there is a balance.

It is societal objectification, that when taken to the extreme and used for purposes of manipulation and profits, that I truly despise.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:41 PM   #22
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Not meaning to be a pain, but I'm not sure I understand why some of you are equating the attraction you and your mates feel for each other with objectification. Are we talking about kinky sex play here, or do you think that desire and objectification are on the same emotional continuum?
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:08 PM   #23
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Not meaning to be a pain, but I'm not sure I understand why some of you are equating the attraction you and your mates feel for each other with objectification. Are we talking about kinky sex play here, or do you think that desire and objectification are on the same emotional continuum?
...Well, wouldn't one beget the other?
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:38 PM   #24
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...Well, wouldn't one beget the other?
I can see what you're saying, but I think objectification is bigger than desire. I'm thinking of the cliche news footage of headless fatties walking around in public whenever there's a story about obesity or losing weight or whatever. That makes me feel objectified as a person of size, but there's no desire in what's being conveyed.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:27 PM   #25
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I can see what you're saying, but I think objectification is bigger than desire. I'm thinking of the cliche news footage of headless fatties walking around in public whenever there's a story about obesity or losing weight or whatever. That makes me feel objectified as a person of size, but there's no desire in what's being conveyed.
Ohhhhh, I see what you're saying....I'd always thought of that as exploitation tho....oh man, my brain is starting to hurt what with all the deep thinking so late at night. LOL
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