Alexandra Rose put up this picture on Facebook with the following caption:
Even though most of my profile is private, I’m making this post public on the off chance that the person who reported me will see it if they aren’t on my friends list (I am still unsure about that).
Today I changed my Facebook profile picture to a self portrait that I took in September of 2013 as part of a photo project that I ended up abandoning eventually. Even though I gave up on the project, I liked the picture. It holds important significance for me. Just moments after I changed it, however, I received a notification stating that it had been reported to Facebook for “nudity and pornography”. Someone had seen the photo of my bare torso and had immediately been so offended by it that they decided it needed to be removed from Facebook within seconds of it showing up. To the person who reported my photo, I would like to say I am sorry.
I am sorry that you have been conditioned to believe that a woman’s bare skin is pornographic and obscene by default. I am sorry that you cannot separate my skin from sex. I am sorry that you believe the flesh I was born in, that I learned to walk and dance and swim in, that I scraped my knees on the playground in, that I carried my daughter in, that has been held and hurt and rejected and sunburned and painted on and pierced and filled with too much food or too little food and bruised at punk shows, is lewd and meant for the consumption of others and not for my own use.
I am sorry that I was not born male. If I had been, I could walk down a public street showing the same amount of flesh pictured here and no one would bat an eye, because the only sexuality that needs to be silenced is female.
I am sorry that you couldn’t bear to go about your day without correcting my behavior.
I am sorry that a photograph that was meant to be a statement about myself became a target for your own discomfort, that you couldn’t look past my tits and try to see what I was saying.
In this photo I’m crying. In this photo I am 105 pounds and I am tugging and squeezing and pinching at my body to make it smaller, smaller than it was ever meant to be because I have days sometimes when I feel like I am too much, that I take up space that I don’t deserve. I have days sometimes when I want to shrink so far inside myself that no one else can see me. I have days sometimes when I don’t eat enough. I have days sometimes when I don’t want to eat at all. I took this photo to illustrate a part of myself that I don’t have the courage to talk about even with the people I trust the most.
Thank you for reporting me, because until now I haven’t said these things to anyone. I hope that you come to terms with your own issues about bodies and sexuality and skin.
Since this photo was taken I’ve gained ten pounds. I’m healthier now. I still want to disappear a lot of the time, but I can’t yet. I still have things I want to say.
I feel so sad because so many people would’ve just ignored this post if her tone was angry. She had to be apologetic, she had to say sorry for voicing her thoughts. Fuckers. Always tone-policing us. Always telling us we’re emotional. That we need to calm down.
Actually I take that back. I’m not sad. I’m livid.