(Can’t) Keep Your Hands to Yourself 

Happy Super Bowl Sunday to anyone who cares about the Super Bowl!! And happy Chinese New Year to those who celebrate it!! To everyone else: sorry the weekend is basically over. It is what it is.

I woke up this morning next to one of my best friends, in Center City Philadelphia, in a beautiful apartment, to the sound of my other friend snoring, not too loudly, just enough to show that she was knocked out. Despite this amazing setting, surrounded by people I genuinely love, I couldn’t get a gross feeling out of the pit of my stomach. It really pissed me off too, that feeling, because it had no place in my plush paradise.

Yet there it was, gnawing away at my insides. I can’t describe it as anything other than disgust. I guess the feeling itself isn’t nearly as important as its orgin, as is the case in most situations. Why was I disgusted when I woke up this morning? Because people don’t know how to keep their hands to themselves. And to be honest, the next person who touches me without my permission is getting punched into a different ethnicity.

I was at a Cherub concert last night, and I knew what to expect, with it being general admission and everything, but damn was that a touchy crowd. People just went around groping each other and it was bizarre. No one behaves that way in real life! I’m confused as to how being at a concert changes the rules of human courtesy. Not even at parties do drunk kids molest one another in such a fashion. You know why? Because it’s not frickin’ normal.

Sure I’m grossed out by being grabbed by randos while trying to enjoy some live music, but what it really made me think of is how we as people feel like we have access to the bodies of others. By that I mean we make comments and suggestions about others when it really isn’t our place. Literally all the time.

“Oh she’s gained some weight.”

“Wow he’s really skinny.”

“Why is she wearing leggings with that pancake ass?”

We just talk about everyone’s body like we have the latitude to do so. The sad thing is, I didn’t start thinking that maybe this is messed up until I woke up this morning. I didn’t even think about it at all.

Who is anyone to say anything about how someone else looks in a dress or a shirt or jeans or whatever they decided to put on? I’ve written once about how women and girls are subject to judgement of their character based off of what they wear. But truly, everyone has to deal with that shit. I don’t know where the normalcy of talking about how other people’s bodies look arose from, but it’s really screwed up.

Seriously, think about this. You’re with your friends, and you see someone who is what you consider to be underweight. Not that you’re a doctor or anything, but you just know that this person is too skinny. You just have that skinny sense. Congrats. Anyway, you turn to your friends and say something rude about this person’s appearance, but that doesn’t matter because it makes your friends laugh. And then you move on with your life. Seemingly harmless. Maybe not so nice, but nothing bad happened, right?

Ha! You thought! No duh something bad happened. You just personally perpetuated the defective idea that it’s okay to talk about how other people look. Even more so, that it’s okay to make fun of how other people look. Which it isn’t, in case you missed that point.

This line of thinking is flawed not only by the superficiality of it, but also because it is dehumanizing and leads to the inclination that people can be objectified based off of their appearance. It leads people to believe that they’re above those who’s appearance they don’t find to be appealing or “correct.” Which is, for lack of a better term, stupid.

It’s also mean. And pointless. You saying that someone is flat chested isn’t going to make them magically grow a “nice rack.” Not that it’s your intention for that to happen anyway. More times than not, when people negatively comment on the appearance of others, it’s a reflection of how they feel about themselves. They aren’t saying that some girl has a flat butt because they want her to have a bigger butt, they’re saying it because they feel the need to point out something “wrong” with someone else to distract from what they’re insecure about pertaining to their own bodies.

The problem does not only lie in mean commentary, but also in what some consider to be “compliments” as well. Telling someone that you like their eyes is kind. Telling someone that you like their boobs invasive. Saying “nice package,” to a guy is also invasive. There is a line. It’s isn’t thin, and it’s easy to avoid crossing it. Just don’t be a creep. It’s degrading to have your body commented on in such a way to your face. Some may like it, many don’t. It has the same effect as catcalling.

So how can we fix this problem? It really isn’t complicated. Next time you want to say something invasive about someone’s body- don’t. Keep your hands and your comments to yourself. Easy, I know.

Until next time,

– Jamaica☆


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